A very rare, elegant and extremely fine yellow gold automatic wristwatch with enamel dial

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1962
    Reference No: 3428
    Movement No: 1'111'508
    Case No: 2'614'515
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 27-460, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Service invoice copy detailing a service made in 2003. Furthermore delivered with Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch in 1962 and its subsequent sale on February 19, 1962

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3428 is indisputably one of the most remarkable automatic wristwatch models made in the 1960s by any brand. To fully understand the reference, one has first to look back at its ancestor/twin: reference 2526. One of the first Patek Philippe models to feature an automatic Patek Philippe calibre, it was powered by the hallowed cal. 12-600, considered one of the best automatic movements of all time.

    Even though the company invested enormous resources in the development of cal. 12-600, once customers began using it “in the wild” Patek Philippe noticed a number of minor upgrades (especially to the automatic module) which could be done to further improve the movement. Such upgrades were incrementally implemented throughout the 1950s and included ball bearings for the automatic rotor, winding trigger reinforcements, different screw setting on the winding weight etc. As these upgrades were minor and also constantly being studied and added, the movement name never changed, at least not until Patek Philippe deemed to have achieved perfection. In the late 1950s the final evolution of cal. 12-600 came to be, and was finally renamed as cal. 27-460. In fact, to further highlight the “definitive” nature of the new movement, a new reference number was launched: indeed the present ref. 3428, identical to ref. 2526 but featuring the new calibre (it has to be noted that, curiously, some of the latest 2526 do feature this new calibre while keeping the old reference number, possibly in order to deplete the last few case backs in stock).

    Thus, reference 3428 is what Patek Philippe decided was the best possible evolution of what is now considered the best automatic movement of all times. Simply put, it is technical perfection.

    Even disregarding the pinnacle of mechanical development present inside its case, the reference is aesthetically considered a masterpiece: the elegant Calatrava lines and the perfect size and thickness of the model have made this design one of the most appreciated of the entire production of the brand. It is important to note that such a landmark case construction was actually, and ironically, beginning to be out of fashion in the 1960s, as the market taste was evolving toward thin and ultra-thin timepieces. This is why, for the joy of Patek Philippe collectors, reference 3428 was in production for about five years only: from 1960 to 1965, making it extremely more rare than its predecessor ref. 2526.

    The present example is without a doubt one of the most appealing to recently appear at auction: the dial is without fissures or cracks and presents the cream tonality such enamel dials are now famous for; the graphics painted in gold powder are perfectly preserved. The case as well is in extremely good condition, featuring full lugs and with incredibly crisp hallmarks under the lugs. Last, but not least, the piece spent good part of the past three decades securely locked away in the vault of an important Italian collector.

  • 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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FROM AN ITALIAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Ref. 3428
A very rare, elegant and extremely fine yellow gold automatic wristwatch with enamel dial

百達翡麗,型號3428,非常精細及極度罕有,18K黃金自動上弦腕錶,配象牙色琺瑯錶盤,約1962年製。附後補證書和2003年原廠保養單據

1962
35.5mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$200,000 - 280,000 
€22,000-30,800
$25,600-35,900

sold for HK$350,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SIX

Hong Kong Auction 29 May 2018