Geneva, May 11, 2024

LOT 148


CHF 40,000 - 80,000

HKD 348,000 - 700,000 / USD 44,300 - 89,000 / EUR 40,800 - 82,000

Sold: CHF 87,500

A fine, rare, large, fresh to the market, stainless steel, self winding wristwatch with date

Grading System
Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-02

Very good

HANDS Service hands

Brand Patek Philippe, switzerland

Model Nautilus "Jumbo"

Reference 3700/011

Year Sold at Gubelin in September 1982

Movement No. 1308295

Case No. 539206

Bracelet stainless steel Patek Philippe bracelet with deployant clasp, approx. overall length 183 mm.

Diameter 40

Caliber 28-255C, 36 jewels

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories original cork box, certificate of origin, original, invoice by Gubelin in the amount of CHF 4'875. multiple overhaul receipts from Patek Philippe and Gubelin


The original owner still remembers entering the Gubelin store in Lucerne in September 1982 with the intention of purchasing a nice watch for himself. He hesitated between the Jumbo Nautilus and the iconic Ellipse. After finally making his mind up, he choose the revolutionary design of the Nautilus. Before completing his purchase, in order to recognise his watch instantly, he asked Gubelin to change one link with a gold one, with they happily accommodated, and that is still found on the watch today. Amazingly the original invoice from Gubelin details this special request. Regularly maintained at Patek Philippe and Gubelin over the years, it has been kept with all its original documentation, a rare find today.


Property of the original Swiss owner


Launched in 1976, the “Nautilus”, named after Captain Nemo’s submarine (created by Jules Verne in his “Vingt mille lieues sous les mers”), was an immense breakthrough from Patek Philippe’s conservative designs and proof that Haute Horlogerie and audacity can go hand in hand to create an icon that is still relevant 40 years later.

Legend has it that the idea of creating a watch in the shape of a porthole found on transatlantic liners came to designer Gérald Genta (1931-2011), a Genevan designer jeweller, whilst dining at a restaurant during the Basel fair and looking at the Patek Philippe team dining on a table opposite his. The whole design having taken no more than 5 minutes!

Patek Philippe produced two versions of the Nautilus Ref. 3700 in steel:
  • 3700 / 1, from 1976 to about 1981, that featured a straight bracelet and reference;
  • 3700 / 11, which was in production from 1981 to 1990 has a tapered steel bracelet.

Beating within is the Cal. 28-255 (based on the legendary Jaeger-LeCoultre JLC 920 self-winding movement; which was never used by Jaeger-LeCoultre!) and heavily modified by Patek Philippe, it was at the time the world’s thinnest self-winding movement with date (3.05 mm. thick) and found in two other models representing HauteHorlogerie groovy chic: Audemars Piguet’s “Royal Oak” and Vacheron Constantin’s “222”; the first, also design by Genta; the second, designed by Jorg Hysek, a young German designer (born in 1953).

Owing to a thinner calibre, the 3700 / 1 A retains a slimmer profile than its 21st century descendent, the 5711 / 1 A, introduced on the 40th anniversary of the 3700 in 2006.

The “Jumbo” nickname refers to the 42 mm. case, with wide flat bezel, integrated steel link bracelet, and self-winding movement, possessing a rather masculine aesthetic compared to the smaller dressy gold mechanical watches of the time.

According to the specialists, although it has not been confirmed, approximately 5'000 pieces in steel of this reference were produced.

While it was initially not well received, its popularity quickly grew, and has been a mainstay of Patek Philippe’s collection until the present day.