An incredibly rare and attractive platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1994
    Reference No: 3974
    Movement No: 1'906'094
    Case No: 2'946'953
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. R27Q, 39 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by fitted rotating winder, setting pin, second solid caseback and Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1994 and its subsequent sale on December 16, 1994
    Literature: Reference 3974 is illustrated in "Patek Philippe Wristwatches" by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition P. 325

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe’s reference 3974 is the epitome of the famed brand’s technical and design prowess of the late 20th century.

    Created under the guidance of Philippe Stern, this reference was launched in 1989 to celebrate Patek Philippe’s 150th anniversary. Featuring an in-house self-winding movement with minute repeater, perpetual calendar, 24-hour indication and phases of the moon, it was the world’s most complicated wristwatch when it was launched.

    The movement beating in the heart of this masterpiece is Patek Philippe’s caliber 27RQ, a 6.80mm thick movement comprised of 467 components. Another surprising feature is the micro-rotor, which provides an unobtrusive view into the superbly finished movement. Reference 3974 was the first automatic winding minute repeater ever made.

    This ultra-complex mechanism is housed in a case whose downturned stepped lugs are reminiscent of another of Patek Philippe’s iconic timepieces: the perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499. Patek Philippe turned to Jean-Pierre Hagmann (whose initials are proudly stamped inside the solid caseback and inner lug), a living legend among case makers, to create a case that would not only be a beautiful frame for the watch but could also act as a superb sound carrier for the repeater’s delicate chimes.

    Patek Philippe discontinued this reference in 2000, and given how complex it was to manufacture, very few examples were made over its 11-year production period. In fact, the present example is only the eighth known in platinum.

    Platinum is a metal known to dampen the sound of chimes in a repeating watch, however thanks to Patek Philippe’s technical expertise and Hagmann’s savoir faire, the chimes in the present timepiece are crystal clear, loud and extremely pleasant to the ear.

    The present watch comes complete with rotating winding box, setting pin and additional solid caseback. It is a trophy piece for the world’s finest collectors.

  • Maker Bio

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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Ref. 3974
An incredibly rare and attractive platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon

1994
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF650,000 - 950,000 
€616,000-880,000
$717,000-1,020,000

sold for CHF1,032,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018