The reference 3940 was launched in 1985 under the influence of Philippe Stern and remained in production until 2007. The refreshed automatic perpetual calendar superseded the ref. 3450 and introduced the remarkably thin micro-rotor caliber 240 to the world of grand complications. The ref. 3940 is considered as a design icon and went on to define the modern perpetual calendar wristwatch.
Following a very exclusive initial production of approximately 25 pieces for Beyer, a long-time partner and retailer, the first series was produced between 1985 and 1988 only. The newly launched flagship piece would then be available in yellow, pink and white gold in addition to platinum. The two subsequent series introduced new dial designs and progressive technical improvements, leading to the launch of the 3940’s successor, the slightly larger reference 5140.
The present stunning yellow gold example was manufactured in 1986 and belongs to the most sought-after 1st series. Its unmistakable metallic dial bears the early sub-dials with the date and day of the week printed in English straight onto the dial, no crosshair to the leap year indicator and gold lapidated markers paired with a set of gold dauphine hands. The 36mm case was manufactured by Favre-Perret and stands in particularly sharp condition, with legible hallmarks, a true rarity as most cases have been polished.
This increasingly desirable early ref. 3940 is offered with an Extract from the Archives, confirming the date of sale on January 2, 1987.