PATEK PHILIPPE SECOND SERIES ROSE GOLD REF. 3970ER
The ref. 3970 was released in 1986 and replaced the ref. 2499 as the flagship perpetual calendar chronograph of the marque. Utilizing a Patek Philippe finished Lemania caliber, rather than the Valjoux caliber of its predecessor, the ref. 3970 remained in production for almost 20 years.
This second series example was last sold publicly June 14, 2007 by Antiquorum, New York and had at the time its original Patek Certificate of Origin and papers from Patek Philippe Japan. Today, the watch still retains a copy of this Certificate of Origin, Extract from the Archives, fitted box, buckle and setting pin. However, the most important feature of ‘The Japanese Rose’ is the fact that it has two backs, a feature rarely seen on a second series. The extra sapphire back was only made upon special request and in this case for an important Japanese customer. Together with the second series dial featuring batons and feuille hands, this watch is an exciting addition to a collection, or to have the opportunity to own an important early ref. 3970, one of the earliest examples with two case backs.
Today, many collectors find the ref. 3970 the ultimate ‘bargain’ of Patek Philippe’s high complication watches. However, be warned, interest in this reference is growing by the minute. Astute buyers are seeing the ref. 3970 for what it is: a benchmark reference that is only growing in popularity and becoming the trophy purchase of a new generation of collectors. Much has been written on the reference (and more in the works) but it is highly recommended you read Cara Barrett’s ‘In-Depth’ article on Hodinkee to get a detailed overview of the ref. 3970.