Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: Circa 1978
    Reference No: 3700/1
    Movement No: 1'303'233
    Case No: 532'528
    Model Name: Nautilus
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 28’255, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Patek Philippe bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Patek Philippe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 3700 embodies every aspect of Patek Philippe's avant-garde design philosophy of the 1970s, from the bold yet elegant curves to the contrasting finish of the case, and even the delicate grooves of the dial culminating in a sublimely robust and elegant wristwatch.

    The Nautilus reference 3700 was designed by Genta and introduced in 1976. With this model, Patek Philippe created one of the most iconic and classic wristwatches of the late 20th century. It was a new era of luxury with the use of stainless steel for high-end watches, which today is the epitome of masculine appeal with a sporty appearance that can be worn in any occasion.

    Developed in the midst of the quartz crisis, the relentlessness to preserve haute horology and to execute something truly special commanding the price of a gold watch was most definitely a calculated risk taken by the firm, which clearly paid off. In fact advertisements from the launch era boast the fact that one of the most expensive watches in the world was made of steel.

    Taking inspiration from a porthole of a ship, the case is constructed via a solid monobloc backcase with a distinctive rounded octagonal bezel secured by four lateral screws to ensure waterproof capabilities of up to 120 meters.

    The production of the 3700 was segmented into two main series with early examples (1976-1982) stamped with ref. 3700/1 and later examples (1982-1990) stamped with 3700/11. Early examples of the model featured a slightly wider bracelet measuring 16mm whilst later examples measured 14mm. The very first examples highlighted dials with small painted baton outer minute tracks, witnessed in examples bearing a case number lower than 1’303’999 and a movement number lower than 533’500. The second dial type featured a dotted outer minute track with “sigma SWISS sigma” applied on the bottom of the dial with an absence of serifs on the typography of the signature. As the dials for the reference were all handmade, the ribbed texture is achieved by carving each individual horizontal furrow by hand, the white gold applied hour markers were also handmade with the luminous material applied after.

    With the discontinuation of the modern Nautilus reference 5711, collectors have become even more enamored with the original Nautilus: the reference 3700.

  • 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 avant garde, attractive and early stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

Circa 1978
42mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF70,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF151,200

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021