.Patek Philippe Platinum Perpetual Calendar ref. 3940P-011 – very rare and highly collectible important watch

.Patek Philippe Platinum Perpetual Calendar ref. 3940P-011 – very rare and highly collectible important watch


Patek Philippe Platinum Perpetual Calendar ref. 3940P-011 – very rare and highly collectible important watch

Patek Philippe ref. 3940P-011 – a platinum automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, 24 hour and leap year indication, first / very early second series in Platinum, less than 100 produced.

While many aficionados of horology recognize Patek Philippe’s dominance in the fabrication of a repeating timepiece, its perpetual calendar is a predominant reason that has attributed to the brand’s success and remained as a relevant complication to the many signature collections we enjoy today. The birth of the first perpetual calendar wristwatch with an automatic movement was with the legendary reference 3448 that was in production from 1962 to 1981 and has proven its success with the multiple record breaking achievements in auction history, and the present watch reference 3940 was the successor to this collection. 
Although the reference 3940 may not be crowned as the world’s first automatic perpetual calendar, it features an impressive movement of its own. Powered by the ultra-thin perpetual calendar caliber 240 equipped with a micro-rotor, this movement was a triumph of micro-engineering and allowed the invention of many great examples that includes the Patek Philippe Nautilus Reference 5740 and base movements for minute repeaters as well.

Dial: silvered

Caliber: cal. 240 Q automatic, 27 jewels

Case: platinum, snap-on case back

Closure: platinum Patek Philippe deployant buckle and platinum Patek Philippe tang buckle

Size: 36 mm diameter

Signed: case, dial and movement

Box: yes

Papers: Extract from the Patek Philippe Archives

Accessories: Extract from the Patek Philippe Archives, Patek Philippe wooden presentation box with instructional sheet, additional platinum Patek Philippe deployant buckle, booklets, leather bi-fold, and setting pin

Case: massive, polished, satined, concave bezel, sapphire crystal. 

Dial: mat silver, with applied platinum indexes + auxiliary dials for the days of the month, of the week, the 24 hours, the months and the leap year, aperture for the lunations. ” Dauphine” platinum hands. 
Movement: 240-Q rhodiumed, „fausses côtes” decoration, 27 jewels, lever escapement, Giromax balance adjusted to heat, cold isochronism and 5 positions, selfcompensating Breguet balance-spring, mobile stud bearer, 22 carat gold micro-rotor mounted on bail bearings, mono-directional winding. 
Dial, case and movement signed. 
Very rare, currently only available piece worldwide in platinum.  

Patek Philippe introduced the reference 3940 Perpetual Calendar in 1985, alongside the reference 3970 (Perpetual Calendar Chronograph). These two complex watches were launched during the „Quartz Crisis,” a period when many brands were focused on the threat posed by changing trends. The reference 3940 was produced from 1985 to 2007 and has since become a „Grail Watch” for many collectors. Initially, it was available exclusively in yellow gold (in limited numbers for Beyer), and later in rose gold, white gold, and platinum.

During the „Quartz Crisis,” major Swiss companies were not creating complicated timepieces, as the industry’s decline meant there was no spare capital for innovative investments. They had just enough resources to maintain their remaining market share. Introducing both a perpetual calendar and a perpetual calendar chronograph (ref. 3970) simultaneously was a bold move by Patek Philippe. The timing was perfect, as people were beginning to appreciate the value of mechanical watches again. This was partly because observing a mechanical watch and its movement is a very tangible experience—you can see how it works and how everything is connected, unlike a quartz watch powered by an incomprehensible chip. Perhaps it ties into a universal admiration for craftsmanship, but regardless of the reason, this watch is a significant foundation for Patek Philippe’s success today despite the challenges faced. It’s no coincidence that Philippe Stern himself, despite having access to any Patek Philippe watch he desired, chose to wear a 3940 every day.

Apart from the historical significance, the 3940 itself is a marvel in both design and movement. It houses the beautifully finished in-house perpetual calendar caliber 240 Q, featuring an integrated off-center micro rotor, allowing this incredibly complicated watch to remain astonishingly slim at just 9mm thick. To ensure such a small rotor could power the watch, it was made from 22k gold, with the additional weight providing more force to wind the watch.

Creating a perpetual calendar is a formidable task, involving 275 different parts. As a testament to its complexity, at the time of its release, only two people in the manufacture were permitted to assemble such intricate watches. While a perpetual calendar may not have the same status as a chronograph, despite being more challenging to produce, due to its lack of tactile interaction, the skill required to create a watch with a memory of four years, accounting for the days in each month including February and leap years, is immense. Adding a moon phase and 24-hour clock further underscores the complexity of this remarkable timepiece.

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