Produced from 1981 to 2006, the Nautilus reference 3800 is considered as the "little sister" of the reference 3700, the very first Nautilus having been designed five years earlier by Gerald Genta. The reference 3700 has a 42mm cushion shaped case, known as the "Jumbo size". It became very quickly THE avant-garde sport-chic watch. The 3800 reference measures only 37mm in diameter but retains exactly the same spirit as its ancestor: an extra-flat cushion-shaped case, a bluish grey dial with horizontal stripes and the date at 3 o'clock. The only difference, except the size of the case, is a center second hand, which is not included in reference 3700. Early models feature caliber 335 SC without the quick set date feature through the crown. The quick date only arrives in 1987, while keeping the caliber 335SC. In 1992 a third generation was introduced featuring caliber 330 134, and finally caliber 330 194 was employed for the watches made from 1997 to 2006, year of discontinuation.
Here, it is worth noticing the double signature on the dial with the retailer’s name, Tiffany, in addition to Patek Philippe. The partnership between the manufacture and the famous US jeweler goes back more than 170 years. In 1847, Antoni Patek (1812-1877), one of the founders of Patek Philippe, met in New York Charles-Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902). Both men are iconic entrepreneurs of the “Gilded Age”, each having founded Tiffany in 1837 and Patek Philippe in 1839. It is said they instantly liked each other, which opened the way to an order by Tiffany for 150 watches in the same year, and to a more formalized partnership in 1851. Therefore, 2021 was the official 170th anniversary of this famous partnership.
In addition to all these feature, the dial is a “sigma dial”, meaning the index-markers and hands are manufactured from white gold. From 1971 until 1995, all watches made in Switzerland with gold applied indexes or gold dial plates were required to have the ‘APRIOR’ (Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l’Or) logo marked on the dial. Hence, on the dial on each side of the ‘SWISS’, there is the Greek letter “sigma”.