Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1992
    Reference No: 3974
    Movement No: 1'906'076
    Case No: 2'867'098
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. R27Q, 39 jewels, stamped with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Patek Philippe black alligator strap, Phillips anthracite suede strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in the present configuration in 1992 and its subsequent sale on July 16, 1993

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1989, Patek Philippe celebrated their important 150th anniversary by releasing a series of limited edition commemorative watches. Among them there was ref. 3974, a self-winding minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch intended to showcase the full extent of the company’s technical proficiency applied to wrist pieces. Elegant and playful at the same time, the reference featured a 2499-inspired three-piece 36mm case. Early examples - such as the present piece - were made by the legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann, who stamped his hallmark beneath the bottom right lug. Later examples featured cases made by Atelier Reunis. Originally trained as a jeweller but more than renowned in producing watch cases - notably minute repeater cases for Patek Philippe - works of Mr. Hagmann are considered the ultimate tier when it comes to case quality and his name is today considered legendary, to the point that it is said - without substantiation - that repeating watches cased in JPH cases have a more pure sound.

    Powering the complicated ref. 3974 is Patek Philippe’s self-winding cal. 27RQ with an impressively thin thickness of just 6.8mm notwithstanding its total of 467 components, each movement certified with the Geneva seal. Production started with movement number 1’906’000, which has a permanent place in the Patek Philippe Museum, which means that the present lot bearing the number 1’906’076 is a very early example. Indeed, the Extract states the production year as 1992, early enough, as mentioned above, to bear a JHP case.

    Produced from 1989 to 2002, it is believed that approximately 120 examples of the reference were produced across all metals including yellow gold, pink gold, white gold and platinum. While most examples were cased in yellow gold, no more than 20 examples in pink gold are thought to have been made, and so far only 6 are known from the market. It is easy to understand how, given such scarcity, a pink gold 3974 is always to be considered a serendipical occurrence for the collector. The present example pushes however the boundary much further as it features a unique anthracite dial with Breguet numerals, in addition to being the earliest pink gold example known. All other known examples feature silvered dials, as illustrated in the below summary:

    1’906’076 - Anthracite dial with Breguet numerals - the present watch
    1’906’078 - Silvered Gold dial with baton indexes - Last seen: June 25th 2010
    1’906’086 - Silvered Gold dial with baton indexes - Last seen: March 15th 2006
    1’906’087 - Silvered Gold dial with baton indexes - Last seen: June 5, 2021
    1’906’091 - Silvered Gold dial with baton indexes - Last seen: March 28th 2007

    There is no doubt that the watch was born in this condition as, beyond the presence of the Extract, the piece has also appeared at auction in 2003 complete with its original Certificate and accessories, where it was purchased by the current owner. Unfortunately, all the accessories have been lost during the delivery of the watch back in 2003.

    Being without a doubt the most unusual, rare and collectible pink gold example of the model to ever appear at auction, the present so-far unique Patek Philippe ref. 3974 is a stellar example that would be one of the “crown jewels” of any of the world’s most important Patek Philippe collections.

  • 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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Σ214

Ref. 3974
A so far unique, early, extremely important and attractive pink gold minute repeating wristwatch with perpetual calendar, moonphases, 24-hour indication, anthracite dial, Breguet numerals and Hagmann case

1992
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF300,000 - 600,000 
€304,000-608,000
$296,000-593,000

Sold for CHF961,700

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]
 

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022