One of the most renowned names in luxury watches, Patek Philippe has been making incredible timepieces for 180 years. And for vintage watch enthusiasts, it is hard to beat the appeal of Patek Philippe watches from the mid-20th century. Classic in style, steeped in history, and expertly engineered, Patek Philippe watches from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s are some of the best in the vintage luxury watch market. For today’s treat, we have plucked a trio of vintage Patek Philippe watches straight from Gray & Sons’ vault—one from each of these decades.
1940’s Patek Philippe Ref. 425 “Tegolino”
Nicknamed after the famous rectangular Italian cake, the Patek Philippe ref. 425 “Tegolino” was first introduced in 1934. This particular Patek Philippe ref. 425 was made in the 1940s. It is a manual-wound watch and as its name implies, it features a rectangular case—a wristwatch style that was all the rage in the thirties and forties.
Housed within the 18k yellow gold rectangular watch case is a cream colored dial with hand-applied yellow gold Breguet-style numerals. As is common with fine vintage timepieces, there is a subsidiary dial for the running seconds hands, placed underneath the center hour and minute hands.
The yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 425 “Tegolino” is presented on an elegant black leather strap, completing its classic look.
1950’s Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2429
The Calatrava watch made its debut in 1932 and has since become Patek Philippe’s flagship dress timepiece, available in an assortment of materials, styles, and colors. This Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2429 hails from the 1950s and it sports an 18k yellow gold round case. A signature feature of this particular Calatrava is the sculpted lugs framing the 18k yellow gold case, which gives the otherwise classic timepiece a touch of character.
The light colored dial sets the perfect stage for the yellow gold applied indexes and the yellow gold Dauphine-style center hands. Filling up space on the bottom portion of the dial is the traditional running seconds indicator.
Powered by a hand-wound movement and paired with a sophisticated black leather strap, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2429 is a handsome example of a mid-century gentleman’s watch.
1960’s Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3525
We have here yet another Calatrava watch but in a decidedly different style. Characterized by its bold cushion-shaped case, Patek Philippe launched the Calatrava Ref. 3525 in 1965 and produced it until the middle of the following decade.
Cushion-shaped cases first become popular in the 1920s and this distinct watch style enjoyed a revival in the sixties and seventies. The cushion case of this Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3525 from the 1960s is fashioned in 18k yellow gold and is topped with a round bezel for an interesting design contrast.
At the heart of the Calatrava 3525 is the in-house Cal. 27-460 automatic winding movement—one of Patek’s most famous self-winding calibers. It powers the time-only functions on the watch, displayed via the center hour and minute hands pointing to applied yellow gold stick indexes, accompanied by a running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.
For fans of classic vintage luxury watches, Patek Philippe has a little something for everyone. From rectangular to round to cushion, these three timepieces hit all the right style notes—debonair, dapper, and dashing!