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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1991
    Reference No: 3970E
    Movement No: 875’819
    Case No: 2’896’044
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. CH27-70Q, 24 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin stamped Magasin Patek Philippe S.A. dated 28th May 1991, instruction manual, product literature, setting pin, leather folio, outer packaging and fitted presentation box. Further delivered with a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the date of manufacture of the present timepiece in 1991 and its subsequent date of sale on 31st May 1991.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1986, Patek Philippe replaced the long-lived ref. 2499 with the new ref. 3970 featuring an upgraded Lemania based cal. CH27-70Q succeeding its former Valjoux based caliber. While adopting similar aesthetics to its previous reference, the ref. 3970 features a smaller case dimension at 36mm diameter. The reference was produced in all four metals including yellow gold, pink gold, white gold and platinum across a total of four series with production spanning over 19 years. It is estimated that throughout its course of production over 4,000 examples of the reference were produced.

    First series (1986 – 1988) – Features a snap back case, feuille hands and rectangular indexes. Only produced in yellow gold with an estimated 100 examples produced.

    Second series (1987 – 1990) – Features a solid screw back case “E – Etanche”, feuille hands and rectangular indexes. Produced in all four case materials with an estimated 450 examples produced across all metals. (The present example)

    Third series (1989 – 1995) – Features a solid screw back case “E – Etanche” with an extra sapphire caseback, baton hands and lapidated indexes. Estimated 1,350 examples produced across all metals.

    Fourth series (1994 – 2004) – Same configuration as the third series. From 1997 onwards it features deployant clasp. Estimated 2,000 examples produced across all four metals.

    The present example Patek Philippe ref. 3970E in yellow gold hails from the rare and desirable second series from 1991 making it one of the very last examples from the series before the firm started to offer an extra sapphire caseback marking the dawn of the third series. Offered in immaculate condition, the hallmarks stamped on all four sides of the lugs are a specific trait to the present reference in its respective series and it is preserved in crisp, deep and unrubbed condition, indicating that the case has never been polished. The dial features rectangular indexes and elegant feuille hands above a classy satined silver dial. Offered with its full set of accessories and further delivered with an Extract from the Archives issued by Patek Philippe, the present ref. 3970E will surely impress discerned collectors seeking for a timeless and important Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch.

  • 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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Σ1108

Ref. 3970E
A very fine and rare yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, 24-hour, leap year indication, Certificate of Origin and presentation box

1991
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
HK$390,000 - 600,000 
€41,600-64,000
$50,000-76,900

Sold for HK$1,386,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021