Nautilus 3800/1A | steel
It’s been 45 years 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 (equally designed by Mr Genta) - 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. Made out of steel, this example features a rare diamond-set dial. Typically, gemstone markers are only found on precious metal Nautilus watches, made of gold or platinum, with only a small handful of steel examples with diamond-set dials coming to market. According to SJX, in May 2017 only 15 examples had appeared at auction to date. In many ways, the paradox of a practical, steel case combined with a diamond-set dial is part of the appeal of this specific timepiece.
The polished baton hands, with luminous inserts, have developed a warm patina, complimenting the cooler tones of the dial. The watch also further features a rarer, dark-coloured date disc. The lower case Greek letter ‘sigma’ at the bottom of the dial is a visual declaration of the use of precious materials on the dial, 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 integral bracelet 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.
This Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1A comes with its Certificate of Origin and leather folder, which indicates that it was sold in May 1983, at the Patek Philippe salon in Geneva. It also confirms that the watch was originally sold with a night blue ("bleu nuit") diamond-set dial. It comes with its original large-link 3800/001 stainless steel bracelet and signed clasp.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Nautilus Ref. 3800/1A|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic Cal. 335 SC|
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, central seconds|
|Features:||dark blue diamond-set dial, rare black date-disc|
|Case:||37.5mm stainless steel|
|Bracelet:||large-link 3800/001 stainless steel bracelet, signed clasp|
|Year:||May 1983 (sold)
|Box & papers:||Certificate of Origin, leather folder|
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