An extremely rare, important, attractive and large stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with silvered dial, tachometer scale and applied Roman and dot hour markers.

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1942
    Reference No: 530
    Movement No: 862’880
    Case No: 508’295
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’’, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle by Patek Philippe
    Dimensions: 36.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming this watch was manufactured in 1942, and its subsequent sale on August 13th, 1942.
    Literature: For a comparable example see Patek Philippe Steel Watches, John Goldberger, pages 250-251.

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are certain references of Patek Philippe wristwatches that can be considered the ultimate in terms of rarity, desirability, and aesthetic beauty. The oversized stainless steel chronograph reference 530, as in the present lot, is without any doubt, one of these. With less than 10 steel examples having ever appeared at auction or in literature, it is no wonder they have achieved an almost mythical reputation in the hearts and minds of watch collectors.

    The present example is fresh to the auction market, coming directly from the family of the original owner. We understand that it has spent most of its life in a secured bank vault, and has consequently seen very little wear over the last few decades. The case has most likely only seen one polishing since new, resulting in well defined case proportions and most noticeably the lugs appear even wider than on other examples of the same reference.

    Thankfully, its current owner has entrusted Patek Philippe with the most recent service of the watch, who have preserved the integrity to the best possible extent. It should be considered one of the most important and exciting Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatches of any reference to be offered at auction in recent years.

    Reference 530 was first launched in 1937, and remains one of the rarest chronograph models manufactured by the firm. In terms of its case size, reference 530 is substantially bigger than its sister reference 130, measuring nearly 4 mm larger. The proportions in terms of its diameter, thickness, and placement of its lugs are symmetrical and perfectly balanced, demonstrating the mastery of design that has earned Patek Philippe its position at the top echelon of watchmaking companies.

    Interestingly, the stainless steel chronograph reference 530 is known to have been made in case variants that differ most notably in terms of the distance between the lugs. The first generation, predominantly made in the late 1930s and always seen with the sector dial design, features a 19mm strap, whereas the second version with the cases made by Georges Croisier boasted a substantial bracelet width of 21.5mm giving the watch an even more prominent look.

    Patek Philippe produced yellow and rose gold versions of reference 530 for over two decades, but a very small number were manufactured in stainless steel during the 1940s – a period of wartime that made low-cost steel models more accessible. With so few existent in the world, and considering the present example’s combination of virtues that tick virtually every box for the discerning collector, it most certainly is a watch worthy of crowning the world’s most important collections.

  • Maker Bio

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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Ref. 530
An extremely rare, important, attractive and large stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with silvered dial, tachometer scale and applied Roman and dot hour markers.

1942
36.5mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF500,000 - 1,000,000 

sold for CHF821,000

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016