Patek Philippe 3970ER '3rd Series'

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The warm pink gold, contrasting the opaline dial: perhaps the last truly vintage complicated hallmark of Patek Philippe? Regardless, this 90's Perpetual Calendar with chronograph is one of the best value buys there is.

There are just very few models from the top brands that remain ‘underrated’ and it’s always interesting how one can argue that a specific model deserves more credit, whilst someone else doesn’t necessarily grasps the historical importance of it. Furthermore, it might be hard to convince somebody, let alone a regular non-watch geek, that a watch over 100K is undervalued.

Starting off with the case. We specifically mentioned 3970E, where the letter stands for the French word “Etanche” which means: waterproof. Yet the first 100 pieces that left the factory had a Snap-On case back and thus are not 3970E but merely 3970. From the 2nd series onwards, they fitted the 3970 with a screw-down case back and by doing so they finally accomplished the production of a waterproof Grand Complication.

The three-piece head itself is quite thick and sports a concave bezel. The side of the case features 4 correctors to set the different calendric features. The pushers are round and have a traditional placement at the 2 and 4 o’clock position. The crown is ribbed, to improve grip, and is adorned with the Calatrava cross. All remaining in perfect condition.

Few things are closer to perfection than the dial lay-out of the 3970. Surrounded by an open minute track we can find a lot going on in the center of the dial to display all the different functions, yet it remains a delight for the eye. Above the brand-name one can read the day and month in faceted apertures. The sub-dials at 3 and 9 are also lowered. The last mentioned featuring a chrono-minute counter as well as the leap-year indication. On the opposite part of the dial is the decentral seconds and 24-hour indication. Last but not least: the moon phase and date at the bottom. The 3rd series feature pointed markers and baton hands. The text color is contrasting the opaline dial and a lovely classic font is used. The numbers are all Arabic.

Regarding the movement; you’d probably expected the utmost quality for their flagship Grand Complication. Spot-on with the CH27-70Q, a Lemania based caliber. Obviously this Ebauche was modified, for example the addition of the perpetual calendar module, and finished plus decorated to the liking of the Patek artisans. Making it not only reliable but mouthwatering to look at as well. Pay attention to the exquisite chamfering and the Geneva stripes on the surface.

This complicated marvel dates back to 1997 but just received a complete overhaul at the Salon on Rue de Rhone. In addition it is supplied with the extract of the archive and an original black crocodile strap with original, matching-metal buckle.


Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped within the Netherlands by Registered Mail through the Dutch carrier PostNL and for other countries by Fedex. Consult us if you prefer another method of shipping. For most destinations tracking is available.