With an Extract from the Archives confirming sale on December 8th, 1980.
The present example serves as the ideal study of how Ref. 3448 should look and feel; each line, corner and hallmark serves as testimony to the watch's pristine condition. This superlative condition is rare for any watch of its age, but truly a treasure when the piece belongs to such an sought-after and collectible reference.
With this piece, aficionados can see precisely how such a watch looked when it left the casemaker's bench in the Patek Philippe atelier some three and a half decades ago. It is being offered by the family of the original owner, and this is the first time the watch has been offered at auction.
The Ref. 3448 bears the distinction of a singular case design, which is substantial in its size and strikingly angular in its shape. Over decades of wear and use, many of the cases are polished, causing the sharp edges of the bezel to wear down, and the lugs to become rounded and even to shorten from their original length. It is a privilege to behold an example such as the present, and to feel sharp lines and edges in one's hands precisely as they were first drawn and created, as if the casemaker himself just completed the finishing touches.
The iconic Ref. 3448 represents the bridge between vintage and modern wristwatches. It was launched in 1962 and production continued for about 20 years. At that time, it was the only automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch on the market, and Patek Philippe's first watch with those features. Ref. 3448 underwent four main evolutions, each introducing a new variation on the design. The present example belongs to the final evolution, which is distinguished by its sapphire crystal and higher bezel built to accommodate it. Only 586 pieces were made in total.
For a similar model, see Huber, M. & Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Vol. 2, pp. 288-289.