Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/103

Museum Piece
Patek Philippe’s ultra exclusive timepieces have always been intended for the lucky few.
This exceptionally rare reference 3800 combines our favorite Nautilus size with one of the most beautiful gem-settings we’ve ever seen.
Patek Philippe introduced the 3800 as the midsize brother of the original 3700 Nautilus, clocking in at a diameter of 37.5 mm. The 3800 wasn’t just a shrunken Nautilus, but introduced some important improvements vis-à-vis its big brother. For instance, the 3800 was the first Nautilus to feature an in-house automatic movement: the caliber 335 SC. Moreover, the 3800 also was the first Nautilus reference to feature a center seconds (as indicated by the “SC”, which stands for seconde centrale).
The ref. 3800/103 is one of the rarest and most resplendent sub-references of the 3800, with only a handful produced in the late 1980s and early 1990s known to market. The Gerald Genta designed case and integrated bracelet are executed in 18k yellow gold, while the bezel features 40 brilliant-cut factory-set diamonds.
The exceptional dial features a champagne center, in the same rounded octagonal shape as the iconic Nautilus bezel, surrounded by a ring with a dazzling pavé diamond setting and ruby-set hour markers. Meanwhile, the beautiful broad 18k yellow gold dauphine hands provide the perfect counterweight to the bold dial and bezel configuration.
This exceptional 3800/103 from 1989 is in excellent condition and comes with an extract from the Patek Philippe archives.
Patek Philippe’s ultra exclusive timepieces have always been intended for the lucky few. Its mechanical masterpieces were traditionally made from precious metals and worn by an elegant lady or gentleman. After the roaring success of Audemars Piguet’s Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak, Patek decided that it also needed its own luxury steel sports watch.As the story goes, Gerald Genta drew the initial design of the Nautilus while observing a group of Patek executives having dinner during the Baselworld watch fair. When the Nautilus was introduced in 1976 it was advertised as a watch that worked equally well with a wet suit as with a dinner suit. Not quite incidentally, it was also the most expensive steel sports watch available in the market.Ever since the very first Nautilus, the Patek and Nautilus names have become inseparable. Over the years, many variations, with different materials, dial colors and layouts, and complications, have been added to the Nautilus lineup. However, Genta’s original design elements have remained in all these executions: a rounded octagonal bezel inspired by the portholes of a ship with ‘ears’ on the sides of the case that look like the hinges of a porthole.