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Patek Philippe 3587/2 "Beta-21" Vintage Luxury Watch Review There are exceptions that prove the rule. And the Patek Philippe 3587 "Beta 21" is the rare quartz watch that has soul. Amidst a mass of transistors and step-down circuits, this historic machine's heart sings like an Accutron as it continues to plow its lone furrow through time. The Beta-21 arose in 1962 as a collaborative effort between 20 Swiss watch manufacturers who saw the future coming but didn't quite know how to tackle it solo. By 1967, prototypes were putting even the best mechanical chronometers to shame, and the first commercial applications launched in 1969. Like many pioneering technologies, Beta 21 was oversized, charmingly awkward, and novel. The Patek Philippe 3587 offered by exhibits the characteristic mass, size, and audible 256hz "Beta Buzz" of these revolutionary trail-blazers. That's right; you can actually hear this watch against the ear, and the sound is a world removed from the dead 1-second stutters of modern quartz. The seconds hand moves through an impossibly smooth 360 degree sweep with the smooth motion of a Spring Drive or Accutron. While modern quartz watches jump from second to second in precisely spaced increments of, um, a second, the Patek Philippe's unique power plant jumps 256 times per second to create the impression of continuous motion. Not even a high-beat mechanical watch can compare to the slick visual effect of this Jurassic Patek. More than a rare example of an historic landmark, this Patek Philippe 3587 wears like a modern watch. At 42mm in diameter, the case may have seemed monstrous in 1971, but the same size is considered chic in 2014. With sports watches approaching 50mm in some instances, 42mm in yellow gold suddenly looks downright sober. As a Patek Philippe, style abounds. the blue soleil pattern of the dial is a radiant presence that lives up to the promise of the brushed 18-karat dial. 18K stick indexes and hands contrast sharply, and the hash marks of the outer dial compliment the sunburst pattern of the grained blue metal. The bracelet is a time capsule from the early 1970s. More than a supple interface for the wrist, the solid gold bracelet is a portrait of early 70's avant grade. In the spirit of the revolutionary movement itself, Patek clearly took a chance and took a stab at audacity when they penned this bracelet. It's period charm and remarkable state of preservation make it the perfect pair for this 3587. Once this outstandingly preserved Patek Philippe 3587/2 "Beta-21" is gone, it will be a long time until another one comes along. Through our 15 years in business adding 50-70 watches per week to our inventory, we can say that this Patek Philippe 3587 has started our in-house tally at "1." We're not expecting "2" to arrive any time soon. Video and content by Tim Mosso.