Patek Philippe - The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT New York Saturday, June 10, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: Circa 2004
    Reference No: 3970EP-020
    Movement No: 3’047’287
    Case No: 4’273’073
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 27-70, 24 jewels, stamped with the Geneva seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum Patek Philippe deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin dated December 2004, product literature, leather wallet, envelope, additional hard caseback, setting pin, hang tag, inner fitted box, and outer box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1986 and in production until 2004, reference 3970 was a proud heir of two other Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs: references 1518 and 2499 - and is most arguably one of the brand’s most iconic watches of the modern era. Built using the world famous Lemania 2310 as its base, the calibre CH 27-70Q was, heavily modified to match Patek Philippe’s extremely high standards in terms of precision, reliability and finishing. It also introduced new features that proved extremely popular with collectors.

    Most notably, this was the first Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph to indicate leap years, and the first to add a 24-hour chronograph hand. Another noteworthy modification is the slight reduction of the diameter. Despite its more complex mechanism, the reference 3970 represented the first drop in size in the perpetual calendar chronograph family, from 37.5mm down to 36mm. Its 18 years of production can be divided into four distinct series:

    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 baton indexes. Produced in all four case materials with an estimated 450 examples produced across all metals.

    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 however there is a change in serial number ranges in the movement and case, and from 1997 onwards, fitted with deployant clasps. Estimated 2,000 examples produced across all four metals.

    The present highly elegant ref. 3970EP-020, is one of the last examples of the fourth series to be produced. Cased in platinum, it stands out for its original, glossy black dial with baton hour markers – an extremely rare and highly coveted dial confirmed by the -020 designation in its official reference number. Fresh-to-market, it has been preserved in remarkable, unpolished condition and is accompanied by the solid caseback, setting pin, original Certificate of Origin dated in December of 2004, and presentation boxes.

  • 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. 3970EP-020
An exceptional and well-preserved platinum perpetual chronograph wristwatch with glossy black dial, moonphases, leap year indicator, Certificate of Origin, solid caseback, setting pin, and presentation box

Circa 2004
36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

$80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for $177,800

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293
Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT

New York Auction 10 - 11 June 2023