Patek Philippe unveils ref. 3670A steel chronograph with vintage 13-130 movement

Sixteen new old stock Valjoux 23 movements were discovered in Patek Philippe's storerooms and will be put into stainless steel cases.

Patek Philippe has just unveiled new limited edition that is sure to send collectors into a frenzy. Sixteen calibre 13-130 (13′” movement used in ref. 130 chronograph) were found when Patek Philippe in 1996 along Rue du Rhone in Geneva where its boutique now stands. Apparently they were found in an old chest on the fifth floor; 16 beautiful calibres, based on the Valjoux 23 ebauche, originally assembled in 1955 – it certainly makes for a fantastic story.

Patek Philippe steel chronograph 3670A-001 dial

This is based on the Valjoux 23 ebauche but heavily modified and far more beautiful than other executions of the same Valjoux. In fact this is probably one of the finest chronograph movements ever in terms of classical design and finishing. The 16 calibres were overhauled and put into cushion shaped steel cases like those used for the 5950A rattrapante chronograph. No modifications to the movements were done, so the movements are entirely original. The balance has no shock proofing for instance.

With a price tag of CHF240,000, and available only at Patek boutiques, it is not an inexpensive watch. In fact that’s more than what the rare steel case vintage 130 chronographs with the same movement go for at auction. But it is a Patek and a limited edition so there will be 16 grateful buyers.

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George Daniels passes away

RIP George Daniels

Inventor of the co-axial escapement, George Daniels, has passed away at 85. Mr Daniels was a legendary watchmaker and one of the earliest independent watchmakers, in today’s sense of the word. For his “services to horology”, he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010.

Most famous for creating the lubrication-free co-axial escapement, which he sold to Omega (though Omega does lubricate it, Mr Daniels was also an author. He wrote Watchmaking, a masterful book that explains, in great detail, how to make a tourbillon wristwatch. 

His style of watchmaking was most reminiscent of classical Breguet watches. But his watches are rare – in his entire career he only completed 37 watches entirely on his own – though more were made together with his protege Roger W. Smith like the Anniversary wristwatch.

When not making watches Mr Daniels’ love was vintage Bentleys.


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