The reference 3979 represents the first automatic minute repeating wristwatch produced by Patek Philippe. Launched as the successor of reference 2524/1, the first serial numbers started with 1,904,000, making this particular watch the 12th
being produced from this series. The vast majority was cased in yellow gold. Originally made to celebrate the company's 150th
anniversary in 1989, production of this model continued subsequently, until it was discontinued in 2002.
The movement featuring calibre R27 PS impresses not only by comprising of 342 parts, but also by incorporating the micro rotor automatic winding mechanism. The minute repeating mechanism uses 'Cathedral gongs', so called because their long length created a deeper sound and particularly long reverberation. The length of the gong in a standard repeating mechanism corresponds to almost precisely one turn in the movement whereas those of the 'Cathedral' mechanism exceed that length, as a result a much richer and fuller timbre is achieved for this exceptional piece.
In addition to that, it is interesting to notice that the present example is also featuring an enamel dial made by Donzé, Le Locle. Another rare feature of this watch is the "JPH" mark between the lower lugs, referring to the case maker Jean-Pierre Hagmann, who produced the first few cases of this series. All these technical and aesthetic characteristics make this reference 3979 a highly collectible piece for watch collectors and enthusiasts.
Reference 3979 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 320.