3970EP-046 | Grand Complications

  • Collection: Grand Complications
  • Model reference: 3970EP-046
  • Case/Size: Platinum, 36mm
  • Dial: Black
  • Movement: Manual-winding
  • Functions: Perpetual calendar, chronograph, moon phase
  • Condition: Brand new

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Description

Grand father of the 5970 and the current younger generation 5270 series, the Patek Philippe 3970 replaced the mighty 2499, it was born in 1986 and produced until 2004.  Main distinctive features  were its smaller size from its predecessor standing 37,5mm the 3970 had a diameter of  36mm only, it was the trend in the 80s for smaller cases also for the very first time the leap year indicator was integrated into the chronograph’s minute’s sub-dial at 3 o’clock and the 24-hour indicator as well, some very useful new features for that period.   The movement powering this watch is the famous Lemania  2310 base modified heavily by Patek Philippe, known as caliber CH 27-70 Q

Throughout its lifetime that lasted almost two decades, the reference 3970 was was offered it in four metals, yellow, rose, white gold and platinum. Made in four series :  

The first series only in yellow gold under reference 3970J and produced in 1986 only (around ±100 made), its main attribute is that it is not water resistant due to its snap-on solid case back and the hands are “feuille” (leaf) or dauphine hands along with matching gold baton markers if one notices two sub-dials are “off-white”, not the same color as the rest of the dial.
There is a sibling which had the reference 3971, identical but with a lovely snap-on sapphire crystal case-back, around ±300 only made.  We should also mention that a few were made with an integrated full metal bracelet.

The second series made between 1987 and 1990, had the reference updated with an E (for étanche in French meaning water-resistant) so referenced 3970E(J/R/G/P), it was fitted with a solid screw down caseback, between both the 3970 and 3971 around ±650 were produced.  The dial seems clearer because now the two sub-dials are the same color as the rest of the dial.  Applied stick indexes in gold with feuille/leaf hands remain identical to the previous series.

Third series, made between 1990 to 1995, with the same reference 3970E, this time the watch came by default with both solid and sapphire crystal screw back cases, hands are baton as well as the new thinner and longer indexes with pointed tip. Dial was finished differently and therefore looks brighter.

The fourth and last series, made between around 1995 to 2004 is technically identical to the third series but with a new serial number range and it was supplied with a deployant clasp, roughly 2000 pieces were produced.  

 

The present reference 3970EP-046, an extremely rare piece, estimated to be around a dozen only made as a limited edition re-release of the 3970 in platinum at the 2015 Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London.

It is a lot of watch packed into a 36mm x 12.9mm platinum case. It is old school in every aspect, with its traditional size and fit and the good old movement inside.
Speaking of the case, it is a gorgeous multi-tiered case evolving into a concave bezel, sliding easily under the cuff.
The mushroom pushers add to that classic look and feel and the crown is adorned with a Calatrava cross engraving.

The dial has a beautiful contrast, and what makes this edition distinct is the dot indices instead of baton markers, a Breguet 12 numeral, tachymeter scale, dauphine hands on a black lacquer dial.
It displays the Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Day / Night Indication | Date, Day, Leap Year, Month, Perpetual Calendar and the Chronograph
Even though it packs all of that within a 36mm case, the dial layout is surprisingly legible and easy to read. Something that Patek has mastered in their iconic Perpetual Chronograph grand complications.

Seen through the sapphire case back is the CH 27-70 Q Calibre based on the legendary Lemania 2310 – the old school hand-wound column wheel Chronograph with a lateral clutch, featuring some technical enhancements such as the free-sprung gyromax balance. The upgraded movement offers 65 hours of power reserve. The finishing on the movement is impeccable, with mirrored anglage on bridges and levers, black polished and chamfered screws, satin finish on all the chronograph components, perlage on the baseplate and Côtes de Genève on the bridges. With so much attention to detail, one would gladly wear this piece upside down. The Geneva hallmark is only the cherry on top.

This gorgeous work of art is offered on a hand-stitched large scale black alligator strap with a platinum folding clasp.

 

 

Patek Philippe – Bio

Patek Philippe & Co. was founded in 1839, located in Geneva and the Vallée de Joux. It designs and manufactures timepieces and movements, including some of the most complicated mechanical watches. It is considered by many experts and aficionados to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers.
In 1868, Patek Philippe made their first wristwatch, which was sold on November 13, 1876 to the Hungarian Countess.
It is the last independent, family-owned Genevan watch manufacture with uninterrupted operating history spanning nearly 180 years.

Additional information

Accessories:

Accompanied by a leather wallet with Patek Philippe international warranty certificate, product literature and a wooden presentation box