Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1973
    Reference No: 3597/1
    Movement No: 6'148
    Case No: 2'720'519
    Model Name: BETA-21
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Electroquartz, cal. CEH Beta-21, 13 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K white gold Patek Philippe bracelet, max overall length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Patek Philippe clasp
    Dimensions: 43mm Width
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1973 and its subsequent sale on October 17th, 1973, additional 18k white gold PPC pin buckle and alligator strap.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The quartz crisis of the late 1960s and early 1970s wreaked havoc on the Swiss watchmaking industry, forcing brands to compete with low-cost, battery-powered timepieces mass-produced by Japanese companies. They had a significant detrimental impact on the entire Swiss watchmaking industry due to their higher precision, which was driven by a quartz oscillator. Patek Philippe, for example, introduced the Nautilus model in 1976 as a stainless steel luxury sports watch to attract new watch enthusiasts seeking high-quality timepieces with a more casual, relaxed appeal.

    Patek Philippe, along with other companies including Rolex, Omega, and Piaget, began researching quartz movements in the early years of this "quartz-reform" and formed the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) in 1962. In 1966, the CEH introduced the Beta-1 movement, which gave extraordinary precision of just five seconds deviation each month. In 1969, the CEH released the ground-breaking Beta-21 movement, which delivered unprecedented accuracy of just five seconds deviation per month. The partnering brands agreed to make 6000 Beta-21 movements for the group to share.

    The reference 3597/1 was Patek Philippe's first quartz wristwatch, debuting in Basel in 1969. At the time, it was Patek Philippe's largest diameter serially-produced wristwatch, measuring an astounding 43mm in diameter. The watch is a fusion of 1970s modernism, with a large cushion-shaped case and sumptuous and beautiful screw-down caseback. The current specimen, previously unknown to the market, weighs over 200 grams and has a gleaming blue dial with luminous hour markers and hands that have all aged beautifully over time. Recent research has shown that only two white gold fishscale bracelets were previously known. This Patek Philippe 3597/1 in overall excellent condition, is a watch with a unique place in history, having been introduced at a period when the world was changing dramatically, from politics to fashion, and aiming to counter challenges to the world of haute horlogerie.

  • Artist Biography

    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. 3597/1
A highly rare, elegant, and oversized white gold cushion-shaped electronic wristwatch with center seconds, date and bracelet

43mm Width
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF52,920

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022