Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar chronograph is arguably the most important complex function combination of the 20th century watch industry. We will take you back to the starting point.
Welcome to the first in the ongoing series, which we call the “reference point”. In this series, we will step back in a certain way and introduce to all watch enthusiasts some important watches that we believe form the basis of modern watches. Over the years, we have tried to give you some tips for historical knowledge in several of your articles, especially those in the “historical perspective” category, but now we have to go further. For our first “reference point” function, we first start with the arguably the most important complex function pairing-Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar chronograph. We will take you back to the starting point.
I am not sure if there is a watch family that is more important than the watch we are about to discuss. Rolex diving watch, maybe? Maybe not even. Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar chronograph constitutes the royal heritage of the watch collection. Even today, the year of the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe’s birth, it is unmatched. The combination of complex functions (perpetual calendar mechanism and chronograph) is a remarkable thing, the sum of which is much larger than its parts. In this function, we will check six historical references, none of which are in production, only mention some important outliers. In the opinion of this publication, these reference materials should be known to every watch enthusiast. Let’s start from the beginning…
The earliest perpetual calendar chronograph with a perpetual calendar dates back to 1941 and is based on number 1518. The 1518 watch is the beginning of all this, not only based on the perpetual calendar chronograph, but also with Patek Philippe as the logo, as well as the complex production of Patek Philippe watches. Industry in general. Now, we are bored, and big trade fairs like SIHH and Basel World show us twice a year new major complications from dozens of brands. As early as 1941, no one had manufactured complicated watches. At that time, they were directly commissioned by Henry Graves (Jr.) or James Ward Packard (James Ward Packard), etc. made. 1518 is a real revelation. In 1941 (the world is at war), Patek Philippe created a real masterpiece of 35 mm.
The 1518 double hole is located at 12 o’clock, plus two chronographs at 3 and 9 o’clock, as well as a round date display and a moon phase at 6 o’clock, which will provide cheap Patek Philippe‘s most important watch. Design schematic. The next 70 years. Each dial of the 1518 is silver with a hard enamel tachymeter scale, and the complete movement number of each 1518 is engraved on the back of the dial. The two silver date discs are also enamel, and the moon phase disc is inlaid with blue enamel and golden stars and the moon. The 1518 case was made by Georges Croisier and later renamed Genevor SA. The case is a three-piece design with a concave bezel and drooping lugs.
Inside the 1518 movement is a movement based on Valjoux ebauche, called the 13”’130 movement. It has a linear lever escapement, Geneva corrugated decoration, Bao over (Berguet) automatic compensation coil and swan neck adjuster. The 23 jewel movement is printed with the Geneva seal, indicating that the watchmaking quality is the highest, which is hardly the basic movement of Valjoux. Consider the fact that in the half century after its advent in 1518, no other manufacturer even tried a perpetual calendar chronograph.
Nonetheless, although 1518 is indeed the original perpetual calendar chronograph and the absolute basis of this incredible product line, it is not necessarily the most ideal reference overall. The 35mm case and square buttons tend to make it more like a gentleman’s chronograph, rather than a modern item worn everyday. However, the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, which has not been available since 1518, is just a few examples. Many people think that this is Patek Philippe’s ultimate metal, which is stainless steel.
The four examples of 1518 are made of stainless steel and are considered to be one of the most valuable and rarest cheap mens watches on earth. They were all made during the wartime, and all four of these can be seen in detail in John Goldberger’s “Stainless Patek Philippe”.
After 13 years of operation in 1518, 2499 appeared. In fact, it is said that 2499 was launched in 1951, which means that the earliest 2499 was produced together with the latest 1518, which had a production end date of 1954. Patek Philippe 2499 is considered to be the ultimate model for many people to become Patek Philippe, capturing the charm of the old world with modern wear resistance. 2499 may also be the most researched and studied in the PP permanent chronograph, here we will introduce each of the chronographs in these four series, so that next time we meet the super player wearing his most powerful watch When, you will not only know the reference.
The first series of Patek Philippe 2499 has dials, hands and buttons, these dials, hands and buttons are indeed very similar to its predecessor 1518. As shown in the following example, all functions of all the first 2499 series are equipped with square chronograph buttons, Arabic numeral symbols and tachymeter scales.
The first 2499 series above was sold in December 2012 for more than $400,000-sounds like a lot of money, right? True, but metals can make such a huge difference in prices.
After the first series, the design specifications of 2499 have changed a lot. You suddenly see a circular pump pusher and use batons or Arabic numerals, but still have a tachymeter scale. Similarly, most of the 2499s you found are gold, but when rose gold appeared, all the bets disappeared. For example, this pink 2499 pink second series was sold at the Christie’s auction in November last year for $2.16 million.
You will start to see the production date of the second series of watches appear in the mid-1950s, the fourth year since 2499 has been in operation for 35 years. Eventually, you will find yourself in the third and fourth series of 2499, there is no longer a tachymeter scale on the dial, and Arabic numerals cannot be found at all. Of the 2499 in the four series, the most common and most desirable is the third series, because it is the most common. The third series of watches was produced from 1960 to 1978, about half of the entire operation of 2499. The third series of watches is very similar to most second series watches, but the easiest way to distinguish the next series of watches is to look at the dial. Has it been marked with batons and no speedometer? Then came the third or fourth series of men replica watches brands.
What is the difference between the third and fourth series? Except that the fourth series is essentially a transition table between retro and modern, there are really not many. It was manufactured from around 1978 to 1985, when the last models were 2499/100. The main physical difference between the fourth series and all previous series is that it actually uses sapphire crystal.