A very attractive, rare and well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1980
    Reference No: 3700/1
    Movement No: 1’309’500
    Case No: 539’312
    Model Name: Nautilus
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 28”255 C, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Patek Philippe bracelet, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Patek Philippe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by original cork box and service history documentation.
    Further accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1980 and its subsequent sale on September 15th, 1981.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The result of a collaboration between Patek Philippe and designer Gerald Genta, the Nautilus' unique appearance was inspired by maritime portholes and named for Captain Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus, in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Much as the fictional nautical vessel was described as "a masterpiece containing masterpieces," so does the Nautilus wristwatch possess a numerous variety of artistic cues. The reference 3700/1 embodies every aspect of Patek Philippe's avant-garde design philosophy of the 1970s, from the bold yet elegant curves, to the contrasting finish of the case, and even the delicate grooves of the dial culminating in a sublimely robust and elegant wristwatch. Advertisements from the era trumpeted the Nautilus' status as one of the most expensive steel wristwatches, and proclaimed "Like the great swords of another age, Nautilus took shape between the skilled hands of master craftsmen." Evidence suggests that of all Genta's iconic designs, the Nautilus was his favorite and he perhaps regarded it as his most timeless.

    Owing to a thinner caliber, the 3700/1 retains a slimmer profile than its 21st century descendent, the 5711/1A, introduced on the 40th anniversary of the 3700 in 2006. The caliber 28-255 was based on the legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre JLC 920, heavily modified by Patek Philippe. At the time it was the world's thinnest automatic movement with date, measuring only 3.05mm thick.

    The "Jumbo" moniker refers to the 42mm case, which was certainly oversized for the era. While it was initially not well received, its popularity quickly grew, and has been a mainstay of Patek Philippe's collection until the present day. Patek Philippe produced two versions of the Nautilus ref 3700 in steel: 3700/1 from 1976 to about 1981 featuring a straight bracelet as is the present lot, and reference 3700/11, in production from 1981 to 1990, with a tapered steel bracelet.

    The present lot manufactured in 1980 is a premium example in superb condition, with a well preserved case, immaculate dial, and taut bracelet that is certain to delight a collector. It comes accompanied with the Nautilus’s famous original cork box – a highly collectible and sought after accessory in its own right.

  • 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. 3700/1
A very attractive, rare and well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with date and bracelet

1980
42mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed.

Estimate
$50,000 - 100,000 
CHF49,800-99,700
€43,400-86,900
HK$392,000-784,000

sold for $137,500

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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