Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch
This watch is pictured with straps made of endange… Read more
Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch

Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 3448, Movement No. 1'119'103, Case No. 320'327, Manufactured in 1969

Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 3448, Movement No. 1'119'103, Case No. 320'327, Manufactured in 1969
Movement: Automatic, Cal. 27-460 Q, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal, 37 jewels
Dial: Silvered, baton numerals, two windows for month and day in Italian, date ring without central moon phase aperture
Case: 18k gold, snap on back, 37mm diam.
Buckle: Patek Philippe 18k gold deployant clasp
Accompanied By: A Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of sale on March 13, 1969
The Property of an Important European Private Collector
Special notice
This watch is pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the auction. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot.

Lot Essay

The Reference 3448, ‘Senza Luna’
The reference 3448, Senza Luna. A title that is reserved for an extremely small amount of watches and which prompts one of the most interesting historical narratives of Patek Philippe’s entire production. One of only seven ever publically identified, this timepiece is one shrouded in mystery and pure excitement for connoisseurs.
The regular production of the reference 3448 began 1962, introduced to the market as the first perpetual calendar produced in series, and furthermore with a self-winding movement. According to literature, a total of 586 examples were made of this popular model which boasted a Patek Philippe patented mechanism, the complicated caliber 27-460 Q automatic movement, and a handsome, well-designed case. However, upon the discovery of the 3448 ‘Senza Luna,’ or ‘Without Moon,’ enthusiasts had stumbled upon a highly desirable watch but now with an added and extremely rare anomaly. What was this incredibly rare specimen, and where can they be found.
The most famous ‘Senza Luna’ is the yellow gold “Alan Banbery Senza Luna” which sold for CHF1,840,900 at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2008. This watch was accompanied by an Extract from the Archives from Patek Philippe dated 1999 confirming the special dial and the fact the watch was modified within Patek Philippe’s workshops after its initial sale in May 1970.

The known facts of the Senza Luna watches are based on the forensic study of each individual timepiece. The existence of the Banbery Senza Luna is the starting point of this discussion and proves that there were 3448s that were modified by Patek Philippe even after they left the Patek Philippe workshops for the first time. The images of this watch, including a detailed image of the movement published in Huber and Banbery’s Patek Philippe Wristwatches, pages 220-221 clearly exemplifies that Patek Philippe made special orders of the reference 3448 for important clients and in this case an employee of Patek Philippe, Alan Banbery.
There is a possibility then, that the presently offered ‘Senza Luna,’ produced in 1969, was later modified by Patek Philippe at the request of an important client. There is also the possibility that the watch was modified outside of the workshops. Considering that the Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives does not describe any modification, it is impossible to be absolutely confident when or where the Senza Luna modification was made. 

A total of six (excluding the “Alan Banbery”) watches are known publicly with “Senza Luna” dials: three in white gold, three in yellow gold. The majority, as far as is known from existing Extracts from the Archives, are originally described as having a moon phase indication. It is therefore assumed that all were later modified. – It is really a question of “when”.
The watch offered here for sale, no. 1'119'103, was first publicly seen at Antiquorum in Geneva, 2003 when it was sold for CHF399,500. Unknown to the market beforehand, it is the one of the three yellow gold examples known to the market.
The (re-)appearance of this watch at auction gives the true Patek Philippe connoisseur the rare opportunity to acquire a timepiece of almost mythical status. Regardless, or perhaps because of the mysteries surrounding its production, the present watch is surely one of the most legendary timepieces associated with Patek Philippe.

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