Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Mar 03, 2021

LOT 214

Patek Philippe
Ref. 3940 J, self-winding, leap-year perpetual calendar, moon phases, AM-PM indication, silver “Sigma” dial; “First series”; 18K yellow gold

HKD 216,000 - 302,000

CHF 25,000 - 35,000 / EUR 23,100 - 32,400 / USD 27,800 - 38,900

Sold: HKD 275,000

18K yellow gold, self-winding, tonneau-shaped, gentleman’s wristwatch, with seven horological complications:
· Perpetual calendar
· Date of the month (subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock)
· Day of the week (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock; indications given in English)
· Month of the year (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock; indications given in English)
· Phases of the moon (aperture at 6 o’clock)
· Four-year cycle of leap-years (subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock)
· Diurnal (day-time) and nocturnal (night-time) hours with a 24-hour (AM-PM) scale (subsidiary dial at 9 o’clock)

Polished two-piece case, water-resistant with snap-on case-back.

Silver opaline colour “Sigma” dial with radial applied yellow gold indexes.


Grading System
Grade: AAA

Excellent

Brand Patek Philippe, Geneva

Model “Perpetual Calendar”

Year circa 1987

Movement No. 770 804

Case No. 2 839 237

Material 18K yellow gold

Bracelet integrated 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe bracelet with clasp (later addition)

Caliber 240 Q aut, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, “Poinçon de Genève” (Geneva Quality Hallmark or Geneva seal)

Dimensions Length 205 mm. (approx.)

Height 43.3 mm.

Width 36 mm.

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories original winding fitted box (inside leather in fair condition; with motor in working condition), 18K yellow gold and wood setting-pin; Extract from the Archives

Notes

The Extract from the Archives, dated March 14, 2018, mentioned that this watch was sold on November 23, 1987.

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Originally manufactured with a leather strap as per the Extract from the Archives, the owner decided to have a Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold bracelet attached to the case at an unknown date.

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Patek Philippe, Reference 3940 and Reference 3941
This reference is launched in1985 and remained in production until circa 2007.
At the time of its creation, this watch replaced the Reference 3450. The new reference is equipped with a new calibre with an oscillating weight – the micro-rotor – incorporated into the height of the movement; the result is a watch that is flatter than its predecessor.
The watch is fitted first with the Cal. 240 Q aut., with 22K yellow gold micro-rotor, then, circa 1998, with an improved version, the Cal. 240-114 (Q).
When Patek Philippe first launched this new series of watches, Ref. 3940 was the model bearing a metallic snap-on case-back, while Ref. 3941 was equipped with a screwed sapphire-crystal case-back. Very soon, the reference number of this model was standardised to Ref. 3940, sold either with one or two screwed backs; one of these backs could be a screwed metallic case-back, while the second, (non-compulsory), a screwed sapphire crystal case-back. In consequence, very few examples bear the Ref. 3941.
The model was made in four main series:
· “Beyer” series and early examples, 1984-1985
First, gilt colour dial, then “opalin” silver dial, with sunk subsidiary dials; radial “obus” lapidated indexes and “Dauphine” hands.
Movement from No. 777 000 to No. 770 099; case from No. 2 817 xxx and up.
100 examples; the 25 first watches, gilt colour dials, especially made for Beyer, Zürich, numbered and personalised, to commemorate the 225th anniversary of Chronometrie Beyer (1780-1985). The majority were made in yellow gold, very small number in pink gold, white gold or platinum.
· “First series”, 1985-1988
Exist also with sapphire-crystal case-back (under Ref. 3941).
“opalin” silver dial, with sunk subsidiary dials; radial “obus” lapidated indexes and “Dauphine” hands (referred as code A).
Movement from No. 777 100 up; case from No. 2 824 xxx and up.
Very few examples with metallic bracelet (under Ref. 3940-1).
Circa 1 300 examples. The majority were made in yellow gold, a few in pink and white gold and a very small number in platinum.
· “Second series”, 1988-1988
Delivered with an extra sapphire-crystal snap-on case-back (platinum version starting in 1990).
“opalin” silver dial, with bevelled subsidiary dials; with fine lines crossing the leap-year dial; “obus” or “bullet” lapidated indexes and “Dauphine” hands; signature on dial becomes slightly larger (referred as code G).
Some bear the “SWISS” logo within the pearled minutes outer ring and a two-tone 24-hour sectors inside the AM-PM subsidiary dial.
Movement from No. 777 100 and up; case from No. 2 848 xxx and up.
Very few examples with metallic bracelet (under Ref. 3940-1).
Circa 3 500 examples. The majority were made in yellow gold (circa 1 680 ex.), a few in pink gold (circa 630 ex.), white gold (circa 560 ex.) and platinum (circa 630 ex.).
· “Third series”, 1998-2007 (“Mark1” before 2003; “Mark 2”, after 2003).
Delivered with an extra sapphire-crystal snap-on case-back.
Improved movement, the Cal. 240-114 (Q).
Satin-finish “opalin” silver dial, with bevelled subsidiary dials; with fine lines crossing the leap-year dial; “obus” lapidated indexes and “Dauphine” hands; signature on dial becomes again slightly larger (referred as code G).
The two Greek letters “Sigma” around the “SWISS” logo disappeared.
Movement from No. 3 123 100 and up; case from No. 4 01x xxx and up.
Very few examples with metallic bracelet (under Ref. 3940-1).
Circa 2 200 examples. The majority were made in yellow gold (circa 770 ex.) and pink gold (circa 660 ex.), a few in white gold (circa 440 ex.) and platinum (circa 330 ex.).
Variation with white lacquered dial with black painted radial Roman numerals.
The so-called “Mark 2” has cases made by Calame, La Chaux-de-Fonds, not any more by Favre-Perret, La Chaux-de-Fonds; the Master case-maker hammer “115” becomes “357”; case No. from 4 2xx xxx and up.
Delivered with deployant clasp.
The total production is about 7000 examples over almost 22 years.
Bibliography
· Huber, Martin, & Banbery, Alan, Patek Philippe Wristwatches, 1998, p. 292-293, ill. 451 a-d and p. 294, ill. 452 (colour photos and technical drawings).

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“Sigma” dials

In the 1970s, the presence of the two Greek letters “Sigma” on either side of “SWISS” was intended to give a distinctive sign to Swiss-made dials with solid gold hour-indexes. Only members of APRIOR (Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l’Or) were entitled to use this mark; among them, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, IWC and Omega.

Biography

· Huber, Martin, & Banbery, Alan, Patek Philippe Wristwatches, 1998, p. 292-293, ill. 451 a-d and p. 294, ill. 452 (colour photos and technical drawings).