Patek Philippe 3970EJ
The importance of the perpetual calendar chronograph in the history of Patek Philippe cannot be understated, the modestly sized reference 3970 introduced in 1986 provided a glimpse into the modernized production for the brand. Up until then, its predecessor reference 2499, produced from 1950-1985, was thought to have been produced in rather modest quantities (circa 349 examples) whereas the 3970s total production would be closer to 4’200 examples.
The 3970 represented a turning point for grande complications at Patek Philippe, prior to this both references, 1518 and 2499 combined production stood at around 630 examples. Despite its rather long production, 1986-2004, the reference 3970 can be segmented into four different generations, this particular example ref. 3970EJ forms part of the last generation and is believed to have been sold in 2001.
The fourth generation is similar to that of the third, with minor changes such as the updated serial number range and the addition of the deployant clasp. Additionally, the indexes feature a pointed finish as well as the pointed baton hands, it is estimated that no more than 2000 examples exist across the four metals.
The dial features 8 applied 18-carat gold pointed indexes and 4 applied 18-carat gold applied markers, similarly, the hands also mimic those of the batons. The dual apertures found at 12 o’clock just above the ‘Patek Philippe Geneve’ are used for both the day and month. The sunken sub-dial found at 3 o’clock is used for the 30-minute chronograph as well as the leap year indicator. At 9 o’clock the sunken sub-dial is used for the 60-second counter and a day-night indicator. The day and moon phase indicator are found at 6 o’clock. The overall aesthetic of the 3970 oozes elegance and the lack of a tachymeter allows for an undisturbed view of the dial. The 36mm case wears well due to its elongated lugs as well as the heft of the watch. There are four external pushers found on the periphery of the case, these can be used to set the complication.
This very reference also signified the transition from Valjoux based movements to Lemania based movements. The marked the first lemania movement to be found in a Patek Philippe wristwatch, the iconic calibre 2310 dates back to 1942. The under Patek Philippe, the calibre 2310 was renamed as the CH27-70Q and features an added perpetual calendar module. The movement is finished to a high standard and features different finishing techniques throughout the calibre.
Brand: Patek Philippe
Case Diameter: 36mm / Yellow Gold
Box and Papers: Extract Copy