1970s Patek Philippe Reference 3597/2 Beta 21
The Patek Philippe, Ref. 3597 series of watches are striking and of a specific era without question which as you probably can tell is the 1970's. The design of the 3597 series of watches from Patek not only pushed the traditional watch designs commonly seen from Patek, but the 3597 series is also historically significant as they are powered by the horologically important Beta 21 movement. The Beta 21 movement was developed at a time of change for the Swiss watch industry and is housed within a design that was unprecedented for Patek Philippe at the time.
The "quartz crisis" of the late 1960s and early 1970s, was kindled by the development of economical and wildly precise quartz movements that were coming out of Japan at the time. The quartz movement posed a threat to conventional mechanical watch movements and the manufacturers that created them. In 1962 as a response to the quarts movements coming out of Japan, Swiss watch manufacturers Patek Philippe, Omega, Rolex, and Piaget, teamed up to create the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH) to research and ultimately develop Swiss-made quartz movements. The CEH’s research ultimately developed the Beta 21 movement. furthermore, it has been stated that only a total of 6,000 Beta 21 movements were ever produced and were ultimately shared amongst the co-operating brands. Which makes the models released and produced by the cooperating brands limited and in some cases rare, thus making them desirable and collectible.
In typical Patek Philippe style, Patek further modified the base Beta 21 movement, decreasing the oscillation rate from 8192 Hz to 256 Hz, via a proprietary frequency reducer. What that means is that The unique Beta 21 beats at 256 times per second to create the look of a continuous almost gliding like the sweeping motion of the second's hand.
From a design perspective, the Ref. 3597 series of watches that came out of Patek during this era in time is tangible proof that Patek Philippe could and would design watches that would remain modern and connected to the times as they changed. The 3597 measures in at an impressive 43mm in diameter which was the largest production wristwatch ever made by Patek Philippe during the time. The unique case shape reminds us of television set out of the 1970s and even more interestingly the reference was offered in 2 styles one with fixed or integrated bracelet and another option that could be worn on a bracelet and or a strap for additional flexibility. The bracelet is believed to have been made by a German jeweler specifically for Patek Philippe and came in a mesh style as well as the "swiss cheese" variant like the one we are featuring here. The bracelet in itself is an absolute work of art as it is built from two layers of woven gold, The bracelet on the Ref. 3597 is removable, which is unusual and rare, as the vast majority of Beta 21 watches produced had fixed bracelets.
|Material||18K Yellow Gold|
|Millimeters||42 mm width; 11 mm thickness|
|Bracelet||Removable Patek YG Bracelet|
The case remains in unpolished condition showing its original factory finishing. The removable "swiss cheese" bracelet remains fully intact showing very minimal wear. The Patek Philippe signed crown and bracelet clasp much like the rest of the watch remain fully intact and show minimal wear. Both the case and the bracelet have taken on a "Rosey" like patina which is visually pleasing.
The original dial and hands remain in flawless condition showing no marks or blemishes.
None. Watch is running at spec, previous service history is unknown.