It’s Friday so we’re taking a break from Baselworld to bring you this gorgeous 1960s Patek Philippe Ref. 3422 designed by the one and only Gilbert Albert.
A Gilbert Albert Original
The first thing you notice about the Ref. 3422 is its unusual, asymmetrical design. This intriguing but relatively short-lived departure from the more conventional looking Patek Philippe timepieces was thanks to one man; Gilbert Albert.
Born in Geneva in 1930, Gilbert Albert studied Jewellery and Design at the prestigious Ecole des Arts Industriels before joining Patek Philippe as designer and head of the workshop.
Over the next seven years he would dream up some of the most audacious designs the brand had ever produced, most notably the asymmetrical models from the “Ricochet” series, which of course includes the aforementioned Ref. 3422.
A lover of Modern Art, Gilbert Albert took his inspiration from artists such as Brancusi and Mondrian. His experiments with shapes and angles led to the creation of visually arresting designs which seem as unconventional today as they did when they first appeared fifty years ago.
The Ref. 3422 is a great example of this, although I must admit it does not really suit my personal tastes. Despite being a relatively simplistic timepiece it is still remarkably eye-catching on the wrist, drawing more than its fair share of attention. Undeniably this is in part due to the asymmetrical shape of the 28.5mm x 32mm 18k yellow gold case however for me, it’s the champagne dial with raised hard black enamel sector lines that really completes the look.
As you might have already guessed from Albert’s relatively short stint at Patek Philippe, the Ref. 3422 was only produced in limited numbers making it extremely rare. What makes this particular example even more special though is that it features the original retailer’s stamp on the back of the case – “S&L” for Serpico Y Laino, the Venezuelan jeweller who sold high-end watches by Patek Philippe and Rolex.
As you can see in the photos the stamp has been wonderfully preserved and is clearly visible on the caseback. The watch itself is in remarkably good condition for its age, with some minor rubbing visible on parts of the case.
Make It Yours
Unfortunately this particular Patek Philippe Ref. 3422 is not available for immediate sale. Instead it will be offered up for auction by Christie’s in their June watch sale here in New York with an estimate of US$30,000 – US$50,000.
For more information please visit the official Christie’s website.
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