Patek Philippe Automatic Ref 3933/17 18ct 1990 on 18ct Bracelet
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Very Carefully Owned & Lightly Used Example
All in Absolutely Top Grade Original Unrestored Condition
A Rare Patek Reference 3933/17, Calibre 240 in 18ct yellow gold.
Original Unrestored Diamond Hour Indices on White Dial in Immaculate Condition
Original Patek factory Diamond Bezel Case on Original Patek 18ct Yellow Gold Bracelet
Good Sized Case 34mm, Excl. the Signed Patek Philippe Crown, with Factory Diamond Bezel
Ultra Thin Patek Philippe 27 Jewel Cal.240, Automatic Movement With 48hr Power Reserve
Movement Features a 22ct Solid Gold Space-Saver Micro Rotor
Complete With Original Box and Papers Dated 1990
Patek Philippe Soft Leather Wallet Included, as Shown
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Patek Philippe – Simply the Finest Watch Money Can Buy
Even today, Patek Philippe’s extraordinary care and commitment towards perfection means it takes almost year to manufacture even its simplest watch movement.
Significant moments in watchmaking since 1839 …
– 1839 Antoine Patek began producing about 200 high-quality pocket watches per year
– 1845 Patek & Co. Partnership founded in Geneva with Jean Adrien Philippe, Technical Director
– 1846 Tiffany & Co. New York, Tiffany appoints Patek Philippe as its principal supplier of pocket watches
– 1857 Universal Exposition, London, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert buy a timepiece, shooting Patek to international fame.
– 1867 the company produces the world’s first wristwatch
– 1927 the company produces the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch
– 1941 the company produces the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch
– 1962 the company produces the world’s first automatic, perpetual calendar wristwatch
It is said that fewer than 1 million Patek Philippe watches have been made since the first watch was completed in 1839. This is fewer than some high-end Swiss manufacturers, notably Rolex, produce in one year. In fact, the company limits itself to producing less than 50,000 watches per year, even though it’s estimated by many watch market analysts, it could sell ten times this number. Patek production is so meticulous it takes almost a year to complete its most basic watch, and more than two years to produce many of its more complicated pieces.
Patek’s vintage complications hold more world record prices at auction than any other brand. Landmark models include the model ref. 1518, the world’s first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the model ref. 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as refs. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450.
We, of course, associate Patek Philippe with the very best, but more particularly, the understated elegance, craftsmanship, heritage, exquisite design, perfection and total confidence and commitment in everything it does.
We have always felt there’s a very special beauty and simplicity in the well-made thing. It is part of the fascination of watches, and some are so well made, they appear to have a form closer to nature, evolution and art, than to manufacture. This is one such example.
Model reference 3933/17 is an exclusive example of one of Patek’s finest contemporary dress watches, carrying the extraordinarily thin Calibre 240 automatic movement and featuring Patek factory set diamonds on both the dial and bezel, which elevate the watch to make it rare and special, while remaining on the sensible side of discretion.
Although originally sold as a gent’s watch, this could be considered equally suitable for a lady to wear today, given contemporary trends for ladies to wear gent’s watches. However, it is certain, that whoever is fortunate enough to wear this watch will look fabulous in any event.
This watch would have sold for around £45,000 when new and would cost around £78,000 if bought new today, so it’s perhaps the perfect time to acquire, as it has most certainly reached the bottom of its depreciation and might never be found cheaper than this again.
The original unrestored and untouched white dial features Patek diamond hour indices on a beautifully clean and simple white background.
In common with many of its finest dress watches, Patek omits the seconds hand to keep the dial clear. Less is definitely more here, and the simplicity, elegance and understatement shine through.
We notice that Patek even leaves off the usual ‘Automatic’ nomenclature, which is found on almost every other automatic watch. It is simply signed ‘Patek Philippe’ and ‘Geneve’, with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
As expected for a watch of this age, the dial is in excellent condition with no signs of ageing and has therefore been left completely alone, save for some very sensitive cleaning.
The 18ct yellow gold case measures 34mm, excluding the correct original signed Patek winding crown. This is a good-sized watch for the period, being slightly larger then the more typical 33mm, which was the average size for a gent’s Patek Philippe in 1990.
The case features an original factory diamond bezel which frames the dial beautifully. Although this catches the eye, it is by no means overly showy, remaining quite subtle, meaning the watch can be dressed up or down depending on how it is worn.
The condition is outstanding, indicating the watch has seen only very light use and proper care. It is as sturdy and tight as the day it was made, with all parts pressing together with a very firm ‘pop’. There are no scratches, other marks, or signs of wear visible to the naked eye.
Inside the case, the case-back all is signed correctly and as expected: ‘Patek Philippe & Co.’, ‘Geneve’ and ‘Swiss’, with Swiss 18ct hallmarks, the case serial number 2880822 and the Patek Philippe Model Reference number 3993/17.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
Originally launched in 1977 and remaining in production to this day, Patek’s Calibre 240 automatic movement was a tour de force in terms of both technical achievements and commercial success. It has seen so many revisions and developments in the interim that it has now featured in over 40 Patek models, including the famous Patek Philippe Nautilus references 3712, 5712 and 5724.
What is extraordinary about the Patek Philippe Calibre 240 is it that is no thicker than an equivalent manually wound movement. The base Calibre 240 achieves a thinness of only 2.53mm which is actually less than Patek Phillipe’s standard manual wind movement the Caliber 215, which is 2.55mm.
Rather than placing a large rotor on top of the movement, the Calibre 240 features a very small, off-centre winding rotor, often known as a micro-rotor, which is completely recessed within the plate plane of the movement. The engineers in technical director Gérard Berret’s team knew that a small planetary rotor could not build up the same winding power as a large and massive central rotor so they increased the mass of the off-centre rotor by making it in solid 22K gold. A unidirectional winding concept was implemented to reduced friction losses because no reversing gear was required. Overall efficiency from the winder and the spring barrel to the escapement was further improved with a totally new going train featuring an optimized toothing geometry and polished teeth. Last but not least, the frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 bph) reduced the energy consumption of the movement by more than 20% in comparison with conventional 4 Hz movements. This provides the watch with a power reserve of at least 48 hours.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our Master Watchmaker. This means dismantling the movement to each of its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Patek parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment before final calibration in 5 positions. The movement now winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably and upon final testing and calibration, it is running precisely at ±3 seconds per day averaged over 5 positions! This is simply outstanding for any watch of this age and we are therefore highly confident in offering our 12-month warranty* with this watch.
The movement is all correctly signed, ‘Patek Philippe, ‘Geneve’ and ‘Swiss’, with the Calibre number 240 and the movement serial number 1195835.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The original full size heavy woven 18ct yellow gold bracelet completes the watch beautifully. It is a work of art in itself and feels wonderful both on and off the wrist. The bracelet is almost as thick as the watch case and looks and feels as though formed as one. Some things are so well designed and so well made, they appear to have a form closer to nature, evolution and art, than to manufacture and this bracelet and case are one.
The bracelet is full sized and has a three stage adjustable catch with a safety lock. It is designed for an average gent’s wrist size measuring 19 – 20.5 cm. However if required, the bracelet can be tailored to your wrist size at no extra cost.
The Box and Papers
The original Patek Phillipe presentation box and papers are included with this watch, dating the watch to 1990. The Patek soft leather watch wallet as shown is also included.
Our detailed Watch Particulars document will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee, which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
A truly special dress watch from horology’s most revered name which is a thing of beauty – to wear, use, treasure and enjoy.
This will also make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though Patek prices continue to rise, we still feel outstanding examples such as this remain undervalued, particularly compared to the price of a new Patek Philippe. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage Patek Philippe watches expands, availability will become ever more limited, meaning prices are destined to climb ever higher!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are many well-known stores in West London which are very successful charging between two to three times our prices. We therefore consider our prices to be very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges and offers of watches for sale.
We will be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!