With the advent of the 1960s, watch tastes changed, and in stark contrast to the production of the first half of the century, the 1960s and 1980s featured a glamorous case defined by a clean dial and sharp edges and corners. Watches were the mainstream. Amazing, sometimes “exaggerated” case architecture, and sometimes intricate metalwork (bas-reliefs, sculptures, guilloche patterns, etc.).
Ref released in 1981. 3450 is ref. It is the successor. 3448, the first automatic wristwatch with a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar. It looks similar to its ancestors, but has a leap year indicator on the dial. In addition, its caseback is slightly smaller and is fitted with a “lip”, enabling it to be easily removed. It is the first serially made Patek Philippe wristwatch featuring leap year indication allowing for an enormously simplified calendar setting procedure: earlier models required a potentially very lengthy synchronization procedure to manually identify the leap year and then advance to the current year in the cycle.
The case design of the model dates back to the 1960s (ref. 3448 was launched in 1962) and it is an ode to timelessly futuristic design: the dial is airy and clean and the aesthetic impact of the watch is entrusted to the sculpted case defined by the straight, angular lugs, the large polished sloped bezel (thus its Italian nickname “Padellone” meaning “big pan”) and the satinfinished band.
Technically, the model represents one of the unchallenged pinnacles of watchmaking. It is powered by cal. 27460Q, the perpetual (Q: Quantième) upgrade of calibre 27460 which is considered one of the best if not the best automatic movement of all times. It represents the final (and surprisingly not so well known) evolution of the famous cal. 12600, the first Patek Philippe automatic movement. As Rolex held the patent for the automatic rotor, Patek Philippe patiently waited for its expiration and in the meanwhile put their R&D department to work, for decades, on an automatic movement. The resulting cal. 12600 was already superb, but Patek Philippe strove to make it even better. When the company deemed to have gotten as close to perfection as possible, they renamed cal. 12600 as cal. 27460. Therefore, this is the most complex (perpetual calendar) variant of the latest evolution of what is considered the most advanced vintage (and according to some so far) self-winding movements.
Also, due to its short-term impact (1981 1985), Patek Philippe produced only a very limited amount of Reference 3450. This usually wraps the model in yellow gold. To date, scientists estimate that Patek Philippe has produced only 237 in total, making it one of the rarest Patek Philippe perpetual calendar models ever mass-produced.
This model stands out not only in its excellent condition, but above all in the presence of the original certificate, which greatly enhances the value of the collector.
Technical specifications of Patek 3450
- Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
- Year: 1983
- Reference No: 3450
- Movement No: 1’119’644
- Case No: 558’569
- Model Name: “Padellone”
- Material: 18K yellow gold
- Calibre: Automatic, cal. 27-460 Q, 37 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
- Bracelet/Strap: Leather
- Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
- Dimensions: 37.5mm
- Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
- Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of of Origin code-dated March 1983 and later burgundy electric automatic winding presentation box and outer packaging. Furthermore accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives.
This Patek 3450 Padellone has been SOLD FOR CHF 315,000 at The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022