Lot 257
  • 257

Patek Philippe

180,000 - 250,000 CHF
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  • gold
  • diameter 37 mm thickness 9 mm
• cal. 27-460Q automatic movement, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 18k yellow gold rotor • silvered matte dial, applied white gold baton numerals, day and month apertures in English below 12 o'clock, subsidiary dial for date combined with phases of the moon • circular case, snap-on back • case, dial, and movement signed • with an 18k white gold Patek Philippe buckle


A superb and exceptional example of Ref. 3448. Rare and highly recommended. The movement is running at the time of cataloguing and the calendar correctors are functioning correctly, however it may require service in the near future. The dial is in very nice original condition with no visible imperfections. The case is unparalleled in its perfectly preserved shape. The edges throughout are perfectly sharp and crisp. A few very light scuffs, an imperceptible ding to the outer bezel near 11 o'clock, and a ding to the front of the upper right lug. This timeless watch comes from a private collector and displays the wonderful combination of a vintage wristwatch with all the practical aspects a demanding collector could expect when wanting to enjoy his vintage complicated wristwatch.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

 This model, Ref. 3448, was launched in 1962. At that time, it was the only automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch on the market. 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.
Connoisseurs seeking the finest specimens of this model invariably look to the condition of the case. 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. The present lot has escaped that unfortunate fate and presents itself  in all its angular, sharp-lined glory. The model was ultimately succeeded by Ref. 3450, produced from 1981 to 1985, which included the leap year indication and some more subtle differences.
It is interesting to note the very small quantity of watches made in white gold in this reference. Only 130 pieces were made in total over the 20 year production period, meaning roughly 5 examples were made each year. As such, Patek Philippe's technicians were able to pay the utmost attention to each piece.

One mark of the artistry that went into Ref. 3448 is the moon phase sector. Each plate is made in solid gold, hand-enamelled in translucent blue, fired at high temperatures, and polished so that the gold stars and moon shine. As a result, each plate bears slight variations from the next in the placement of the stars and tones of blue, and is one of the most strikingly attractive features of this exceptional and rare model.

For a discussion of Ref. 3448 and other examples, see Reardon, J., Patek Philippe in America, pp. 232-33. For a similar model, see Huber, M. & Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Vol. 2, pp. 288-289.