PATEK PHILIPPE, JUMBO NAUTILUS, REF. 3700/1
ICONEEK price: 82'500.- CHF
Iconeek is very proud to present here, one of the most iconic, famous and sought-after 1970s self-winding wristwatch with date and integrated bracelet: the Jumbo Nautilus. The legendary Nautilus collection was introduced in 1976 when Patek Philippe was not only looking for a new style, a modern construction, but it had to have also an inimitable personality, to compete with the AP model, The Royal Oak. The goal was to enter in a new market and attract a younger clientele. The selling price was above some gold models, around 3'100 usd in 1978, and Patek's advert was « One of the world’s costliest watch is made of steel».
"The Nautilus is the most rugged wrist watch ever designed by Patek Philippe and one of the slimmest" quoted the prestigious brand in the 1970s. Not only the model was inspired by a universal shape of a porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels, but also the whole sealing system, patented on March 23, 1976 patent no. CH607869, where the bezel is secured to the case by two screws, on each side, hidden in the two symmetrical extensions.
Made in nickel-chrome-molybdenum steel by Favre-Perret, these cases were build to be resistant to 120 meters. The Nautilus is well born from the famous and genius watch’s designer Gerald Genta, four years after the introduction of the Genta’s other masterpiece in 1972: the Royal Oak AP. In fact in the 1970s, AP, Patek and Vacheron and others had to joined to the « club » of water-resistant wristwatches, led at the time by Rolex and Omega.
The 3700/1A was produced from 1976 till 1986 and is said to be the King of all versions, due to its oversized diameter. With its 42 mm two-body case, the watch was incredibly large for the time, reason why the model is growing in demand each years by collectors worldwide. The steel version was in Patek Philippe catalogs till 1987. Around the 1980s, Patek Philippe introduced a second generation of Jumbo Nautilus, the reference 3700/11, with the cases and bracelets made by their Atelier Reunis Workshop.
Under the flat sapphire crystal, we find a superb mint black/blue, aka "deep ocean grey" by PP, ribbed dial with Aprior mark « o swiss o » is fitted with applied luminous white gold baton indexes, luminous hands and an aperture for the quick date at 3. Trained eyes will notice than the dial is not only black but depending on the light becomes petrol blue. It is interesting to notice that these dials, created by Stern Frères, were made with a black painted base covered by a protective layer, so called zappon. Depending on time, oxydation, exposition to light, these dials were « color-changed », turning into a variation of grey, brown, or blue petrol color, such as the present watch.
The watch is powered by a caliber 28-255C, a thin 3.15 mm only, automatic movement, hand-finished, stamped with the Geneva seal, with 36 jewels, Gyromax balance, free sprung regulator, 18K gold rim to the rotor. These movements were really thin for the time, using a Jaeger-LeCoultre ébauche, with Patek finishing, of course. Case, dial and movement are signed.
The Jumbo Nautilus is one of the most sought-after timepieces at auction, for several reasons: the iconic shape, the XXL size, the brand, the overall superb finish, the attractive blue-black dial, the rarety. This superb watch comes with an extract from the Archives confirming production in 1977, and its sale in February 7th 1978.
This model remains, 40 years after its creation, one of the biggest Nautilus ever produced by the manufacture, along with the recent ref. 5711/1 and its 43 mm. However for purists, the two-part construction is more attractive and interesting than the usual « classical » three-body construction with screwed case back found on the 5711/1. The Nautilus collection is today more than ever at its best, the real proof of a successful avant-gardiste design. With its iconic status, the original model will turn 40 next year, without any wrinkles. Patek's advert was so true : " The rudged watch that feels right on every occasion", the Nautilus has established itself all the standards of how must be a luxury sport watch. A rare-to-find early model in such good condition, a true must-have!.
Ref. 3700/1 is described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p.230 & 231. The model is also illustrated in Patek Philippe in America, by John Readon, pages 270 & 271.
Condition: 8.5/10, in very good overall condition for its age, some signs of wear in places, later original dial, case back engraved with initials
Brand: Patek Philippe
Model: Nautilus "Jumbo"
Year : 1977
Movement no. : 1304187
Case no.: 534116
Material: Stainless steel
Dial: petrol blue, luminous hands, aperture for the date
Movement: 28'255C, mechanical, rhodium plated, self-winding, Gyromax balance, 36 jewels, stamped with the Seal of Geneva
Bracelet: stainless steel, with hidden secured deployant clasp, approx. overall length 190 mm.
Water-resistant: yes, tested
Dimensions: 42 mm wide (bezel from 3 to 9), diameter 40 mm., thickness 7.45 mm.
Accessories: Extract from the Archives, ICONEEK certificate of authenticity