Patek Philippe Nautilus "Jumbo" (Ref. 3700/1J) 18K YG
Along with the creation of Apple Computers and the Concorde Transatlantic Airplane, 1976 brought us one of the most iconic watch designs recognized to date, and by none other than the legendary Gerald Genta. This icon of design was the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 3700, often referred to as the “Jumbo” due to its large size for the era, 42mm. It was only 4 years earlier when Gerald Genta created the also very iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 5402 which was our first introduction to the porthole design that went on to inspire many other noteworthy watches. Like the Royal Oak’s slow beginnings, the Nautilus also took time to gain traction due to its unconventional stainless steel case for a luxury watch and expensive price point which led to very low initial production numbers. The porthole design not only inspired the watch's appearance, but the name Nautilus was in reference to Captain Nemo’s submarine in the novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea”.
The ref. 3700 Nautilus shares a few design cues from its older brother the Royal Oak, albeit the Nautilus is the more refined of the two, but namely the integrated bracelet and geometric bezel designs. The two watches also share the same movement based on the Jaegar-LeCoultre cal. 920 (cal. 28-255C in the Nautilus). This movement was the perfect operating base for the Nautilus and Royal Oak as it allowed the watches to be extremely thin while maintaining a self-winding mechanism.
Genta designed the Nautilus in 1974 on a napkin while observing a group of Patek executives out for dinner during the Basel Trade Fair, he has been noted saying the sketch only took him 5 minutes to complete. The quick sketch must have been impressive because from that day forth the Patek Philippe Nautilus icon was born.
It is a common belief among collectors that there was only about 1500 yellow gold Nautilus ref. 3700’s produced during its 14 years of production across all variations, including those with diamonds. Making any yellow gold Nautilus extremely exclusive and sought after.
|Material||18K Yellow Gold|
|Bracelet||Patek 18K YG Integrated Bracelet W/ Deployant Clasp|
The 18k yellow gold case is remarkably well preserved and believed to remain unpolished, displaying all of the watch's signature angles and finishes while exhibiting minimal signs of use. The octangular bezel is in exceptional condition and has achieved a slight rosy patina from age. The unsigned yellow gold crown remains original. The crystal is a service replacement as well, most likely changed at the same time as the crown. The first series integrated 18k yellow gold bracelet tapers to 16mm at the clasp and retains all of its original links showing absolutely no stretch.
The original and stunning Mk. III (bis) "dot" dial is a beautiful feat of design and does not display the aging that is common with early 3700s. The gold markers are all in perfect condition, the tritium within the markers has achieved a gorgeous creamy coloration and exhibits no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original gold hands are in superb condition and retain their original tritium which matches the lume plots on the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the hands exhibit no degradation.
An Extract From The Archives has been ordered from Patek Philippe for this watch. The watch is keeping time and functioning perfectly, previous service history is unknown.