1943 Patek Philippe Vintage Calatrava Ref. 438 Mens Watch with Tiffany Breguet Dial - Stainless Steel

Patek Philippe

Item No. 8323

Today's offering showcases this classic World War II era Patek Philippe ref. 438 Calatrava, a rare variant of one of the company's iconic Calatrava watches.

Reference 438, launched in 1935, is distinguished by the water-resistant case with screw back and its boy-size. The rare version of the celebrated Calatrava model was available in the three gold versions and in stainless steel.

It is one of the original Calatravas true classics, that occupy prestigious places among the great wristwatches of the 20th century.

Featuring an elegant, understated face and beautiful case, the watch showcases sleek lines and subtle elegance, expressing artistic originality at its very finest. As Patek Philippe aptly describes, "These inimitably elegant men's watches are impervious to short-lived trends, recapturing the hearts of each new generation."

The reference 438 was also among Patek’s first models to showcase the Bauhaus design principle of “form follows function”. It achieves its powerful impact through the use of clean, simple, and elegant lines.

An interesting functional design element of this watch is its amagnetic design. It has an iron ring with cap that forms a Faraday cage around the movement protecting it from magnetic and electromagnetic fields and also offering another layer of physical protection.

While most vintage Calatravas from this period came with plain stick markers, Patek also made them with Breguet numerals. These are rarer and more desirable than the stick marker dial examples.

The dial on this example is further made desirable by its double-signature, co-signed Tiffany & Co. Ref. 438 watches were often sold through Tiffany. This watch ticks a lot of boxes.

We were fortunate to acquire it with all of its original parts. Its only non-original part is its wonderful Gay Freres spring loaded expansion bracelet. It is both correct for a Patek watch and the era, not truly original to this watch, but a later addition by a collector. For those not familiar Gay Freres is considered one of the premier bracelet makers from the era and made very fine and desirable bracelets for some of Pateks watches as well as for certain watches from other fine firms.

Its elegant steel Calatrava case presents in better than near mint condition. Its desirable double-signed Breguet dial was restored in vintage times.

Its high-grade, Patek Philippe caliber 10-110 movement is clean.

One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it and installed a new mineral glass crystal. It is keeping extremely accurate time in our testing position, essentially keeping time like a new Patek in our testing position.

For the finishing touch we have meticulously detailed it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.

Included with the purchase is a one-year C.O.T. international warranty on the movement and its function, a full-page custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate. Also included is a Certificate of Authenticity from eBay and their new professional watch authentication team.

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Serial no.: 911,047
  • Year built: c. 1943
  • Model: Ref. 438 Calatrava
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Subsidiary Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: 18K gold
  • Case markings (inside): Patek Philippe & Co, Geneve, Swiss, 629,499, Francois Borgel hallmark for the famous maker of waterproof cases
  • Case condition: Better than near mint with only light polishing and very light wear to back from the bracelet contacting it.
  • Dimensions: 28.3mm wide (excluding crown - 30mm including crown), 35mm long lug tip-to-tip, 9mm thick
  • Dial: Silver, signed both Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co., applied Breguet gold indexes, outer railroad minute track with luminous dots, restored in vintage times. Please inquire if you would like it freshly restored.
  • Hands: Original, luminous blue steel "batons", original blue steel seconds
  • Movement type: Cal. 10-110 stamped twice with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève, rhodium-plated, fausses cotes decoration, 18 jewels, straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, blued steel Breguet balance spring, swan neck micrometer regulator
  • Movement markings: Patek Philippe and Co., Swiss, Geneve, Adjusted to Heat, Cold, Ischronism and Five (5) Positions, Eighteen (18) Jewels, 911,047, U.S. Import marks (so it could be sold via Tiffany)
  • Band: Correct and fine later added Gay Freres spring-loaded expansion bracelet with deployment buckle, one of the world's leading band designers, signed with Gay Freres hallmark, designed to fit a wrist up to approx. just over 7 inches before beginning to engage expansion springs for extra length, adjustable, very good condition with recent discrete expert repair. We also stock lizard and a variety of other new straps in various prints, skins, and colors. Please ask us if you're interested.
  • Width between lugs: 18mm
  • Crystal: Mineral glass, mint condition
  • Servicing: One of our watchmakers has disassembled it down to its last screw and cleaned and oiled it making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. It is keeping extremely accurate time in our testing position, essentially keeping time like a new Patek in our testing position. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email concierge@cotwatches.com for details.
  • Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; Certificate of Authenticty from eBay and their new professional watch authentication team; New Connoisseur of Time timing certificate
  • Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our client's expectations throughout the buying experience.

All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail, and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier. International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.

The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed to be waterproof.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


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