Patek Philippe Chronograph 130 with raised Breguet numerals
It is widely regarded that Patek Philippe has occupied the top of the horological tree for centuries, always priding itself on producing some of the greatest watches the world has ever seen. The brand has consistently had an eye for traditional, sophisticated, and mechanically mind-blowing creations. Due to a combination of the aforementioned as well as low production numbers on specific references, a plethora of highly collectable and exceedingly rare watches often dominate auction room headlines. No matter the watch Patek Philippe turns its hand to, excellence follows.
During the 1920s, the interest and demand for chronographs was growing exponentially. To meet this demand, in the 1930s, Patek Philippe announced a brand new reference which, despite earlier examples that were created in limited numbers, was their first serially produced chronograph watch. Launched two years after the dress watch defining 96 Calatrava and under the Stern family's management, the 130 chronograph showed a close resemblance and approach to design as the 96 but in a bi-compax chronograph configuration. Classically proportioned with an overriding sense of elegance, the 130 was predominantly produced in precious metals, yellow, pink, and white gold, with a minimal amount produced in stainless steel. The 130 enjoyed approximately 30 years of production. It's estimated that as little as 1,500 examples were produced.
Today, surviving examples can be found fitted with various dials, including ones featuring Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, sector dials, two-tone pieces, and Breguet numerals. As with most vintage Patek Philippe, small nuances can significantly impact the desirability of specific references, with the example here offering charisma in abundance.
Dating from 1943, this Patek Philippe 130 is a quintessential example of the important reference fitted with an original dial featuring gold Breguet numerals. Measuring a compact 33 mm in width, its 18-carat yellow gold case may sound small, however, thanks to its long lugs, the piece is comparable to a 36mm watch on the wrist. Its exterior is tastefully restrained with soft curvaceous lines in a polished finish, complete with a small stepped bezel surrounding the dial aperture producing subtle depth and ensuring the eye firmly is attracted to its sophisticated dial.
There is a lot to adore on this 130, as its vertically brushed silver dial demonstrates. The surround of the dial features a tachymeter scale which is cleverly integrated with the railroad seconds track, seamlessly benefiting function and clarity on offer. Taking one step further into the dial reveals arguably the most charming feature of this 130 - its solid gold Breguet numerals. Proportionally large in size carrying distinctive visual weight, the raised numerals play a considerable role in the desirability of this example. Complementing the height achieved by the applied numerals are sunken bi-compax sub-registers tracking the running seconds and the elapsed chronograph minutes, once more both featuring railroad tracks. These two registers are positioned towards the periphery of the piece, which opens up the centre of the dial and thus gives the perception of a larger watch. Continuing in a similar vein to the numerals are a set of solid gold multi-faceted leaf hands for the hours and minutes, paired with a gold subsidiary seconds hand on the left-hand side of the dial. The centralised chronograph hand and the chronograph minute counter in the right-hand sub-register are thermally blued steel. This decision by Patek creates a clever sense of distinction and even a touch of practicality.
Featuring an earlier designation of the watchmaker's name, the dial of this 130 is simply signed 'Patek Philippe & Co Geneve'.
Powering this 80-year-old mechanical chronograph is the calibre 13. This modified Valjoux movement by Patek Philippe comes with 36 hours of power reserve, 23 jewels, and beats at 18,000 vph (or 2.5 Hz). The movement features a Breguet balance wheel and, despite its solid caseback, is complete with Geneva striping throughout.
How It Wears
At 33mm, the Patek Philippe 130 does fit smaller on the wrist than many may be used to. However, thanks to its long lugs, thin bezel combined with wide dial aperture, and simplified dial details, the 130 does manage to feel closer to a 36mm piece in the real world. Furthermore, its use of yellow gold throughout is textbook Patek Philippe, a watchmaker famed for providing the pinnacle of luxury. Be it the large gold Breguet numerals, solid gold leaf hands, dashes of thermal blueing or even just its delicately brushed silver dial, this 130 is a truly special piece of traditional luxury horology.
The 1943 Patek Philippe 130 Chronograph is offered fitted with its original dial and original pin buckle. In addition, it comes complete with an extract from the Patek Philippe archive, detailing and confirming the watch and the movement.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium.
No stock kept on site.
|Dial||Silver with raised Breguet numerals|
|Material (Case)||Yellow Gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Saffiano Navy Blue|
|Papers||Extract from archive|