With Patek Philippe Certificate of origin, leather pouch and product literature. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch with silvery opaline-white dial and applied yellow gold indexes in 1987 and its subsequent sale on 18 January 1988.
Preserved in excellent overall condition and still retaining the protective sticker to the back, fresh to the market and with the original certificate, this early series reference 3940 is a wonderful occasion for any collector to call an example of this legendary timepiece his or her own.
Reference 3940, the quintessential perpetual calendar and distinguished by its timeless elegance, is undeniably amongst Patek Philippe's greatest classics. Launched in 1984 as replacement for reference 3450 (see lot 92 in this sale), it was at the time the slimmest perpetual calendar.
An initial series of around 100 pieces were manufactured between 1984 and 1985, the first 25 were especially made for the 225nd anniversary of Patek Philippe's retailer Chronometrie Beyer in Zurich, numbered and personalized. Starting in 1985, reference 3940 went into standard production. Until the model's discontinuation in 2007 when it was replaced by reference 5140 three further series were produced.
The main design variants between earlier and later series include sunken subsidiary dials as opposed to the rather beveled version and a plain leap year dial rather than the one with the quarter separations. Earlier models featured a smaller signature, the designation "Swiss" was printed underneath the beady minute divisions. This was changed in later series with the "Swiss" printing within the ring.
Examples of reference 3940, both Chronometrie Beyer anniversary and the regular versions, are illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches - Volume II, p. 300.