An important, stately and large yellow gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases and leap year indicator

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1985
    Reference No: 3450
    Movement No: 1'119'779
    Case No: 2'808'556, further engraved with retailer no 236'990+Z3
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 27-460 QB, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, dial further signed Beyer
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1985 and its subsequent sale on March 6, 1985

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3450 can unarguably be considered a pinnacle of Patek Philippe production, both aesthetically and technically.

    An evolution of reference 3448 (first launched in 1962), it was released in 1981 and remained in production for a much shorter time than its sibling: only 5 years - until 1985. Such a short run dictated a very scarce output, with a total of 244 pieces made. The main difference with its predecessor is the introduction of the enormously useful bissextile year indication. Until then, perpetual calendar Patek Philippe wristwatches did not have any indication for the leap year cycle: the only way to discover “when” one is in the cycle is to use the correctors to advance to February 28, and then manually advance the hands to see if the date jumps to February 29 or March 1.

    While the dial design is virtually identical to the last series of reference 3448, the case presents a number of minor updates which perfect the architecture of the already acclaimed reference 3448: a metal “tongue” is now present in the back for easier back removal and the overall back architecture is more convex. There is no more bevel to the underside of the lugs - streamlining the overall looks of the case - and the crystal is now sapphire (actually, a detail already introduced in the very last examples of reference 3448).

    The movement is simply a masterpiece, and the culmination of a journey of technical refinement which began in 1953, with the launch of cal. 12-600 AT. Housed in now-classic references (most notably, ref. 2526), it is considered by many as one of the most perfect and lavishly finished automatic movements ever designed. Cal. 12-600 AT underwent an evolution over the years with minor upgrades, the result of customer and “real world” feedback. Once Patek Philippe deemed to not be able to improve the caliber anymore, they changed its name - probably to underline the technical “finality” of the design - and renamed it, indeed, 27-460 at the end of the 1950s. This would form the base of the movement inside reference 3448 (renamed 27-460 Q, for Quantième) and eventually become cal. 27-460 QB (Quantième Bissextile). The automatic perpetual calendar successor to reference 3450 is reference 3940, which however features a completely different dial layout and movement.

    The present example of this historical reference was of course retailed by Beyer, and it is offered in exceptional condition of both dial and case. Most notably, the lightly hand-engraved Beyer number (underneath the top left lug) is still present an unmolested, indicating beyond any doubt the case never suffered aggressive or improper polishing. It is interesting to note that another Beyer-retailed 3450 was sold by Phillips in Hong Kong in 2018, bearing a movement number only 49 numbers away from the present watch. In total, only circa a dozen Beyer-retailed 3450 are currently known from the market, including this example which has never before appeared on the auction market.

  • 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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Ref. 3450
An important, stately and large yellow gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases and leap year indicator

1985
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, dial further signed Beyer

Estimate
CHF180,000 - 360,000 
€166,000-332,000
$181,000-362,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Virginie Liatard-Roessli
Specialist, Head of Sale
+41 76 338 91 03
vliatard@phillips.com

Double Signed: A Celebration of the Finest Partnerships Between Manufacturers and Retailers

Geneva Auction 9 November 2019