In my opinion the finest chronograph wristwatch of all times. I initially thought to collect several images that represent the round pushers in different metals or with the most interesting dials. In the end I decided to focus your attention primarily on one, a classic yellow dial with tachometer and gold Breguet indexes. Why? Because the real strength of this small (small by today’s standards ) since the 1463 has a diameter of 35mm chronograph is the outstanding balance between strength, functionality and elegance.
Born to face the tougher test compared to the “younger brothers” with a snapback and rectangular buttons, the 1463 was designed for athletes, professionals and the military. Let’s not forget that we were in war times. Perhaps for this reason the production of the first five years is characterized by a slightly more basic case then the one that will be produced around 1969. The first cases have straight lugs, while the latter have a more
generous size lug that forms a drop at the end. For both variants however the was provided by Taubert (ex Fréres Borgel, who signed with the well known FB brand above a key) The same case maker that is worth remembering is the one that produced the “body” of the most beautiful Patek Philippe and Movado of that period. There is also a third series of 1463 produced from 1960 onwards. Whose only difference is in the graphics of the dial and the spheres which accommodate a much more modern taste.
Another detail that makes this watch different from most of the similar products is by the singular shape of the buttons. It has an anti-slip knurled top design to ensure a secure grip. In short, no risk of making mistakes even with wet or frost fingers or wearing gloves.
The mechanics, however, is the same for all the chronographs produced from 1936 on wards: when the supply of movements by Victorin Piguet was over. Patek Philippe started using the classic ebauche Valjou 13” (29.5mm), caliber 12 130 CC performed to the highest quality standards of that time in their laboratories. Two counters, continuous seconds and minutes (hence CC, Chronographe Computer). One last comment as far as the quality standards of the times are concerned, just not to be misunderstood, the quality standards of the times were far higher than those of today!
In 30 years less than 750 of the 1463 pushers have been sold. That’s an average of 25 watches per year. More than a hundred cases of this model have been delivered after 1960 including 1969. Small numbers compared to today, but we are talking about objects that were made almost entirely by hand. It’s interesting to note that only one third has appeared on the market (mostly at auctions) since then. Mostly manufactured in yellow gold, the 1463 was also manufactured in steel –less than half of the pieces compared to those in yellow gold- while the rose gold were the rarest. It is not impossible that there are some specimens unique or nearly so in different metals. Such as white gold or a combination of gold of different colors.
As far as the dials are concerned, I would not say anything besides that there are many variations of color and graphics, even if some of these are fairly typical and recurring. Unlike those on all other references, the dial of 1463 is drilled and set to the caliber by three screws positioned at around eleven, four and eight whose heads are clearly visible in the mounted watch. Either than that, the several versions of the dial are similar to those of the Patek chronographs of the time, a theme that would deserve an article of its own. Among the most beautiful dials of Patek are undeniably the ones used for the chronographs, including those used for the 1463.
Nowadays round pushers of average quality –so to say-perhaps with a non fresh case and a washed dial can cost as much as a stainless steel Paul Newman Rolex with screw down pushers. I shudder to think of it…the growth of the younger markets have made this model much more affordable than before. Not withstanding that, beyond fashion a man wearing a Patek with round pushers rather than the latest chrono tourbillon titanium case of whatever trendy manufacturer of the time, shows the same taste of the man getting out of an Aston Martin D85 64 rather than another arriving in the latest Bently Continental GT.. I think you got the idea! Didn’t you? Anyway we just need to look at the auction results of the 1463 of the extreme quality. In terms of conversation possibly combined with a variant of the dial and bracelet! Particularly desirable, just stunning. Now that the market is favoring the growth of the demand for watches suitable for a younger people it’s easlier to understand which require a less radicalized knowledge and passion. This watch is certainly more approachable than when the market started. For what we call suddenly reasonable numbers. We can wear one of the most remarkable chronographs ever made by Patek Philippe. The perfect chronograph.