JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
KEY MILESTONES IN PATEK’S PERPETUAL CALENDAR STORY.
The world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch, known as No. 97 975, was created by the brand, which had received a patent for its perpetual calendar mechanism for pocket watches in 1889. Interestingly, the 97 975’s movement had been created for (and used in) a women’s pendant watch. However, because it did not sell, it was put in a wristwatch, which was bought by an American collector two years later. The rest, as they say, is history.
Before 1941, complicated watches were usually produced on commission. In this year, Patek introduced its first serially produced perpetual calendar watches. The first was the Ref. 1518, a perpetual calendar with chronograph, followed by the pure perpetual calendar Ref. 1526 (pictured) a year later.
A perpetual calendar never needs to be adjusted because it automatically takes into consideration variables like shorter months and leap years – but only if it is kept wound. Making it easier to do so was the creation of Patek’s first self-winding perpetual calendar, the Ref. 3448.
At a time when the proliferation of quartz watches had led to the decline of the Swiss watch industry, Patek – under the stewardship of Philippe Stern, third-generation member of the Stern family that owns the company – embarked on a strategy to reintroduce complicated watches with the Ref. 3940. This automatic perpetual calendar was powered by the ultra-slim Calibre 240 Q.
As the industry sees more watchmakers creating more technical pieces for women, Patek Philippe launches Ref. 7140. Its first women’s perpetual calendar is an ultrathin watch housed in a 35.1mm rose gold case with a bezel set with 68 diamonds, and powered by Calibre 240 Q.