A short while ago I did a post on ten of the best Rolex bubblebacks you will ever see, these were all originally uploaded by rolexdoc on the watch forum PuristSpro. In doing more research I came across other pictures rolexdoc had uploaded and, well, it seems he not only has amazing Rolex watches…..
Yes, that’s four Patek Philippe automatic perpetual calendars, Ref. 3448J, 3450J second series, 3448G and a 3450J 1st series all together in one picture, possibly from one collector. In addition to the rarity, if you look at the dials and cases, in particular the lugs, all look in amazing condition. The two references are almost identical with the 3450 featuring the addition of a leap-year indicator. The the first series 3450 used arabic numerals 1-3 and a red-dot for the leap year and the second series roman numerals I,II,III, IV. The series was replaced by the Ref. 3940 in 1985 with a total of only 244 examples of 3448/3450 released.
You are looking at are two very rare Patek Philippe perpetual calendars, the models are the Ref.2497 and Ref.2438/1 from a combined 179 examples first released in 1951. The references are almost identical, the only difference being a 2438/1 uses a water-resistant screw-down case back. Released in 2 series, the first with alternate Arabic numerals and dot markers as seen on the watch to the left and the second series with applied gold batons as per the one on the right. Looking at the picture I would assume the left one is a first series Ref.2497 in pink gold and on the right a second series Ref.2438 in yellow gold. You can tell the dials are original and the case condition just exceptional, just look at how crisp the case lugs are! Wow. Believe it or not this picture was uploaded by the same person as the above perpetual calendars and the previously posted Rolex bubblebacks. Just to confirm, these pictures are not scanned from a book, nor are they from any auction catalog. Looking at the similar settings, these were all taken by the same person in the same environment; Translation, they all belong to one, very serious, collector.
The above watch looks like a yellow gold Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 with some oxidization to the case (this is a good thing as it means it has sat unused for a long period of time); only it isn’t a Ref. 1463. The bezel is wider and flatter than a Ref. 1463, the lugs slightly heavier and has a different crown/pushers. It’s actually a Ref. 3651 from a very small series of possibly only 3 watches made by Patek Philippe in the late 1980’s (this one is from 1988) using movements from the 1950s. The model falls into a small series of special-order watches recased with sequential reference numbers by Patek Philippe in the 1980’s, all with complicated movements. Others (known) released include the Ref. 3652, a Calatrava style minute repeater from 1985 and a Ref. 3655, in a rectangular case with 8 day movement presumed from 1986. Of course, that means we are yet to discover a Ref.3650, 3653, 3654 and possibly others, which is just one of the reasons I love this business so much. Below is a picture of yours truly wearing the same watch.
A final parting picture from rolexdoc below, a yellow gold Rolex automatic triple calendar with moon phases, Ref.6062, on an original Rolex Jubilee bracelet. Just beautiful.