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Details & Cataloguing

Important Watches

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Geneva

Patek Philippe
REF 3448 WHITE GOLD PERPETUAL CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES MADE IN 1977
Dial: silvered
Calibre: cal. 27-460 Q automatic, 37 jewels
Movement number: 1'119'492
Case: 18k white gold, snap-on back
Case number: 332'610
Closure: 18k white gold Patek Philippe buckle
Dimensions: 37.5mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of sale on October 15th, 1979
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Catalogue Note

The Patek Philippe reference 3448 represents a milestone in horology being the first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch serially produced by any manufacture. It also is important due to the design and aesthetic having been dubbed the ‘Disco Volante’ by collectors. First produced in 1962 the reference enjoyed nearly 20 years of manufacture before being discontinued in 1980. 

The watch is particularly understated, an attribute that if anything, heightens the elegance of the piece. With its three apertures displaying the day, month, phases of the moon, and a subsidiary dial for the date one could be excused for thinking, at a glance, that it was simply a triple calendar. Of course, in actuality, and to the joy of those who know, the watch houses a very complex feature, the perpetual calendar. In essence the calendar is completely self-adjusting, knowing the number of days in each month and even compensating for the leap year. No surprise then that Patek themselves described the 3448 as ‘the watch that thinks’.

The case design, in comparison to the models it succeeded, shows a clear departure from the usual Patek aesthetic, especially when compared to the other perpetual calendar models. The case is somewhat brutalist in appearance, utilising sharper lines and angles to the lugs and bezel, the bezel itself is flat and wider than other references which tended to be softer and more rounded. The combination of these characteristics give the 3448 a very contemporary feel even today, it is therefore to be expected that the watch remains a hugely desirable model.

The present lot is in fantastic, original, condition and appears at auction fresh to the market. The lugs and bezel are razor sharp and the case retains all of the features that make this such an iconic watch.  What's more, of the 586 pieces produced, it is estimated only 130 were made in white gold, from which, around 53 have come back to the market.

Important Watches

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Geneva