Phillips to Offer ‘The Blue Royale’, a Unique Patek Philippe Reference 3448/100 Cased in Platinum with Sapphire-Set Indexes at the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced the sale of a unique Patek Philippe reference 3448/100, a perpetual calendar wristwatch cased in platinum, to be auctioned during The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII on 27 and 28 November.

This example from 1973 is the only example known with unique sapphire-set indexes, making it one of the most celebrated reference 3448 to be offered to the public.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

First introduced in 1962, Patek Philippe’s groundbreaking reference 3448 was the world’s first self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch, and it was the only self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch available in the market for the next 16 years.

Nicknamed the “Padellone” by Italian collectors, the reference is adored by collectors for its oversized, 37.5 mm diameter case with clean, angular lines and dial with perfect harmony and symmetry.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

Discontinued in 1986, together along with its short-lived counterpart reference 3450 equipped with a leap year indication, it is believed that an estimated 568 examples were produced over the course of its production across all metals, with the majority in yellow gold, a small number in white gold and in pink gold, and only two in platinum that were originally born with gold cases.

The two known examples cased in platinum were both re-cased in 1997 including an example from 1966, which sold for over CHF one million at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN in May 2018.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

The present example from 1973 is the only example known with unique sapphire-set indexes. Only a prominent collector with high standing with the Stern family, the owners of Patek Philippe, could obtain the utmost privilege of having a special platinum cased reference 3448.

These platinum examples were both special orders by the original owners and the commission for these unique pieces taking place 11 years after the discontinuation of the reference had to be re-produced.

The present example is perhaps the only complicated Patek Philippe reference from the respective era to feature sapphire-set indexes, making this already rare timepiece in its case, unique. To further exemplify its importance, the present example is one of three known reference 3448 to feature a sapphire display caseback, possibly a result from the specific request from the original owner to admire the finest self-winding caliber at the time, cal. 27-460 Q.

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