Patek Philippe - The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN New York Saturday, December 10, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1990
    Reference No: 3970E
    Movement No: 875'637
    Case No: 2'881'785
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. CH 27-70 Q, 24 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1990 and its subsequent sale on September 12th, 1990, additional solid caseback, setting pin, Patek Philippe strap, and fitted presentation box. Additionally accompanied by a photocopy of the original Certificate of Origin.

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of a triptych of exceptional 3970s we’re delighted to offer, the present reference 3970 cased in 18 karat pink gold stands apart for several important reasons. Firstly, it is part of the second series of 3970s, a highly interesting and transitional time in the lifespan of the reference, and extremely rare to find in pink gold. Secondly, it features an additional sapphire, screw-down caseback fitted to the watch, likely by special order of the original caseback. Thirdly, it is delivered in an utterly superb state of preservation.

    Typically, the second series of the reference 3970 possesses certain characteristics, including a solid, screwdown caseback, feuille hands, and baton indexes. Many examples feature hallmarks to the outsides of either two or all four lugs, and the font within the day and date windows matches that of the subdials, with subtle flourishes and serifs. They were typically not delivered with a sapphire, screwdown caseback and this was only provided to important clients of the manufacture upon request.

    Production dates are not set in stone, but we can estimate that the second series was manufactured from the late 1980s to the early 1990s – perhaps a five-year span. An estimated 450 examples were produced across the second series, and of those, 400 are believed to have been made in yellow gold. A much smaller number were manufactured in white gold, pink gold, and platinum, making this pink gold exceptionally rare.

    With a pristine, like new dial, and a case in exceptional overall condition, with crisp hallmarks at the outside of the opposing lugs, the present watch was first sold at auction almost two decades ago with its Certificate of Origin. Though human error over time has caused this document to go missing, the watch still retains an extract from the archives confirming the date of manufacture in 1990, and a photocopy of the original certificate.

    One cannot help but be charmed by the beauty and state of preservation of the present reference 3970, one of the rarest examples to come to market and a trophy for the most perceptive of collectors.

  • 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 extremely rare, incredibly well-preserved, and sublimely attractive pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with leap-year indicator, moon phases, additional solid caseback, setting pin, Extract from the Archives, and presentation box

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and buckle signed.

$80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for $138,600

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: SEVEN

New York Auction 10 - 11 December 2022