Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1972
    Reference No: 3448
    Movement No: 1'119'246
    Case No: 328'533
    Model Name: "Padellone"
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 27-460Q, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by 2004 Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1972 and its subsequent sale on July 21, 1972, Service papers and receipt (4'200EUR, April 2021), Patek Philippe Customer Center tag, additional crystal, box and outer packaging.
    Furthermore accompanied by 2024 Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, applied gold hour markers, English version in 1972 and its subsequent sale on July 21, 1972

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3448 was launched in 1962 and remained in production for twenty years, before being replaced by its slightly more advanced descendant reference 3450 which features a leap year indication. While the vast majority of the 586 pieces production was cased in yellow gold, examples in different metals were made - as the present white gold watch exemplifies.

    The movement beating inside this landmark model is a masterpiece of engineering with the addition of a perpetual/moonphase module to cal. 27-460, which is the final evolution of cal. 12-600 (the one powering ref. 2526), and universally considered one of the best automatic movements (if not the best automatic movement) of all times.

    The model - somewhat of a “sleeper” for years - is eventually and quickly gaining the attention it deserves among the community, most likely due to its nature of somewhat “tràit d’unión” between the practicality of a modern automatic perpetual calendar and the allure rarity and collectability of a vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch.

While anyone lucky enough to wear any variant of the reference should be thanking her or his good star, white gold examples are on a tier of their own, amounting to something like 10% of the total production.

    The present reference 3448 merges such rarity with a most impressive overall condition. It displays beautiful finishes, from the mini bevels on the bottom side of the lugs, to the multi faceted bezel - all of these sporting sharp edges. Compounding to its remarkable state of preservation, the watch sports a rare “inverted date” dial.

A four Series division is generally accepted for the dial of 3448:

-1st Series: small baton minute divisions, engraved/enamelled graphics - 1962 to circa 1965;
-2nd series: pearl minute divisions and small date ring (earlier ones have engraved/enameled graphics, later ones are printed - 1965 to circa 1973;
-3rd Series: pearl minute divisions and large date ring, printed - 1971 to circa 1978;
-4th Series: small baton minute divisions, printed - from circa 1978.

    Normally, the date ring features upright graphics in both the lower and upper part of the ring (thus switching the orientation of the letters midway through it on the left and right). However, for a short time in the early 1970s, Patek Philippe experimented with an “inverted date” ring: where the lower part of the ring features upside down numerals. This detail amplifies the aesthetic balance of the design - as there is not switch in the orientation of the numbers relative to the center of the subdial - but makes it less readable - as some numbers are upside down. Thus, the company soon reverted to the “full upright” design, most likely deciding to have form following function. The result is a remarkable scarcity of “inverted date” examples - a pity given their increased aesthetic balance.

    Given that the “inverted date experiment” was made at the same time as the switch form 2nd to 3rd Series, it can be found in both of them - in this instance, the large date classifies the piece as a 3rd Series dial.

An intriguing detail is the lack of Sigma. Due to a change in Swiss law and regulation, all dials produced from 1971 feature this designation, which was eventually phased out approximately a decade later. 

The dial condition is as impressive as the case one. All graphics are crisp and strong, and the dial hardly betrays the passage of time if not for a hint of ivory/off-white patina which enormously amplifies the charme of the piece.

    An incredibly careful custodian, the owner hardly wore it at all save for a few special occasions, and none at all since its last Patek Philippe service of 2021. It is important to note that the service was exclusively mechanical, without any interventions whatsoever on the case or the dial, which is the reason for its somewhat conservative cost - for a Patek Philippe service - of 4’200 EUR as testified by the fiscal receipt accompanying the watch.

  • 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. 3448
An extremely well-preserved, important and attractive white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases and "inverted date" dial

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF400,000 - 800,000 

Sold for CHF571,500

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: XIX featuring the Guido Mondani Collection

Geneva Auction 11 - 12 May 2024