Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1983
    Reference No: 3450
    Movement No: 1'119'656
    Case No: 558'580
    Model Name: "Padellone"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 27-460, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by original solid caseback, Certificate of Origin dated November 17, 1983 and stamped by Zagreb retailer "Mamić Pero", various Beyer service papers dated December 2015 and August 2004, product literature, 2 Patek Philippe document holders and Beyer pouch. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives dated October 25, 2023 confirming production of the present timepiece in 1982 with "silvered dial, vertical satin finish, applied yellow gold lapped hour markers" and a "solid back cover" in 1982 and its subsequent sale on June 29, 1983

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1981, ref. 3450 is the successor to ref. 3448, Patek Philippe's very first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch. While aesthetically similar to its ancestor, it most notably features a leap year indication on the dial. In addition, its caseback is slightly smaller and is fitted with a "lip", enabling it to be easily removed. It is the first serially made Patek Philippe wristwatch featuring leap year indication allowing for an enormously simplified calendar setting procedure: earlier models required a potentially very lengthy setting procedure to manually identify the leap year and then advance to the current year in the cycle.

    The case design of the model dates back to the 1960s (ref. 3448 was launched in 1962) and it is an ode to timelessly futuristic design: the dial is airy and clean and the aesthetic impact of the watch is entrusted to the sculpted case defined by the straight, angular lugs, the large polished sloped bezel (thus its Italian nickname “Padellone” - meaning “big pan”) and the satin-finished band.

    Technically, the model represents one of the unchallenged pinnacles of watchmaking. It is powered by cal. 27-460Q, the perpetual (Q: Quantième) upgrade of calibre 27-460 which is considered one of the best - if not the best - automatic movement of all times. It represents the final (and surprisingly not so well-known) evolution of the famous cal. 12-600, the first Patek Philippe automatic movement. As Rolex held the patent for the automatic rotor, Patek Philippe patiently waited for its expiration and in the meanwhile put their R&D department to work, for decades, on an automatic movement. The resulting cal. 12-600 was already superb, but Patek Philippe strove to make it even better. When the company deemed to have gotten as close to perfection as possible, they renamed cal. 12-600 as cal. 27-460. Thus, this is the most complex (perpetual calendar) variation of the final evolution of what is considered the most advanced vintage automatic movement. Also due to its short run (1981 - 1985) Patek Philippe produced very limited quantities of reference 3450, typically casing the model in yellow gold. To date, scholars estimate that Patek Philippe produced only 237 examples in total, making it one of the rarest Patek Philippe perpetual calendar models ever produced in series.

    The present specimen of reference 3450 is distinguished by the presence of a second glazed caseback. While the Extract specifies that the watch originally left the workshop with a solid back, the glazed backs bears etched to the inside the last 3 digits of the case number, as it is customary for Patek Philippe to do when producing a special component for the watch, which should be univocally linked to the rest of the piece. This detail, combined with the overall quality of the execution, strongly suggests it was Patek Philippe themselves that made the glazed back, most likely a later request from the owner who wanted to admire the superlative movement. While such speculation cannot be substantiated, the transparent back in any case offers a hardly-ever-seen window onto one of the most spectacular works of watchmaking engineering of the mid-20th century. The back furthermore features a Beyer Service engraving: "04 126613 +Z3", where 04 identifies the year 2004, "126613" is the service number (which can be found on the accompanying service invoice) and +Z3 famously identifies Beyer. An additional remark about the Beyer services is that, both in 2004 and in 2015, the owner specifically asked in writing to avoid polishing as expected by a true connoisseur.

    With its transparent back that allows the beholder to admire in its full glory the amazing cal. 27-460, its original Certificate, and very attractive and honest condition, the present timepiece will undoubtedly delight its future owner for years to come.

  • 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. 3450
An extremely scarce, highly collectible and attractive yellow gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases, glazed caseback and certificate of origin

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF203,200

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023