‘150 Years of Harrods’ 3923R Patek Philippe Calatrava

As a plebeian born in the US, my first contact with Harrods was in 2008 when I heard Jeremy Clarkson talk about Lamborghinis posing outside Harrods. But if you’re English, it means a whole lot more than that. And if you’re Patek Philippe, it’s one of your most important retailers. Harrods celebrated their 150th in ’99, and Patek threw a little soirée for the Harrods top brass in the form of a limited 35 example run of the 3923R with Breguet numerals and pomme hands over the normal dauphines. Any time we see Breguet numerals in neo-vintage Patek Philippe, it’s time to pay attention.

There is a great demand for exceptional 90s Patek Philippe, but the 3923 seems to have missed this wave, I suspect largely for its sheer obscurity. Auction results have swung as low as 15K USD in the early part of the last decade to nearly 35K more recently. Made from 1986 until 1999, they’re uncommon to find, results are in the single digits. This is also a sign that I love, it simply means most have been happily residing on wrists since production, not trading hands. The design didn’t lean on the immediate past or any of the other catalogue, but went all the way back to the 96 as inspiration. The 3923 is true to the original restrained proportion of the 96, but just ever so imperceptibly updated to modernity at 32mm with a lug-to-lug nearer 37mm (case made by Atelier Réunis). This gives just slightly more dial real estate and a thinner wearing experience for a more precise calibre 215 PS. Even cooler, Patek included here the accent on the è of Genève, a subtle callback to the signatures on their true vintage signatures.

But the Harrods is different. This is a celebration of a brand marriage, like a Dominos dial Rolex that knows how to dress. There’s this whole concept of earned watches starting to become collected as a category, surely this is the ultimate. The prominence of the caseback engraving might read like graffiti to some, it reads of achievement through consistent hard work to me. Of these 35 examples, I know of 3 that have traded hands including this one, which just surfaced. Evidently, most of the Harrods brass felt that pride too, we haven’t seen them sold around. Given that Patek are making a 42mm Calatrava now, that has proven the correct move. Made in the last year of the ref’s production, it is a fittingly elegant wave goodbye to the 3923 and champagne pour to Harrods 150th. It’s a 3923 with a just a slight bit more significance and personality. That’s how you celebrate in style.


This example presents in fantastic condition. No significant bashes. The case is full with deep hallmarks and an even deeper engraving of the Harrods branding. Its opaline grained dial is sharp, not restored and likely not sanded for the accent above the è. It comes with an extract and the original Harrods pouch, with pin buckle, from a well-regarded Belgian retailer.