Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3800/1A



In production between 1981 and 2006, the reference 3800 was the mid-sized version in the legendary Patek Philippe Nautilus series. Remaining under the radar until recently, the ref. 3800 has always been overshadowed by its larger counterpart the ref. 3700 and the modern ref. 5711.

Designed by Gerald Genta in 1974, shortly after the Royal Oak, the Nautilus is probably the most iconic line with the Calatrava in Patek Philippe products and history. Patek advertising was  “The rugged watch that feels right on every occasion”. Introduced in 1981 till 2006, the « 3800 » model was originally created for men with his confortable 37.5 mm wide for the time. In the 1995, Patek Philippe catalog, ref. 3800/1A was listed in the men’s watches category with a retail price of 46’600 French Francs.

The present 3800/1A-001 still bears the original slate-grey dial, horizontal guilloche,  with applied tritium white gold baton indexes and the Aprior mark “O Swiss O” at 6 to confirm it, aperture for the “porcelain” white date. The luminous material has nicely patinated over years. The bracelet is orignal and engraved “Patek Philippe Nautilus” & ” Steel Inox” inside the double deployant clasp, with a large overall lenght of 190 mm.

The watch is powered by the PP cal. 330 SC (For Seconde Centrale), mechanical, rhodium-plated, 30 jewels, stamped with Seal of Geneva,

shock-absorber, Gyromax balance, self-compensating flat balance spring, an ultra-thin self-winding movement with sweep second hand and date, gold rotor.

The model comes with a very well-built two-body construction case, water-resistant to 120m: a stainless steel porthole shaped case, a brushed steel bezel securced to the case by four screws on the side. Ref. 3800 was replaced circa 2006 with the 1 mm largest ref. 5800.

Hard to find on the vintage market, this iconic model is actually very sought-after by collectors worldwide. The last retail price in 2006 was approx 16’200 CHF. A similar 3800/1A (movement no. 1’420’000) is illustrated in Patek Philippe wristwatches, by Martin Huber and Alan Banbery, page 181.

The present watch is delivered with a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the date of manufacture in 1995 and its subsequent date of sale on September 1996 with black, matte ribbed dial and steel bracelet.

With its confortable but reasonnable size, measuring 37.5mm diameter,  the ref. 3800 is an incredibly compact and chic vintage version of the original Nautilus. Because of its design and look very similar to its big brother Ref. 3700 and its very versatile case size, the model has taken a growing interest amongst collectors, being a perfect unisex luxury sports wristwatch.

Condition: 8.5/10, The present watch is preserved in very good overall condition with visible signs of wear throughout. The dial is in excellent condition with no signs of aging.

Brand: Patek Philippe

Model: Nautilus

Collection: Nautilus

Reference: 3800/1A

Year: 1995, sold in 1996

Movement no: 3020663

Case no.: 4000774

Material: stainless steel

Dial: matte black ribbed dial, tritium, apprior mark

Movement: cal. 330SC, rhodium-plated, 30 jewels, Seal of Geneva, Gyromax balance

Bracelet: original stainless steel Patek Philippe bracelet with deployant clasp, approx. overall length. 190 mm.

Functions: date, self-winding, sweep center second

Water-resistant: no more

Dimensions:  37.50 mm. diam, thickness 7.80 mm.

Accessories: Extract from the Archives

Signed: dial, case and movement

Ref. ICO: 99-21-045A