PATEK PHILIPPE YELLOW GOLD REF. 3940J
The development of the ref. 3940 was a bold move for Patek Philippe. When launched in 1985, the ref. 3940 replaced the ref. 3450, a much different watch mechanically and aesthetically. The caliber 240 Q was more modern, flatter and captured the spirit of Patek Philippe in the 1980s. The fact that Patek Philippe and the Stern family embraced tradition and still acknowledged the need for change, is the very essence of the ref. 3940’s DNA. The best estimated guess of total production of ref. 3940 from 1985 – 2007 is approximately 7,000 – 8,000 examples. Specialists generally concur that 1,300 – 1,500 examples of the first series were made, 3,500 in the second series, and approximately 2,200 in the third series. Patek Philippe has not shared actual production totals. For a detailed look at the ref. 3940, please see this link.
From a market perspective, it is Collectability’s opinion that the ref. 3940 is still highly undervalued. In 2007, when the reference was discontinued the retail price of a yellow gold ref. 3940 was 61,000 CHF and a platinum 77,000 CHF. Today, examples can be found for significantly less than these prices, occasionally even much less depending on condition and completeness. Earlier examples from the first and second series are bringing important numbers at auction and first series examples in particular are now one of the most sought-after trophies in Patek Philippe collecting circles. For the price, there is arguably no other watch that encapsulates all that defines Patek Philippe at a price point that is relatively accessible.