Patek Philippe - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1992
    Reference No: 3970E
    Movement No: 876'251
    Case No: 2'896'066
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal 27-70Q, 24 jewels, stamped with the Geneva seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Patek Philippe leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Further accompanied by two Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1992 and its subsequent sale on November 6, 1992, additional solid back stamped 3970E, setting pin, fitted wooden presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 3970 was in production since circa 1987 and it was superseded by ref. 5970, released in 2004. The history of the model is somewhat more complex than other models, due to the presence of either both solid or glazed back, and then by both. To summarise, we can define the following series:
    - First Series: featuring a snap-on back, either solid (3970) or glazed (3971), in production for a short time at the beginning of production
    - Second series: featuring a screw-down back, either solid (3970E) or glazed (3971E)
    - Third series: featuring both backs, and named simply 3970
    - Fourth series: same as the third series, but featuring 7-digit movement numbers instead of the previous 6-digit one.

    The present watch is a most intriguing “transitional” example of the reference, as it formally is a third series - with two casebacks - but it also presents details which are usually associated with second series timepieces. The reference number stamped on both the solid and glazed back reads 3970E, instead of the expected “simple” 3970 designation. Furthermore, it bears the hallmarks to the outside of all the four lugs, also a trait normally associated with earlier series which, beyond the historical interest, adds an ineffable layer of aesthetic appeal to the timepiece. Such hallmarks - given their highly exposed location - are extremely susceptible to polishing, especially when the case material is gold, a very soft metal. Luckily, in this instance the watch remains unpolished and the hallmarks shine in all their glory. A most interesting and appealing timepiece for the ultimate connoisseur of complicated Patek Philippe timepieces.

  • 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. 3970E
An fine and extremely rare transitional white gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases, 24-hour indication, second case back and presentation box

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

HK$470,000 - 780,000 

Sold for HK$687,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019