Let us recall what we had written previously and then shed light on another wonderful object of the maison: the aforementioned 3970 R.
It all began in 1838 with the founding of "Patek, Czapek & Cie" in Geneva by entrepreneur Antoni Norbert de Patek, an immigrant from Poland, and watchmaker François Czapek, an immigrant from Czekia.
In 1844 Antoni Patek, founder of the Maison, met the French watchmaker Jean-Adrien Philippe in Paris, where the latter presented his futuristic and convenient system of setting the time and winding the watch via the crown, which would replace the use of a separate key.
In 1845 François Czapek decided to leave the company to continue on his own, and the company name was changed to "Patek & Cie."
The first pocket watch for ladies is produced: the timepiece is decorated with a miniature of a rose. The company manufactures its first minute repeater pocket watch, and a patent is granted for the Patek watch with a winding mechanism and setting the time by means of the crown.
In 1851 Jean-Adrien Philippe officially joins the company, which changes its name to "Patek Philippe & Cie"
At the Great Exhibition in London, Queen Victoria is among the admirers of the world's first keyless timepiece, the first example of which was patented by Jean-Adrien Philippe in 1845. The Queen of Great Britain and Ireland invests in a powder-blue enamel pocket watch with rose-cut diamond floral decoration.
The pendant watch with exposed dial and brooch apparently belonged to Queen Victoria.
Patek Philippe is among the first watchmakers to export to the United States and forges a partnership, still flourishing, with Tiffany & Co. of New York.
In 1881 a patent was awarded for the precision regulator system, and in 1889 Patek Philippe & Co was awarded a patent for the perpetual calendar mechanism for pocket watches.
In 1932 La "Ancienne Manufacture d'Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A." was purchased by brothers Charles and Jean Stern, who already owned a dial manufacturing company in Geneva. Since then "Patek Philippe S.A." has remained a family-owned business.
It is precisely with this style of management, "family-owned," that the parent company continues to strive to guarantee buyers an extremely reliable product with a restrained production that can be revalued over the years.
A Patek Philippe is forever, and we find ourselves being its custodians and handing it down to our posterity.
Let's go back to the Patek Philippe 3970 R: this is the 1980s (the watch was born in 1986), an era where quartz movements were taking over the market, people were not only concerned with complicated watches: in fact, chronographs were not popular either.
In 1986, the year of production of the 3970 perpetual calendar chronograph, it was not easy for sellers to get around.
According to John Reardon, head of watches at Christie's, an authority on all things Patek Patek Philippe, retailers did not want to take them from Patek because they were too difficult to sell.
The successor to the Patek Philippe 2499, which was in production from 1951-86 (and even before that to the reference 1518, which was the first mass-produced perpetual chronograph), the 3970 is produced in yellow, white, rose and platinum gold.
The case size at 36 millimeters, remains 1.5 millimeters smaller than its predecessor 2499.
The Patek in question, is equipped with a traditional dial, where one can see the functions of: chronograph seconds minutes hours, perpetual calendar with leap year indication, day month, moon phases, in an extremely simple and pleasing to the eye placement.
The caliber (mechanism) that equips this watch is the CH 27-70Q, the first Patek movement not based on Valjoux, but rather was based on the Lemania 2310, which was also the basis of the caliber 321 movement used in early Omega Speedmasters.
This hand-wound movement has a 60-hour power reserve, and was also used in the later 5970 and 5004 (this one with added doubling function).
It is a beautiful and reliable movement with an excellent finish, all handmade, one of the best mechanisms in the world at the time of manufacture, and represents a Genevan way of doing things.