Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Patek Philippe's celebrated reference 3970 was launched in 1986 and replaced reference 2499. The first generation was fitted with snap on case backs. Around 1989, the model was modified to a water-resistant version with screw back and was delivered with an additional sapphire crystal display back. Reference 3970 remained in production until 2004 when it was replaced by reference 5970 (please see Lot 2683 and 2684 in this sale). The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 305.
For an examples of Patek Philippe Reference 3970, please see Lot 2680 in pink gold, Lot 2685 in white gold with bracelet and Lot 2686 in platinum in this sale.