Nautilus 3800/1A | steel
The historyMore than forty years has passed since the creation of the original Patek Philippe Nautilus and this now classic piece, is more popular than ever. First unveiled by Patek Philippe in the 1970s and designed by Gérald Genta - who incidentally designed the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak amongst others - the Nautilus has become a cultural icon due to its distinctive features and its role as a pioneer for high-end luxury sports watches.
The Nautilus was released later than the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet, and offered a different take on the idea of a luxury sports watch, though - like the Royal Oak - it was made in stainless steel.
The reference 3800/1A (seen in this example), was first produced in the early 1980s, as an alternative to the ‘Jumbo’ 3700 - with a reduced diameter of 37.5mm - in response to the initial slow start of the original reference. As with all Nautilus examples, the reference 3800/1A features an integrated, water-tight "porthole" case, famously penned by Mr. Gérald Genta.
In essence, the reference 3800 is a scaled-down version of the 3700. The watch displays a similar dark, ridged dial, with horizontal grooves (as seen in the 3700/1), along with applied tritium-filled hour markers, white outer-minute divisions, polished baton hands (with luminous inserts) and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. Complementing the dial, is the rarer, dark-coloured date disc.
With this example, the index-markers and hands are manufactured from white gold, indicated by the lower case Greek letter ‘Sigma’ at the bottom of the dial. The ‘Sigma’ signature was a visual declaration of the use of precious materials, and was adopted by a number of manufactures throughout the 70’s - emphasising the inherent value of a high-quality, mechanical watch.
Like the ref. 3700, the case and the original large-link integral 3800/001 stainless steel bracelet and signed clasp are excellently finished, with angular, beveled and polished edges. The polished screws, bezel and case edges fantastically-contrast with the brushed surface of the case and bracelet. At 37.5mm in diameter, and only 7.5mm thick, this 3800 Nautilus case is an elegant twist of perspectives and size, and wears comfortably on the wrist.
As a result of Patek Philippe's decision to develop its own in-house, ultra-slim movement, the reference 3800 features an updated calibre 335 S C (for “seconde centrale” or “central second”), replacing the previous calibre 28-255C movement. The calibre 335 S C features 29 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance; adjusted to cold, heat, isochronism, and 5 positions, a self-compensating flat balance spring and shock absorber mechanism. Furthermore, the solid-gold rotor is finished in classic Patek Philippe style, with circular Geneva stripes.
Overall, this Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1A is one of the best examples we've seen to date, boasting a nicely-preserved thick case and bracelet, rich yellow tritium, sought-after black date disc and stamped/dated Certificate of Origin in its leather folder, which indicates that it was sold in March 1985, in Belgrade.
Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.
|Model:||Nautilus Ref. 3800/1A|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic Cal. 335 SC|
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, central seconds|
|Features:||dark blue ridged dial, rare black date-disc|
|Case:||37.5mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||large-link 3800/001 stainless steel bracelet, signed clasp|
|Box & papers:||Certificate of Origin, leather folder, Patek Philippe pouch|
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