- A FINE 18K YELLOW GOLD CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH REGISTER AND TACHOMETER, RETAILED BY BLACK, STARR & GORHAM
1944 REF 130J MVT 863480 CASE 638220
- diameter 33 mm
Production of Ref. 130 commenced in 1930 and continued for over 30 years. It was the first chronograph wristwatch bearing a reference number Patek Philippe created in series.
The present example was retailed by Black Starr & Gorham, a signature which is uncommonly seen on Patek Philippe watches. The company's roots can be traced from 1810 to present day, but it has been known by several names over the course of its lifetime. Its most famed designation was 'Black Starr & Frost', as it was known from 1876 until 1929, and goes by that designation once again today.
In John Reardon's comprehensive book, Patek Philippe in America, he discusses the history of the firm's American division, the Henri Stern Watch Agency. He notes on page 106 that the manager of HSWA from 1947 to 1950, Edward Lionel Plimmer, came to the firm directly from the position of watch buyer at Black Starr & Gorham.
The present example illustrates this close relationship between the retailer and Patek Philippe during the 1940s, a decade in which brand came to particular prominence in the United States. The engraving to the caseback is dated to Christmas 1945, just months after the end of World War II.
For a discussion of Ref. 130, see Reardon, J., Patek Philippe in America, p. 116. Further examples of Ref. 130 are illustrated in Huber, M. & Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Vol. II, Second Edition, pp. 262-3.