Cover The Patek Philippe Ref 3448/100 is the only watch of its kind set with round-cut sapphires (Photo: Phillips)

The one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe perpetual calendar will be the star lot of Phillips’ November sale

A unique Patek Philippe perpetual calendar has been announced as the star lot of Phillips Hong Kong's highly anticipated November auction.

Set in platinum, which is considerably more rare than gold, the Patek Philippe Ref 3448/100 is the only example of its kind set with round-cut sapphires within its square hour markers. These gemstones earned the watch its apt nickname: "The Blue Royale".

First introduced in 1962, the Ref 3448 caused quite a stir for being the world's first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch. The line was discontinued by Patek in 1986 with only an estimated 568 pieces ever being made. Almost all were housed in yellow gold.

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Made in 1973, this classically handsome Ref 3448/100 boasts a clean and unrestored dial, and is one of 300 lots that's being previewed across Asia and Europe ahead of Phillips' The Hong Kong Watch Auction XIII.

Thomas Perazzi, Phillips' head of watches, Asia, said: "Following Phillips' strongest season for watch auctions in company history in Asia, we are very delighted to present to our community of connoisseurs, the highly important and unique Patek Philippe Ref 3448/100 as a key highlight of this season’s sale."

"The Blue Royale" is one of only three Ref 3448 watches to feature a sapphire crystal case back, which allows the wearers to easily admire the watch's complex inner workings, and it is one of only two yellow gold watches that were re-cased in platinum by Patek back in 1997 at the request of their owners.

"The Blue Royale" was last offered at auction 23 years ago, but Patek's other platinum reference, a watch from 1966, was sold by Phillips in 2018 for a hefty US$1.2 million.

The Hong Kong Watch Auction XIII will run 27—28 November 2021

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