PROPERTY FROM A NORTHEASTERN PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Ref. 3970 was created following the success of the exceptional and iconic Ref. 2499. The design of the case of Ref. 3970, with its down-turned, fluted lugs, is clearly influenced by the form of the Ref. 2499. One main difference between the two models is the addition of the leap year indicator to the 3 o'clock subsidiary dial and 24-hour indicator to the 9 o'clock subsidiary dial.
Patek Philippe first launched the Ref. 3970 in 1986 with a snap on case back. Two years into production, Patek Philippe modified the design to a screw-down water resistant type case back. The present lot is a Ref. 3970E (E for Etanche or water-resistant) which was produced in yellow, white, rose gold, and platinum. Production continued until 2004. Over the course of its production, the model underwent subtle design updates. The present example belongs to the fourth series of the model.
Ref. 3970 is illustrated in Huber, M. & Banbery, A. Patek Philippe, Vol. II, Second Edition, p. 305.
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