• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 1383

    Important Watches

    14 November 2011, Geneva

  • Lot 88

    Patek Philippe. An extraordinarily fine and rare 18K pink gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, original certificate and box


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An extraordinarily fine and rare 18K pink gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, original certificate and box
    Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, retailed by Freccero, ref. 3448, movement no. 1'119'084, case no. 313'784, manufactured in 1968
    Cal. 27-460 Q nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 37 jewels, Gyromax balance, free sprung regulator, 18K gold rotor, silvered matte dial, applied gold baton numerals, two windows for day and month, subsidiary dial for date and moon phases, circular case, enlarged bezel, snap on back, 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle, case and movement signed by maker, dial signed by maker and retailer
    37 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin with F.J. Freccero, 25 Mayo 563, Montevideo seal, confirming the gold baton numerals and the case in "or rouge 18 carats" or 18K "red gold". Furthermore delivered with the original fitted black presentation box and the Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with rose gold case in 1968 and its subsequent sale on 15 February 1968.

    This watch, the hitherto unknown reference 3448 in pink gold case, is a sensational and most significant discovery to the world of wristwatch collecting.

    Until the day of its detection in spring of 2011 in the vault of a private collector, it was commonly understood that reference 3448 was predominantly cased in yellow gold, few watches were available in white gold and only two examples in platinum cases are known to date. Amongst connoisseurs it has however always been rumoured that the celebrated Geneva manufacturer had also made an extremely limited series of only two references 3448 in pink gold cases, possibly by special order of a South American client. Often dismissed as pure speculation, the myth has now come partially true - the existence of the second example remaining a mystery.

    Purchased by the present owner in the 1970s and since then preciously kept in safe custody, this "sleeping beauty" is distinguished by its extraordinarily original and unmolested condition, underlined by the razor-sharp edges to the case and the lugs and further highlighted by the ultra-rare "PP" crown. Another noteworthy fact is the presence of the protective burgundy cover on the gold rim of the rotor, a further proof for the pristine condition of the present reference 3448.

    Made in 1968, it radiates the extraordinary charm of the 1960s models, most notably demonstrated by the dial, blessed with the subtle hard enamel printing but also instantly recognizable by the pearled minute markings, perfectly harmonizing with the ivory tone of the charismatic dial. Free of any restoration, it reflects a great shine and enhances the overall look of this superb wristwatch.

    Another aspect contributing to the outstanding exclusivity of the watch is doubtlessly the retailer's signature Freccero on the dial and on the original certificate - a rarity by itself.

    Scholars and collector alike will unanimously agree that this uncovered treasure must immediately take a prominent position in the hall of fame of Patek Philippe's most beautiful, exclusive and important wristwatches.

    Ref. 3448
    Introduced to the market in 1962, reference 3448 was at the time the first self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch. According to literature, a total of 586 examples were made, the majority in yellow gold cases. Few watches have been cased in white gold and only two examples in platinum are known to date - and since 2011 the present pink gold variant.

    Reference 3448 was fitted with the celebrated calibre 27-460, amongst the most sophisticated and lavish automatic movements ever made. It was later upgraded with Patek Philippe's patented perpetual mechanism fitted on the movement plate underneath the dial and renamed 27-460 Q. In 1981, reference 3450 was introduced to the market with the improved 27'460 QB calibre. The model differs from its predecessor by the modified leap year indication, the eccentric small window at 4 o'clock. The first series was made with a simple red disk and Arabic numerals, the second with Roman I, II, III and IIII leap year indication.

    Production of both reference 3448 and 3450 was discontinued in 1985 when reference 3940 was launched.

    Reference 3448 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 288, in Ore d'Oro by Jader Barracca, Giampiero Negretti and Franco Nencini, p. 45, and in Time in Gold - Wristwatches by Gerald Viola & Gisbert L. Brunner, pp. 143 & 149.

    Pre-Lot Text

    When a myth comes true: the first pink gold reference 3448 to appear in public


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