The reference 565 Calatrava by Patek Philippe in-and-of itself is an important reference – it is the first production wristwatch by the maker to use a waterproof, screwdown case, and is a reference that is largely adorned by collectors for its large-for-the-era 35mm case size, with elongated straight lugs that give the watch an even larger presence on the wrist. This particular example, circa 1940s, is a step above the rest, with allegedly around 15 examples of this configuration known to the market (according to research by Phillips). On this Calatrava, Patek fit the watch with a dial having “Breguet” numerals, and radium luminous material, two incredibly rare elements, almost never seen separate, much less together. However, what really sets this watch apart is the fact that it is housed in stainless steel. During this era, steel was in high demand due to the World War II, and many watch brands produced watches in precious metals, as steel was allocated to their respective nations’ militaries for machinery. Further, an Extract of the Archives has been ordered, and will be provided to the buyer upon receipt.
This Patek Philippe Calatrava is exceptionally well-preserved. The case, while lightly polished in the past, shows a great and thick case with even lugs. The dial is truly exceptional, one of the best we have ever seen, seemingly unrestored or “cleaned” in the past, with a strong raised hard enamel signature, a light patina in the center of the dial from the radium hands, and minor wear/aging, overall very clean and honest. Further, the radium lume is still completely preserved in both dial and hands, aged to a lovely orange color. The watch is fitted on a Gay Freres beads-of-rice bracelet, fitting for the era (although not likely born on the watch).
This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of Patek Philippe history, and an incredible example on top!
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