With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1972 and its subsequent sale on 21 November 1972.
This watch has never been offered at auction before and is believed to be one of only seven examples of reference 3448 in yellow gold and retailed by Tiffany & Co. to appear in public to date. Its rarity is furthermore enhanced by its unspoiled, original overall condition, the dial does not show any signs of cosmetical enhancement and the case has probably hardly ever been polished.
Reference 3448, introduced into the market in 1962, 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.
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 calendar mechanism fitted on the movement plate underneath the dial and renamed 27-460 Q.
In 1981, reference 3450 (see lot 338 in this auction) was introduced into the market with the improved 27-460 QB (Quantième Bissextile) calibre. The model differs from its predecessor by the added leap year indication, the eccentric small window to 4 o'clock. The first series was made with a red disk and Arabic numerals, the second with Roman I, II, III and IIII leap year indication. A total of 244 examples of reference 3450 were made, the majority in yellow gold cases, only two in white gold are known to date.
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 and in Ore d'Oro by Jader Barracca, Giampiero Negretti and Franco Nencini, p. 45.