Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Mar 03, 2021

LOT 207

Patek Philippe
Ref. 3700 / 1, large, self-winding, date, “Sigma” blue dial; “Nautilus” so-called “Jumbo”; stainless steel

HKD 650,000 - 820,000

CHF 75,000 - 95,000 / EUR 70,000 - 88,000 / USD 84,000 - 106,000

Sold: HKD 862,500

Stainless steel, self-winding, vertical cushion-shaped, large gentleman’s wristwatch, water-resistant with case-back screwed by four screws, blue colour dial with horizontal stripes and radial luminescent indexes, and, one horological complication:
· Instantaneous date of the month (aperture at 3 o’clock)


Grading System
Grade:
Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2 *
Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Patek Philippe, Geneva

Model “Nautilus” so-called “Jumbo”

Reference 3700 / 1

Year 1977

Movement No. 1 304 187

Case No. 534 116

Material stainless steel

Bracelet integrated stainless steel PP “Nautilus” bracelet with deployant clasp

Caliber 28 255 SC, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, Geneva Quality Hall Mark

Dimensions Length 185 mm. (approx.)

Height 44.5 mm.

Width 41.9 mm.

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories original “cork” fitted box; Extract from the Archives

Notes

The Extract from the Archives, dated October 9, 2017, mentioned that this watch was sold on February 7, 1978.
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Patek Philippe, Nautilus, Ref. 3700 (so-called “Jumbo”), 3800, 4700, 3710, etc.
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 Haute Horlogerie 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).
Originally, the Ref. 3700 / 1 A comes with a coveted cork presentation box.
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” moniker 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.
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.
The Ref. 3800 was the mid-size Nautilus, 37 mm. case, released in 1981 and continued to produce until 2006. In addition to the smaller size, it differed from the Ref. 3700 in that the movement had a centre-seconds.
The Ref. 4700 was the lady’s Nautilus. The Ref. 3710 was the gentleman’s Nautilus with power reserve indicator, launched in 1998.
… and the story goes on for a magnificent timepiece that is totally successful and original, which has been able to survive the years with great success, although it was not well received at the beginning!
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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.