A very rare and most probably unique platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with black dial and red signature

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 2001
    Reference No: 3939 H
    Movement No: 1'903'049
    Case No: 4'129'595
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. RTO 27 PS, 28 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Two black crocodile straps, one with black and one with red stitches
    Clasp/Buckle: PPco Platinum pin buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Certificate of Origin, COSC certificate, second caseback, product literature, Extract from the Archives confirming production of the watch in 2001 and its subsequent sale on October 30, 2001 and Patek Philippe alligator strap. The Certificate further indicates that the original black dial with Breguet numerals was replaced with the present one during a servicing at the Patek Philippe workshops during a servicing in 2001.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe’s reference 3939 is perhaps the most understated complicated wristwatch produced from the end of the millennium. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothes, the round small case and simple dial mask the fact that this timepiece is one of the most complicated and sought after creations from Patek Philippe. Setting this coveted reference apart is its possibly unique, stunningly attractive black dial. The vivid red graphics used for the dial’s text, outer minutes scale, and seconds sub-dial, along with the gorgeous applied gold Breguet numerals, shine brilliantly above the deep black dial's surface.

    Two discreet lines of text found at 6 o’clock – Tourbillon and the movement number – provide a subtle hint to the extraordinary masterpiece of mechanical watchmaking housed within. The watch is fitted with a prestigious tourbillon escapement - visible only on the back similar to all other Patek Philippe tourbillon watches - and a minute repeating mechanism with crystal clear two gong chimes manufactured entirely in-house within Patek Philippe’s factories.

    The present lot was originally born with a white dial and Breguet numerals but had the dial changed to the present with red lettering during a service at the Patek Philippe workshops in 2001 as confirmed by the Extract from the Archives. We are aware of another model with similar features (black dial and red lettering), a Patek Philippe reference 5016 and believe that the ref 5016 and the present lot were originally a set for a collector having requested the dial change.

    Housed in an exquisite platinum case, its charismatic, flared lugs are a modern reinterpretation of Patek’s minute repeating wristwatches from the mid-20th century. Surprisingly thin and beautifully proportioned, it was a true technical feat to design and produce a movement of such horological complexity to fit within its 33 mm case diameter. When considering the reference’s overall rarity, combined with its unique dial, the present example is a must have for the discerning collector of highly complicated wristwatches.

  • 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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Σ139

Ref. 3939 H
A very rare and most probably unique platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with black dial and red signature

2001
33mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF250,000 - 450,000 
€230,000-413,000
$258,000-464,000

sold for CHF370,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016