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The 3940* is a complicated perpetual calendar watch that was created during the Quartz Crisis. It has endured through the years to become a highly coveted collector’s piece, beloved for its balanced layout, svelte profile, and classic look.
An elegant piece that has found itself in high demand from collectors in recent years, the reference 3940 is perhaps the most iconic perpetual calendar of the modern era. The design focuses on balance – with sub-dials placed at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock respectively – and more crucially, in a way that does not make the dial seem over-complicated, despite the highly complicated nature of the watch itself.
This platinum example possesses a remarkably refined and subtle look, with a lightly brushed silver dial. Watches with platinum cases were usually accompanied by a solid caseback, and this piece is no exception. Several factors distinguish this as a third series piece, including the fact that the positioning of the Swiss sigma on the dial is in line with the outer minute track, while the font of the subdials has been updated to a more modern sans serif font type, as seen with the number 5 and letter J.
Created at the turn of the century, this watch is an excellent example of the neo-vintage movement, marking an exciting period of rebirth for the watch industry. At 36mm, the watch is a size that is reminiscent of vintage examples, further adding to its charm.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Patek Philippe 3940P will be subject to 20% VAT.
A Collected Man saffiano strap, Patek Philippe deployant clasp
18 x 14mm
Box & papers:
This platinum Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940P is preserved in excellent condition. The case shows some light superficial marks throughout, consistent with wear over time. As seen in the product photography, the underside hallmarks have begun to fade, most notably on the top left lug, suggestive of a previous polishing. Overall, the case still retains strong lines and a thick profile, indicating this was carried out to an excellent standard.
It is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year mechanical warranty from A Collected Man.
We stand by the quality of all of our pre-owned watches and mechanical objects. If something goes wrong, we’ll always strive to remedy the situation in a timely manner and to the best of our ability. The satisfaction and trust of our clients is of the highest importance, to everyone at A Collected Man.
All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough, non-invasive mechanical inspections and have been serviced, if appropriate, to ensure that they meet our highest standards of timekeeping and functionality.
Our pre-owned watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by either a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. This excludes any damage sustained due to improper use or accident. Due to their age, some pre-owned watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when new.
Any of our pre-owned watches which have been serviced by their respective manufacturer, will carry the manufacturer’s servicing guarantee. This is separate and supersedes, the standard warranty offered by A Collected Man. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. You can write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, for further clarification.
A Collected Man is also an authorised retailer for a number of watchmaking brands. These watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer.
We offer complimentary worldwide delivery on our watches. If ordering from overseas, delivery will depend on the value of the timepiece and the destination. All import taxes and duties are the responsibility of the buyer.
If ordering from the UK before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.
Please note that pre-owned goods (in the United Kingdom) are subject to a marginal rate of VAT, which can not be reclaimed. For further information, please seehere.
To introduce the reference 3940 in 1985 was a rather audacious move.
The Swiss watch industry was still feeling the effects of not only the Quartz crisis, but also a global economic downturn which resulted in massive downsizing for many watch brands, with some pivoting towards this new technology and some having to fold altogether. But rather than follow the wind, Philippe Stern decided instead to double-down on the brand’s heritage by creating a pair of complicated references: the 3940 and its sister, the perpetual calendar chronograph reference 3970.
Rather significantly, the two references essentially kick-started the serial production of complicated Patek Philippe watches. A rather daring step, considering most of the industry was moving away from tradition, rather than embracing it. As Sean Song, a vintage watch dealer and collector puts it, “It marked a return for high end watch brands. At the moment, I think the 3940 is more important to Patek Philippe themselves than to collectors, as they know just how significant this release was for the continuity of their brand.”
Three different configurations of the first series: yellow gold with an opaline dial, yellow gold with a golden dial and platinum with an opaline dial.
Early second series in white gold (left) and late second series in platinum (right)
A third series in platinum, with focus on some key details (notice the higher Sigma signature and the more modern sans serif font type)
Prior to these, complicated watches by the manufacture were produced in relatively small numbers. To give you an idea of scale, the iconic 2499 is believed to have been made in 366 pieces over 35 years, with numbers cited closer to 4,000 for its successor, the 3970.
However, whereas the 3970 was a continuation, the 3940 was something new. It decided to abandon the aesthetics cemented by previous references. The dial layout was revamped, with the day and month aperture being replaced with three sub-dials. The sharp lines were substituted for a smoother, more modern design. Powered by a much thinner movement, it enabled an elegant, slim case that fit tightly to the wrist.