The perpetual calendar chronograph is a haute complication that Patek Philippe has perfected to such an extent as to become synonymous with the entire category. This 3970 succeeded the 2499 in the mid 80s and dominated the category for its production length. This post-quartz period was time when few complicated mechanical pieces existed; Patek saw fit to be bold. For their efforts, collectors now generally regard the 3970 as one of the greatest complicated chronographs to have ever been crafted.
The 3970 ran through four series from 1986 to 2004. This second series introduced a solid screw down caseback for a greater margin of water resistance. In the process, this series retained the hallmark leaf hands of the first series, an attractive design element for Patek collectors. There is a degree of vintage charm associated with the design that is hard to shake. The second series is thought to have been in production for 650 examples, across yellow, rose, white golds, and platinum.
The opalin velouté dial on this example is a spectacular thing in itself that is made more beautiful by its contrast to a rare rose gold case. Along with platinum and white, rose gold is one of the rarer metals to find this complicated beauty in. Inside that case resides a cal CH 27-70 Q, a dedicated Lemania 2310 ébauche. The movement is finished by Patek to an insane standard that rivals anything in period or since.
This example wears its age defiantly. There are light surface scratches on its lugs and case, evenly distributed. It is not a safe queen but has been well looked after. The dial is spotless and completely perfect as far as I can tell. The caseback shows a small wear commensurate with its rg case. There is little to turn off a possible suitor; this reference and variation rarely surface. The watch is sold with its deployant buckle, inner box, calendar setting pin, leather pouch for papers, original certificate, registration papers, original instructions book, and two service papers. It comes from a well-regarded collector on Instagram.
Find this 3970R available here from @pleasegivemecashmere by DM for 105000 GBP firm.