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    Sale 1413

    Rare Watches Including Important Private Collections

    16 May 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 209

    Patek Philippe. A very fine and probably unique 18K gold perpetual calendar automatic wristwatch with moon phases, bracelet, “manufacturing-defective dial” with missing dot at minute 59, original certificate, two lettters and box

    SIGNED PATEK PHILIPPE, GENÈVE, REF. 3940/1, MOVEMENT NO. 770’412, CASE NO. 2'825'045, MANUFACTURED IN 1986

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    This lot is offered without a reserve

    Patek Philippe. A very fine and probably unique 18K gold perpetual calendar automatic wristwatch with moon phases, bracelet, “manufacturing-defective dial” with missing dot at minute 59, original certificate, two lettters and box
    Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 3940/1, movement no. 770’412, case no. 2'825'045, manufactured in 1986
    Cal. 240 Q automatic movement stamped with the Geneva seal, 27 jewels, silvered dial, applied gold baton and square numerals, beady minute divisions with missing "59" dot, two sunken subsidiary dials for day in English combined with 24 hour display and month in English combined with leap year cycle, one subsidiary dial for date combined with aperture for moon phases, circular case, snap on back, 18K gold Jean-Pierre Ecoffey and Patek Philippe integral bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
    36 mm. diam.; overall length approx. 180 mm.


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    With Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin stamped by Magasin Patek Philippe S.A. in Genève and dated 10 July 1987, two framed original letters, one dated 28 August 1987 and signed by André Glad, Retail Store Manager, the second dated 1st September 1987 and signed by Philippe Stern, Vice-President, product literature, leather document holder, original fitted wooden presentation box and outer packaging.

    The reference 3940/1 offered here for sale is an exceedingly rare example of a timepiece managing to escape the attentive eyes of Patek Philippe's strict quality control in spite of a subtle yet ostensible flaw: a closer look at the 12 o'clock index reveals a blank gap to its left side, caused by the missing gold beady dot for minute 59. The first owner immediately announced this “imperfection” to Patek Philippe, receiving in return prompt replies from André Glad, retail store manager, and from Philippe Stern, vice-president at the time. Both offered immediate replacement, however Mr. Stern pointed out that “We have been checking all the watches in our inventory as well as our spare dials and I must advise you that all have 4 dots. You really must have a unique dial and it is almost worth while keeping it.”

    The combination of the “unique” dial, the very good overall condition and presence of the original certificate and letters render this ref. 3940/1 a fascinating find for the collector of unusual timepieces.

    Reference 3940 was launched in 1985 and remained in production until 2006. The present watch is from the first series, featuring sunk subsidiary dials for the 24 hours display and leap year indicator, as opposed to the level version of later models. Reference 3940 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 292-293.

    Special Notice

    This lot is offered without reserve.
    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Various Properties

    "You really must have a unique dial and it is almost worth while keeping it as a rarety" - excerpt from Mr. Philippe Stern's letter to the first owner of the watch