Undeniably one of the rarest and best-looking references 130 to be offered at auction in recent years, this charismatic watch cased in white gold is also one of the rarest and most desirable specimen of the legendary model.
Launched in 1934, reference 130 was predominantly cased in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel. To date, only one other example in white gold is known to have appeared in public: no. 863’540/640’999, with silvered matte dial, sold at auction in 2002 for CHF2,918,500, at the time a world record for any chronograph wristwatch.
Manufactured in 1939 with “rose dial, raised white gold indexes, tachometer scale” as confirmed by the Extract from the Archives, it is apparent that the present dial has been professionally restored, now showing a highly attractive, two-tone pale salmon-gilt finish with matching pink gold numerals and indexes, the hard enamel elements full and clearly raised, and retaining what are most likely the original hands.
The dial plate is punched 67 3323, 67 being Stern Frères' code for Patek Philippe, 3323 the order number. It is furthermore hand-scratched “Rh 2975” for “rhabillage” or servicing, possibly dating to the 1970s when the dial was most likely restored in the workshops of Stern Frères to its original salmon-gilt finish.
The exceptionally rare white gold case has been very gently polished, presumably at the same time, leaving both hallmarks clearly visible.
Last offered at auction in 1994 and for many years the cherished property of the same important private collector, this white gold reference 130 must be considered a trophy for the aficionado of outstanding timepieces.
Reference 130, one of Patek Philippe's landmark models, was launched in 1934 and remained in production until the 1960s. Distinguished by its timeless "Calatrava" design, the model was available in different precious metals as well as in stainless steel.
The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches Volume II, pp. 263-265.