Patek Philippe 2526 Enamel Dial ref. 2526, Calibre 12-600 AT
Launched in 1953, Patek Philippe 2526 is a 12-ligne movement, roughly 6 mm in diameter, automatic. (thus Calibre: 12-600 AT). It was Patek Philippe’s very first self-winding movement, launched some 22 years after Rolex patented its perpetual mechanism.
And while they are both superlative calibers, the Patek 12-600 AT is several steps above what we see from Rolex, to the point where many people tout the 12-600 AT as perhaps the finest self-winding caliber ever made.
The 12-600 AT features Patek’s Gyromax balance wheel, using flat, rotatable timing weights that remains a trademark of Patek Philippe to this day. The caliber beats at 19,800vph, is adjusted to five positions, heat and cold, and isochronism. 12-600 AT was discontinued in the 1960s after around 7,000 units were made across a handful of references. And though it has not a perfect movement, some would say it’s as close to a perfect automatic movement as anyone has ever built.