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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1978
    Reference No: 3700/1
    Movement No: 1'306'579
    Case No: 540'643
    Model Name: "Jumbo" Nautilus "Oman"
    Material: 18k white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 28-255C, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k white gold bracelet
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm. Width
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by fitted presentation box and Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of production in 1978 and date of sale on January 14, 1980
    Literature: The present watch is illustrated in The Collection by Davide Parmegiani page 217

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Patek Philippe reference 3700 takes a very prestigious position as being amongst the rarest, most exclusive, and certainly the most coveted examples of a Nautilus ever offered at auction. Amongst its many virtues, its bold, white Khanjar at 6 o’clock makes it an extraordinary watch of Royal provenance – and amongst the rarest of all Khanjar watches known to exist.

    At a similar level of importance, it further stands out with a solid 18-karat white gold case and bracelet – an exceptionally rare and ultra-luxurious configuration for such an early Nautilus. Manufactured in 1978, the present lot is one of less than 10 white gold examples to have appeared at auction since the model’s original launch in 1976.

    Made on special commission for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, this “Khanjar” watch was without a doubt given by him as a gift to a close, high-ranking associate or foreign dignitary. According to scholarship, the tradition of gifting watches by His Majesty began following his defeat of the Dhofar Rebellion working in partnership with the British government. As an expression of his gratitude to the teams of Britain’s elite Special Forces branch, the SAS, he presented “Khanjar” watches to the SAS soldiers who were instrumental in defeating the rebellion.

    Shortly after the victory, His Majesty commemorated the occasion by surmounting the Khanjar with a crown. All watches made for him since then feature this attractive, crowned Khanjar.

    As there were no authorized retailers in Oman at the time, nearly all of these watches were ordered and sold through Asprey London. On rare occasion, very few were sold through Asprey Geneva, as the present lot. Accordingly, the watch is accompanied by its original box, stamped with the identical crowned Khanjar as found on the watch’s dial. On the box’s inside cover, the prestigious stamp ‘Asprey, 40 Rue du Rhone, Geneva’ is found.

    This particular example is preserved in exceptional condition. With hardly any signs of wear and never having been polished, the sharp bevels, angles and curves are perfectly preserved. The dial is original and absent of any restorations, with beautifully aged luminous baton hour markers that match perfectly the original hands. The Extract from the Archives of course confirms the case and bracelet as white gold, as well as the dial, with its steel baton hour markers.

    The present lot’s historical significance, royal provenance, immaculate condition, and, superb rarity make it one of the most exciting and important Patek Philippe Nautilus watches to appear at auction in recent years.

  • Artist Biography

    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. 3700/1
An exremely rare, important and attractive white gold wristwatch with date and bracelet, retailed by Asprey, made for the Sultanate of Oman

1978
42mm. Width
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF300,000 - 500,000 
€275,000-459,000
$309,000-515,000

Sold for CHF635,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016