With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with raised gold hour markers in 1978 and its subsequent sale on 10 November 1978.
Reference 3448 is one of the best known perpetual calendar models by Patek Philippe. It is also one of the most easily recognizable design thanks to its angular, architectural design and the typical silvered dial with baton hour markers. As a consequence, any exception to such a consequent production comes even more as a surprise and so any yellow gold reference 3448 with a dial color other than silver is, simply put, a sensation. Today, we only know of four references 3448 which are fitted with "colored" dials. Three of them are fitted with champagne dials and one, the watch offered for sale here, is fitted with a blue dial. These four exceptions represent less than 1 percent of the total production which is estimated to be 586 watches. Another noteworthy feature of this "Padellone" is the sapphire crystal, which was only available for the last generation of reference 3448 in the late 1970s.
The only reference 3448 known to date fitted with such a blue dial was certainly made upon special request by a style conscious passionate of horology. The metallic blue color, an epitome of Patek Philippe's 1970s design language, is beautifully harmonizing with the white printing of signature and date ring and the gold numerals, hands and case. The result is a striking look - to some classic elegance, to others a modern extravaganza.
Reference 3448, introduced to 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, only one in pink gold and 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 to 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 at 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 were made, the majority in yellow gold cases, only five 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.