With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with steel Breguet hour markers and tachymetre scale in 1950 and its subsequent sale on 28 March 1951.
Even though the notion of "sports watch" is probably an invention of the late 20th century, there is certainly some explanation if one associates the stainless steel version of reference 1463 to this term. In fact, for over half a century there hasn't been any other model by Patek Philippe better exemplifying the needs of a modern, self-confident, booming society which is enjoying outdoor activities and in particular sport during spare time. As a matter of fact, whereas the chronograph movement responds to the sportsman's needs, the beautifully sculpted water-resistant case protects it from humidity and dust. The hard steel case obviously ensures one doesn't need to see a watchmaker on a too regular basis if unintended contacts occur...
Consequently, the steel reference 1463 takes a particularly prominent role in many of the even most spoilt collectors' dreams and is a must have in a aficionado's career. Examples with Breguet numerals are not only extraordinarily rare but in terms of looks probably the most exciting and seducing combination. Specimens, like the present, where the Extracts of Patek Philippe's Archives confirm the original Breguet numeral dial are close to impossible finds.
The "tasti tondi", as this model is lovingly described by collectors (Italian for round pushers), is one of the best preserved examples known to us and has not been offered on the market since acquired at auction by the current owner in the late 1980s. The dial has a uniform creamy patina without flaws visible and the case proportions remain strong and solid some 60 years after its making. Interestingly, close inspection also reveals that it was originally sold in the US, confirmed by the HOX export market on the regulator bridge but also the tachometre scale calibrated for miles.
Honest examples of reference 1463 in steel with Breguet numerals where condition and provenance are at their best are long awaited moments for many collectors. This specimen here is definitely such a moment in time.
The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 267.