Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, Mar 11, 2012

LOT 469

PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 3970 LUMINOUS DIAL, YELLOW GOLD Patek Philippe, Genève, movement No. 876270, case No. 2914533, Ref. 3970E. Sold on November 19th, 1992. Very fine and equally rare, water-resistant, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with round button chronograph, register, perpetual calendar, moon phases, leap year indication, 24-hour indication, luminous dial and hands and an 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe deployant clasp. Accompanied by fitted box, Certificate of Origin, instruction booklet, additional solid 18K yellow gold case back and a Patek Philippe letter confirming the luminous hands and dot markers.

CHF 100,000 - 150,000

USD 110,000 - 165,000 / EUR 85,000 - 125,000

Sold: CHF 116,500

C. Two-body, solid, polished and brushed, fl uted lugs, concave bezel, transparent screw-down case back, sapphire crystals. D. Matte silver with applied yellow gold faceted baton indexes, luminous dots, subsidiary dials for the seconds and the 30-minute register, the days of the month, the 24 hours and the leap year, aperture for the days of the week, the months and the moon phases. Luminous yellow gold feuille hands. M. Cal. CH 27-70 Q, stamped with the Seal of Geneva Quality Mark, rhodium-plated, fausses cotes decoration, 24 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, free-sprung Gyromax balance adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 8 positions, shock absorber, self-compensating Breguet balance spring. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 36 mm. Thickness 13 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


This watch was delivered with luminous hands and dot markers at the owner?s request, as attested in the copy of the original order form and letter. Ref. 3970/ 3971 (1986-2005) The 3970 was introduced, for Patek Philippe?s 150th anniversary, to replace the successful model Ref. 2499, which had been produced from 1951 to 1985. Thanks to the explosive popularity of collecting vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches during the early 1980s, collectors had discovered the extreme rarity and enduring value associated with these timepieces. In a rare breach of Patek?s legendary secrecy, it was discovered that fewer than 400 pieces of Ref. 2499 timepieces, including the last evolution, the Ref. 2499/100, had been manufactured during the model?s entire production. Patek Philippe also sensed the need for a more modern design of its fl agship model, which had only undergone minor design revisions over a 30 year period. Antiquorum?s 1989 thematic auction ?The Art of Patek Philippe?, signaled the start of the company?s growing popularity among watch enthusiasts. Although Patek Philippe had always cultivated a discerning, loyal clientele, it was never a high profi le brand. That changed dramatically as affl uent individuals began purchasing modern Patek Philippe wristwatches to wear and enjoy. Consequently, thanks to the successful market of the late 1980s, the Ref. 3970 became a ?best seller? for Patek Philippe. Amazingly enough, only a handful of collectors recognized the true scarcity of certain variations for this watch, in particular, the endless possibilities for collecting Ref. 3970 by dial variation or different styled indexes and/ or hands.