With Patek Philippe service invoice dated 10 June 2015; according to the Archives of Patek Philippe it will be under warranty until 11 February 2017. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Authorized Service Centre Card and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present timepiece with black ribbed dial, white gold indexes and tritium in 1978 and its subsequent sale on 13 March 1978.
The present Nautilus is a representative of the original model: reference 3700, the Jumbo Nautilus, defined by its generous case proportions. In production from 1976 until 1998 (although the steel version was only available until 1987), it is powered by the best ultra-flat automatic movement of the time: calibre 28-255 C, which is based on a LeCoultre ébauche. According to literature, Patek Philippe was supposed to acquire 20’000 such ébauches, but it would seem that in the end only 11’500 movements were manufactured, for all case and dial variations. Estimates for reference 3700/1A give a total output of around 3’600 pieces.
Appearing for the first time on the market, this watch is offered by a descendant of the original owner who acquired it during a sojourn in Switzerland at the prestigious Beyer Chronometrie in Zurich, as the signed dial indicates. Beyer-retailed references 3700 are exceedingly rare: to date, only one other reference 3700/1 signed by the famous retailer is believed to have appeared in public.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The legendary Nautilus collection was introduced in 1976 when Patek Philippe was looking for a strong design of inimitable personality. An inspiration for such a timepiece soon emerged: The universal shape of a porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels. Since then, the Nautilus has established itself as a classic elegant sports watch and the original reference, 3700/1 such as this watch, is one of the most sought-after timepieces at auction.
Reference 3700/1 and calibre 28-255 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, first edition, pp. 230 & 231, a reference 3700/001G in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches Vol. II, pp. 386-387.