Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Hong Kong, Jun 01, 2024

LOT 231


HKD 200,000 - 300,000

EUR 23,800 - 35,700 / CHF 23,200 - 34,800 / USD 25,600 - 38,400

Sold: HKD 287,500

A very fine and very rare, skeletonized, self winding 18K yellow gold wristwatch.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Patek Philippe

Model skeletonized

Reference 3878J

Year Sold on 7th Oct, 1994

Movement No. 1239301

Bracelet PP 18K yellow gold buckle

Diameter 31 mm.

Caliber 240SQ, 27 jewels

Weight 63gr. (approx.)

Signature dial, case and movement

Accessories PP fitted box, certificate of origin dated 7 Oct 1994, instructions booklet, PP brown leather folder and leaflet


The Patek Philippe Reference 3878 represents a significant milestone in the evolution of luxury watchmaking, both for Patek Philippe and the industry as a whole.

By the 1980s, the watch industry had begun to recover from the Quartz Crisis, a period during the 1970s and 1980s when quartz technology significantly impacted the traditional watchmaking industry. Brands like Patek Philippe sought to reassert the value of mechanical watches and their intricate craftsmanship.

The Reference 3878, introduced in 1981, was Patek Philippe’s response to this changing landscape. As the brand’s first automatic skeletonized wristwatch, it showcased the intricate beauty of mechanical movements, emphasizing the artistry and skill involved in creating such a timepiece. Its skeletonized design allowed wearers and enthusiasts to admire the movement directly, a feature that highlighted the brand’s commitment to excellence in watchmaking.

Encased exclusively in 18K yellow gold, the Reference 3878 was a testament to luxury and exclusivity, with only about 500 pieces produced over its approximately 26-year production run. This rarity, combined with its craftsmanship and place in Patek Philippe’s history, has made it a highly sought-after piece among collectors.


Property of an Asian collector