Patek Philippe 3970

Patek Philippe 3970

Patek Philippe 3970 Platinum Versions
Before I start listing the below, note that the naming of the reference (including numbers in the suffix) is taken from the Certificate of Origin, or if not available, then the website where promoted. As such, there may be errors in the naming – please let me know if you catch any. I lead with the year of manufacture and movement/case number if known. Below the sold piece I include any comments on the dial that are included in the description, beyond that it is black and non-diamond marks. 3970EPA (?!) 2003: 3’047’031/4’225’242 – Sotheby’s: June 4, 2019 ($106.25k) 3970EP-010 1997: 3’045’664/4’010’766 – Sotheby’s: Dec 9, 2022 ($189k) 1998: unknown movement/case numbers – Subdial: May 2022 (asking price was 145,000 GBP) 3970EP-019 1997: 3’045’664/4’010’766 – Christie’s: May 4, 2023 ($352.8k) – Arabic numerals, feuille hands, custom replacement dial – Noted as 3970E on Extract, and as 3970EP-019 on the Origin 3970-020 2001: 3’046’276/unknown case number – Govberg: unknown date sold (unknown price) (likely watch shown in this YouTube video from 2018, and references a “third generation dial” but “fourth generation…because it comes with a full platinum clasp”; other possible videos is here (from 2020) 2002: 3’0xx’xxx/unknown case number – ONBEHALF: unknown date sold (unknown price) 2004: 3’047’287/4’273’073 – Phillips: June 11-12, 2023 ($177.8k) – “one of the last examples of the fourth series”, “glossy black dial” 2004: 3’047’160, 4’253’563 – Sotheby’s: March 7, 2023 ($139.7k) 2004: 3’047’031/4’225’242 – Christie’s: May 12, 2008 (169k CHF) Unknown year of manufacture: unknown movement/case numbers, K2 Luxury: unknown date sold (unknown price) Unknown year of manufacture: unknown movement/case numbers – European Watch Company: unknown date sold (unknown price) Unknown year of manufacture: unknown movement/case numbers – as shown on Luca Muscumi: unknown date sold (unknown price) (2 images on page which appear to be different pieces) 3970-027 2003: unknown movement/case numbers – World of Time: unknown date sold (unknown price) 3970-033 2003: unknown movement/case numbers – A Collected Man: unknown date sold (unknown price) – “semi-gloss dial” 3970-046: made for the 2015 Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London 2015 (3970EP-046): unknown movement/case numbers – Collectability: November 12, 2023 ($625k) – Sold by the Patek Philippe Salon in Geneva in 2016; one of the last 3970s ever sold by Patek Philippe 2015: 3’932’345/4’279’366 – Sotheby’s: June 15, 2022 ($579.6k) – Tachymeter scale and Breguet numeral 12, “The model was limited to only five pieces” 2015: 3’932’399/2’900’976 – Phillips: May 13, 2023 (571.5k CHF) – “One of three known” 2015: unknown movement/case numbers – K2 Luxury: unknown date sold (unknown price) – “estimated to be around a dozen only made as a limited edition re-release of the 3970 in platinum at the 2015 Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London” 3970P 2014: 3’932’284/4’279’365 – Phillips: May 12-13, 2018 (348.5k CHF) – “possibly unique”, has tachymeter and Breguet numeral 12 3970E 1999: 3’045’984/4’037’628 – Monaco Legends Group: October 21-22, 2023 (Euro 156,000) – “semi-glossy black dial”, includes sapphire and solid case back Identified only as “3970EP” 1999: 3’045’3×6(?)/unknown – Collectors Gallery: Oct 2023 on offer (ask: $175k) – “semi-gloss dial” 1999: unknown movement/case numbers – Amures Collection: Oct 2023 on offer (ask: $180k) – “semi-gloss dial” 1999: unknown movement/case numbers – Amsterdam Vintage Watches: unknown date sold (unknown price) – “semi-glossy black dial” 1999: 3’046’051/4’072’882 – Christie’s: May 13, 2023 (119.7k CHF) – “Fourth series” 2002: unknown/unknown – Christie’s: May 24, 2022 (1.008m HKD) 2002: 3’046’711/4’126’012 – Sotheby’s: May 18, 2018 (102.5k CHF) 2004: 3’047’031/4’225’242 – Sotheby’s: Oct 1, 2018 (1.125m HKD) Unknown year of manufacture: unknown movement/case numbers – Phillips Selling Exhibition in Hong Kong: March 2019 (asking price was $121,000)
Patek Philippe 3970 Introduction

The Patek Philippe 3970 is a 36mm perpetual calendar chronograph, a part of the family of the 1518 and 2499 (and thereafter, the 5970). The 3970 was manufactured between 1986 and 2014 with cases in white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as platinum. The Patek Philippe 3970 houses the calibre 27-70 Q, based on the Lemania 2310, and is the first Patek chronograph that was not based on a Valjoux ebauche.

In this section I am focused on very specific version which is my personal preference – the black dial platinum with baton or Arabic numeral dials (no diamond marks). While there were four different series of the Patek Philippe 3970, I believe that pieces with these characteristics fall solely into the fourth series (1995-2004, approximately 2,000 pieces, which shares the baton hands of the third series, but a deployant clasp). There are a large number of different appended numbers within this reference, and hopefully I’ll eventually make sense of all the differences, including those that are limited editions and unique pieces. Please don’t hesitate to drop me an email to help me fill in the blanks (or correct where I’ve gone wrong).


Patek Philippe 3970EP-020
Photo: Phillips, The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT, June 10, 2023