Not seen on the market in almost twenty years, the present watch is an excellent example of the reference 3448 from the last of the four generations of the model. A noteworthy feature is the sapphire crystal, which was only available from 1978 until the end of production. In addition, the fourth generation dial is distinguished by the “Aprior” mark appearing either side of the word “Swiss” at 6 o’clock and the minute divisions are painted batons, perfectly complementing the gold baton hour markers.
Reference 3448 is one of Patek Philippe's best known perpetual calendar models and also one of the most easily recognizable thanks to its angular, architecturally designed case made by Antoine Gerlach. The model was introduced in 1962 and was at the time the first self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch. It is thought that a total of only 586 examples were made, the majority in yellow gold cases. Few watches were cased in white gold and only two examples in platinum are known to date.
The movement is the celebrated caliber 27-460 that was upgraded and renamed caliber 27-460 Q with a perpetual calendar mechanism fitted on the movement plate underneath the dial. The caliber 27-460 Q is amongst the most sophisticated and lavish automatic movements ever made.
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.