As Patek’s first chronograph produced at meaningful scale, the 130 holds a special place in many collector’s hearts. It also happens to be one of their most diverse and longest-reaching vintage production runs ever. The design was given space to evolve from 1934 until 1964, with changes going so far as to include different calibres entirely. Unsurprisingly, despite the long-lived production, overall numbers are still very low at an estimated 1500 examples. But in steel? 146. This kind of prestige Patek doesn’t come cheap, but I would not expect to find another like it anytime soon.
The 130’s history is lore. All chronographs previous to this were almost entirely constrained to pocket watches. Released to much success, it is a sort of of-its-era-Nautilus with on-wrist sporting pretensions. The 33mm case is elegant with long lugs and squared off pushers. Interestingly, case shapes changed depending on the metal and calibre Patek was using at time of production. Its cream-faded dial incorporates classic applied dual-roman and straight indices with a tachymetric scale. In this particular steel, white, blued steel handset configuration, there are said to be 9 known examples.
At this point, if you’re kinda new around here, you may be asking why steel is kind of a thing with Patek. Most haute horology watchmakers today manufacture their finest work in platinum or white and yellow golds. This has historically been the case for some time. However, for noteworthy clients who were able to pull the strings of exception in Switzerland, Patek would produce steel pieces. There are a few noteworthy steel production models, this included. This is all to say that, as Patek Philippe has been an almost exclusively haute manufacture for longer than most, steel pieces comprise just a fraction of their overall vintage production. The fractional rarity, on an order of magnitude difference from precious metal production, means they are highly collectible.
This example sports a case with little wear and proportional lugs. The dial is untarnished and all signatures are highly legible. It comes with an Original Guarantee from Patek. This is an absurdly rare find and I wouldn’t expect anything less than previous auction rates if you’re planning to make an ask.
Find this Steel 130 here from Corrado Mattarelli listed as POA.