More than forty years have passed since the introduction of the original Patek Philippe Nautilus
and this now classic timepiece, is more popular than ever. Originally unveiled in the mid-1970s and designed by the legendary Gérald Genta, the Nautilus
has become a veritable horological icon thanks to its pioneering role amongst 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 steel (for the standard version).
The reference 3800/1
(seen in this example), was first produced in the early 1980s, as an alternative to the original ‘Jumbo
- with a reduced diameter of 37.5mm (over 41mm) - in response to the initial slow start of the original reference. As with all Nautilus
examples, the reference 3800/1
features an integrated, water-tight "porthole" case, famously penned by Gérald Genta.
In essence, the 3800 Nautilus
is a scaled-down version of the original reference 3700
. The watch displays the same dark, ridged dial with horizontal grooves (as seen in the 3700
), along with applied tritium-filled hour markers, white outer-minute divisions, polished baton hands (with luminous inserts) and 3 o’clock date aperture.
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 bracelet are excellently finished, with beveled, polished and granular surfaces. The original, large-link bracelet retains 21 links, 8 of which are removable. At 37.5mm in diameter, and only 7.5mm thick, the 3800
case is an elegant twist of perspectives and size, comfortably suited to most wrist sizes. The inner-case-back correctly displays the watch’s unique serial number (291 XXXX
), as well as the reference number ‘3800/1
’, below the manufacture’s signature. The underside of the hinge-inspired 'ears' (located at 3 and 9 o'clock) also features a 3-digit serial number, appropriately matching the last 3-digits on the inner case-back.
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. Importantly, its movement serial number (1.931.XXX
) corresponds with its year of production.
The present example was manufactured in 1993, evidenced by the accompanying Archive Extract, confirming the date of sale as January 13th, 1994.
With exception to a small number special pieces, Tiffany and Co
are today, the only retailer given the blessing of Patek Philippe
to proudly display their signature on dial. This co-branding is testament to the deep bond shared by retailer and manufacturer.
Although without its original Certificate of Origin, having been inspected by a long-standing Patek Philippe trained watchmaker, and a Tiffany & Co Patek Philippe specialist, we are completely confident in the authenticity and provenance of the piece.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.