With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1972 and its subsequent sale on 24 February 1972.
Consigned by a private collector and fresh to the auction market, the ref. 3448 offered here for sale is an earlier example of the celebrated "Padellone" family. Made in 1972 it features the popular early generation dial characterized by the outer pearly minute markers (as opposed to black printed stick markers) and the smaller numerals for the date indication around the moon phase. The latter and the signature are in raised black hard enamel.
Examples of reference 3448 dating from the first decade of production are rarer than their later sisters, rewarding the connoisseur with their perfect combination of vintage and contemporary watch design as well as advanced technology.
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 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.
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 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.