With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, black hour markers and tachometer scale in 1938 and its subsequent sale on 21 December 1938.
This watch is an outstanding example within the family of Patek Philippe's chronograph pocketwatches. It is powered by the 13-300 calibre. It is estimated that some 3600 such movements were delivered to Patek, but only less than 200 were fitted on pocket watches, mainly on references 666, 685, 687, 840 and the present watch, believed to be the only example of a reference 683 known to exist to date.
Collectors nicknamed this watch the "Submariner", because a number of features might indicate an original intended destination as onboard a submergible vessel. First of all, its small size, so unusual for a pocket watch, might indicate its intended usage in a very constricted space. Secondarily, its amagnetic balance wheel clearly denotes the technical nature of the timepiece. Finally, the tachymetre scale extended with the inner spiral scale to display values below 60 units per hour seems more apt for a nautical context, where velocity rarely exceeds 60 KPH.
The combination of several highly unusual features renders this timepiece an exceedingly rare find:
- the legendary 13''' chronograph calibre mainly used for Patek Philippe's chronograph wristwatches
- the stainless steel case with a diameter of only 40 mm.
- the highly sophisticated dial, uniting itself another three rarities, the vertically positioned subsidiary dials, the sector or so-called aviator display and the inner spiral scale calibrated for 60 minutes
- the overall very appealing, original condition
- prominently illustrated in John Goldberger's celebrated reference book Patek Philippe Steel Watches, pp. 24 & 25.