Patek Philippe. A Rare Stainless Steel Calatrava Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals
Case No: 661xxx
Movement No: 967xxx
Cal. 12’’’120 mechanical jeweled movement, silvered matte dial, applied Breguet numerals, outer beady minute divisions, subsidiary dial for constant seconds, circular water-resistant case, downturned lugs, screw back, case, dial, and movement signed
With Extract from the Archives
Condition: Extra Mint
Reference 565 was Patek Philippe’s first large water-resistant wristwatch, with a screw back and dust cover to protect the movement. Launched in 1938, the reference was cased in both gold and steel. During World War II, stainless steel was available to watch manufacturers without regulations imposed by customs and thus used more frequently. Consequently, when the war ended stainless steel lost much of its appeal and was seldom used, gold becoming the metal of choice for watches. The model was first produced with subsidiary seconds, using a caliber 12’’’120, and in the mid-1940’s was produced as well with sweep center seconds, using a caliber 12 SC movement.
Production of the reference 565 ended in 1952. The present watch is an excellent example of a reference 565, made close to the end of production for the model. As gold was used more frequently at this period in time, the present watch is a rarity, with few from this time cased in steel. The use of Breguet numerals further elevates the appeal and collectability of this watch.
In 2006, Patek Philippe used the design of the reference 565 to produce a modern interpretation of the classic steel Calatrava, and launched the reference 5565. Nothing compares to the original however, with a finite number of examples out there, and few in such mint condition as the present watch.