Patek Philippe - The 2021 New York Watch Auction New York Saturday, December 11, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1978
    Reference No: 3700/1
    Movement No: 1’305’230
    Case No: 537’369
    Model Name: Nautilus
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 28-255, 36 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18k yellow gold Gay Frères bracelet, max overall length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K Yellow gold Patek Philippe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture of the present watch in 1978 and its subsequent sale on June 22nd, 1978. Further accompanied by a leather Patek Philippe presentation box, and 2008 Henri Stern Watch Agency service receipt.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe has long been appreciated for their commitment to horological excellence, and recognised for some of the most iconic timepieces of the 20th century. From their grand complication pocket watches of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to their classic reference 96 Calatrava wristwatch, and their first serialised perpetual calendar chronograph, the brand has been at the forefront of design and mechanical achievements. In response to the quartz crisis of the early 1970s, Patek Philippe launched in 1976, the Nautilus their first truly water resistant luxury sports wristwatch designed by the celebrated Gérald Genta. Affectionately known as the "Jumbo", the model was in production for less than a decade, and today is especially coveted amongst collectors.

    The reference 3700 embodied 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." The "Jumbo" nickname referred to the 42mm case diameter, which was considered oversized for the era. While it was initially not well received, its popularity quickly grew, and soon became a mainstay of Patek Philippe's collection with subsequent models including chronographs and perpetual calendars. The original reference 3700/1 was in production until 1981 and featured a straight bracelet, while its successor the reference 3700/11 had a tapered bracelet, and remained in production until 1990.

    The present, rare yellow gold example is one of haute horology's most iconic and coveted timepieces. The watch was fully serviced by the Henri Stern Agency in 2008 and remains in excellent condition with crisp edges and bevels throughout, with its factory service dial remaining in pristine condition. The original, Gay Frères-signed flat Nautilus clasp is correct, and the bracelet remains rigid and tight throughout.
    Today, the international market for the icons of horology is strong, and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus is one of the most desired and sought after. This lovely yellow gold example is sure to please the connoisseur.

  • 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. 3700/1
An early and highly attractive yellow gold wristwatch with date, Gay Frères bracelet, and Henri Stern service papers

42mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

$100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $441,000

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021