A rare, fine, and oversized 18k yellow gold cushion-shaped electronic wristwatch with center seconds and date. The first Patek Philippe Electroquartz ever produced.
Model: Beta 21
Material case: 18K yellow gold
Calibre: Electroquartz, cal. CEH Beta-21, 13 jewels
Bracelet/Strap: Black leather
Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
Diameter: 43 mm
Accessories: With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1973 and its subsequent sale on 19th February 1973, document information, original box and servicing invoice.
Condition: Amazing condition serviced by Patek in February 2023
ID SWT: 77026151
Notes: 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 43 mm in diameter. The watch is a fusion of 1970s modernism, with a large cushion-shaped case and sumptuous and beautiful screw-down caseback.
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