Patek Philippe - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X Hong Kong Friday, July 10, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1996
    Reference No: 3979
    Movement No: 1'904'063
    Case No: 2'947'062
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. R 27 PS aut., 39 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Patek Philippe Officier-style buckle
    Dimensions: 33mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Further accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin dated May 4, 1998, additional hard back, Patek Philippe presentation box and leather envelop with product literature. Further accompanied by Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1996 and its subsequent sale on 28th April 1998.
    Literature: The reference 3979 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 320

  • Catalogue Essay

    Commemorative and special limited edition wristwatches celebrating a brand’s milestone are today common occurrences, however over 30 years ago when Patek Philippe issued a collection of timepieces for their 150th anniversary it was a novel concept. From this new collection came two important complicated watches, the references 3979 and 3974, their minute repeating and minute repeating perpetual calendar watches respectively, each with a Patek Philippe first, an automatic minute repeating movement. The reference 3979 was sold with an enamel dial reminiscent of their traditional past and pocket watches. Produced from 1989 until 2002, approximately 100 examples were made, with the majority in yellow gold, approximately a dozen in pink and white gold together, and another approximately dozen in platinum.

    Modelled after the reference 2524/1 from the mid-20th century, the Ateliers Réunis case measures 33mm in diameter, and while small by today’s standards, it is a design that is classic, understated and perfectly suited for a watch as important as a Patek Philippe minute repeater. The brand has produced repeating watches throughout their prestigious history, from repeating pocket watches of the 19th century when the only means to tell time at night in a darkened room was to hear the chime, to their first repeating wristwatch a cushion-shaped watch with a caliber 10’’’ movement from 1924. Throughout the 20th century Patek Philippe released new more technically advanced repeating models, however it was not until their 1989 release that the minute repeating wristwatch came in to its own. Today, there is a long line of exemplary timepieces from the last three decades with references like the 3939 and 5013 issued in 1992, to the 5016 launched the following year, and the present day with the reference 5316. All of these complicated timepieces demonstrate the rich history and high quality workmanship from the brand, and make these watches some of the most collectable amongst connoisseurs of fine horology.

    The present example is one of five known to the market and is in excellent overall condition and accompanied by its original certificate of origin and additional solid caseback. With a loud and clear tone, it is a testament to Patek Philippe’s history and tradition, and a watch that makes a wonderful addition to any collection.

  • 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. 3979
A very rare and extremely fine platinum minute repeating wristwatch with enamel dial, Certificate of Origin and additional solid caseback

33mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

HK$2,900,000 - 4,000,000 

Sold for HK$3,437,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001


The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X

Hong Kong Auction 10 July 2020