With original Patek Philippe fitted presentation box and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with integral bracelet in 1977 and its subsequent sale on 9 March 1977.
The present example is a very attractive specimen from the celebrated "Padellone" family dating to 1977, a variation of the revered 3448 reference. The difference is of course the presence of the bracelet. Variation "/15" examples do not simply come with a bracelet instead of a strap. Instead, Patek Philippe substantially redesigned the watch by removing the lugs and soldering the bracelet to the case. The bracelet itself is a work of art by itself, distinguished by the individually chiseled crisscross sections. The result is an amazing masterpiece which can be described as the ultimate crossover between 1970s design and modern style.
Preserved in very good overall condition, the present watch is believed to be one of only nine examples of this reference 3448 model without lugs and integral bracelets to appear in public to date, including however only three with the same "crisscross" bracelet. It is so far the only example of this series bearing the exact reference number 3448/15.
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 two examples in platinum are known to date. Only one example of this landmark model is so far known in pink gold and smashed the previous world record for this reference when selling at Christie's Geneva in 2011 for over 2 million Swiss francs, underlining the importance of this model.
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 was introduced into the market with the improved 27-460 QB (Quantime 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.