With Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin duplicate, leather folder, literature, setting pin, fitted presentation box and outer packaging. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvery opaline-white dial, yellow gold indexes in 1988 and its subsequent sale on 9 December 1988.
Consigned by a private collector and fresh to the market, this reference 3970 is believed to be the only third example of this model in yellow gold with gilt dial to appear in public to date.
Reference 3970 is a representative of the revered Patek Philippe perpetual chronographs family. It is the successor of iconic reference 2499 (see lot 308 in this auction), from which it inherited the landmark lugs and design, albeit in a slightly smaller case of 36 mm. in diameter, against the previous 37.5 mm. This difference makes the entire watch look more compact, aggressive and masculine.
The present example is a supremely well preserved specimen of this iconic reference, furthermore graced by the attractive two-tone champagne dial. According to our research, this dial variation was produced in a single batch sometime around 1985 or 1986. The dials were mounted and delivered over the following years only on watches purchased at the Geneva Salon. It would seem that a total of only 25 Patek Philippe clients were lucky enough to receive their watch fitted with this rare and attractive dial.
Offered together with all of its accessories, the present wristwatch is a typical example of "sleeping beauty": a watch left asleep for decades in a safety deposit box. The layer of oxidation which envelops the watch is a typical telltale signs that the timepiece is not only unpolished, but most probably hardly ever worn at all. If this was not the case, the continuous wear which inevitably befalls onto timepieces on the wrist, no matter how careful the wearer is, would have prevented the formation of this oxidation layer. Another confirmation about such a remarkable case condition comes from the hallmarks, which are all absolutely crisp and pristine, including the ones on the case back.