Patek Philippe ref 3491 Gondolo
Patek Philippe


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About this watch

Here we have a very special 1968 Patek Philippe 3491. These do not come up for sale top often and very rarely come up for sale in 18k white gold like this one. Typically you find this reference with italic numerals this particular piece comes with a rarer Roman numeral sunburst dial that is seriously good looking.

What also makes this piece truly unique is the condition. This piece is in complete new old stock condition, the original Patek strap and buckle remain completely straight and uncreased, never having seen a wrist. This gives the new owner the very special opportunity of being the first person in some 50 years to really wear this watch, a pretty special thing.

Everything is entirely original, the case has never been buffed or polished, protecting the pieces original lines and finish. This timepiece is as you would expect, pristine. Naturally being made over 50 years ago, if you were to comb this with a magnifying glass I'm sure you could find the smallest signs of age. However you will not find a finer example of this watch anywhere. It is completely unheard to find a piece of this age in such fine condition.

The watch has received a full mechanical service to ensure it continues to run perfectly for years to come. It is therefore keeping great time ready for it's new owner.

The case measures 27.5mm excluding the crown by 37mm lug to lug so sits very nicely on the wrist for a tank shaped watch even by modern standards.

The watch comes with an extract from the Patek archives. The watch will also come with a lovely leather Patek Philippe leather pouch that allows the watch to be protected and remain completely uncreased.

Although photos of this piece do look great, in real life the piece looks even better, especially the way the light catches the solid white gold case and the sunburst dial. I will have a video uploaded for you in the next couple of days to try and really show you these finer details.

About the 

The Gondolo line from Patek Philippe has come to define some of the finest examples of tonneau, tank and cushion shaped watches made by any house. However the term Gondola is often confused with describing the shape of these watches, few realise that the term actually refers to a Brazilian retailer and watch club.

In 1872 Patek sold the first watch to the Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau to supply exclusive members of their match collecting club, the Gondolo gang, collectors of the very finest of timepieces. Over the coming years the retailer was so successful that they sold almost a third of Patek Philippe’s entire production of watches.

The Gondolo gang were known for the large straw ‘Patek’ branded hats their members sported but more so their outlandish celebrations and events and most importantly their shared love of the finest examples of watchmaking. To be a member was to be considered one of the highest social achievements in Brazilian society of the time. Being rather discerning individuals and lovers of horology, they demanded and expected the very highest quality of watches and as such many of the pieces created by Patek that are associated with the ‘gang’ were of the most impressive of standards. Whilst the club no longer survives, the Gondolo premise of watchmaking lives on in the Gondolo line of Patek’s portfolio.

The Fine Print

Patek Philippe

Model: Gondola

Reference: 3491

Year: 1968

Movement: Manual

Diameter: 27.5mm x 37mm lug to lug

Lug Width: 18mm

Box/Papers: Patek Philippe leather pouch and Extract from the Archive Papers

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