Antoine Gerlach’s craftsmanship was in regular demand by Patek Philippe
throughout the 1960s, and he is believed to have been influential in its design. Gerlach’s signature can be found on the inner-caseback, below the serial numbers. First registered on September 8th, 1934, the Poinçon de Maître No.5 (known as the ‘Key of Geneva’), with a number ‘4’ located within – is specific to Antoine Gerlach SA. This was born of a decision by La Fédération Horlogère Suisse
, requiring all precious metal cases to be stamped with the collective mark (Poinçon de Maître) of the Federation.
Refined in its execution, at first glance, the 3448
appears to be a triple-calendar with moon-phase, only to in fact automatically adjust for the month of February, as well as leap years. If the watch were to remain wound, no correction would be required until the year 2100. Described by the brand as “the watch that thinks”, the reference 3448
perfectly fit the dawn of the Digital Age.
It is understood less than 600 examples were produced, with most cased in yellow-gold (approximately 450 - 500 examples), like this piece. Others were produced in white-gold, and two examples are known to have been made in rose-gold.
Sized at 37.5 mm, the case was given the Italian nicknames “Disco Volante” (flying-saucer) and “Padellone” (large frying pan).This innovative, three-piece design was at the limits of what was possible for the time: razor-sharp lugs, a circular polished case (with flat satin-finished band) and a sloped bezel (fitted with a raised plexiglass). The 3448
also uses an integrated crown, which when disengaged, sits recessed into the case-band. Introduced after the ref. 2497
, which was discontinued in 1961, the 3448
represents a significant step in Patek Philippe
’s approach to design.
The dial of this example features small-line minute divisions, as well as a large date ring, more-commonly seen in later 3448
s. This version of the minute-track was used on early 3448
s, prior to the introduction of the ‘pearl’ design, before being reintroduced during production of third-series examples. Whilst many ref. 3448
s carry a “Swiss only” designation at 6 o’clock, this watch carries an ‘Aprior’ dial, which uses a “Sigma Swiss Sigma” designation. This identifies the use of gold for the faceted indexes, complimenting the yellow-gold dauphine hands.
The reference 3488
is powered by the first ever automatic-winding perpetual calendar movement, the Calibre 27-460 Q
, with ‘Q’ referring to Quantieme Perpetuel
. The 27-460 Q
features Patek Philippe
's famed free-sprung Gyromax
balance, with four ruby wheels to support the full-diameter rotor, which runs on a beryllium rail for stability. The solid-gold rotor is finished in classic Patek Philippe
style, with circular Geneva stripes. Considered by many as one of the most stunningly refined and technically impressive wrist-watch movements ever made, the calibre represents an important development in modern watchmaking.
The watch has its original black strap, as well as brand new brown and taupe calf leather straps, all from Patek Philippe. The watch comes with the corresponding Patek Philippe yellow gold tang buckle.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment only.