With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and yellow gold indexes in 1986 and its subsequent sale on 28 January 1987.
To the best of our knowledge the present watch has never been offered at auction before.
The present reference 3970 made between 1986 and 1987 is a highly collectable specimen within the model's overall production which lasted for nearly twenty years. Examples of the very first series, such as this watch, are characterized by the case back which is still a snap on versus the screw version of later generations, as well as the dial configuration where the two subsidiary dials are clearly of a different colour than the surrounding main plate. "Two-tone" as a designation for dials with varying shades is often used too generously but in this instance it is completely justifiable.
Reference 3970 was launched in 1986, the first generation, such as the present watch, fitted with snap on case backs. Around 1988, the model was modified to a water-resistant version with screw back. In 2004, reference 3970 was replaced by reference 5970. The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 305.