With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with diamond hour markers in 1968 and its subsequent sale on 26 August 1968.
In today's world where at times even the complicated masterpiece appears to become accessible, making an individual statement is paramount. This possibly unique reference 3448 by the famous manufacturer Patek Philippe is a treasure which even the most discerning collector is not fully familiar with. The only reference 3448 known to date fitted with such a diamond-set dial, confirmed by the Extract from the Archives, it was certainly made upon special request by a connoisseur of this celebrated model. Appealing not only with its looks but also thanks to its sophisticated calibre 27-460 movement, the perpetual calendar and moon phases, this trophy must be considered one of the most coveted collector's wristwatches.
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 (see lot 223 in this auction) 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 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 (Quantième Bissextile) calibre. The model differs from its predecessor by the modified leap year indication, the eccentric small window to 4 o'clock. The first series was made with a simple 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 (see lot 61 in this auction) 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.