- Brand: Patek Philippe
- Made: 1991
- Model: Perpetual chronograph
- Reference: 3940
- Calibre: 240 Q
- Movement: Automatic
- Material: 18ct yellow gold
- Features: Display case back with micro rotar
- Dial: Opaline dial with applied 18ct yellow gold dot outer minute track featuring flat sunken subsidiary dials for the month and leap year indicator at 3 o'clock, moonphase and date indicator at 6 o'clock and day of the week with day/night indicator at 9 o'clock with 18ct yellow gold applied lapped hour indices and Dauphine hands
- Case dimensions: 36mm
- Bracelet/strap: Leather strap
- Accessories: Extract from the Archives
- SKU: 2626
Essay: The Patek Philippe reference 3940 was produced from 1985 to 2007 and is considered as undeniably the quintessential automatic perpetual calendar perpetual calendar reference manufactured by Patek Philippe.
It followed a prestigious line of classic models: the reference 1526, the first serially produced perpetual calendar watch produced from 1941, the 2497 the first perpetual calendar with centre seconds from the 1950s, the reference 3448 released in 1962 as the first automatic perpetual calendar and in 1981 the 3450 – Patek Philippe’s first model to feature a leap year indicator.
The 3940 was released as a replacement to the reference 3450 with a newly designed modern case, which was less angular than its predecessors. Powered by what was then the all-new, ultra-thin calibre 240, Patek Philippe’s first movement to use a micro-rotor, it enabled an elegant and very thin case that fit tightly to the wrist. The reference 3940 was a smashing success, in production for over two decades, where it appealed to a new generation of enthusiasts who wanted to advance beyond their fathers’ timepieces.
The wristwatch was encased predominately in yellow gold, with fewer examples in pink and white gold, and very rarely in platinum. In 1985, the first 25 watches were produced to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the famed retailer Chronometrie Beyer in Zürich with numbered watches. That same year, the brand began standard production of the reference and continued to produce it until 2007 when they replaced the 3940 with the larger reference 5140 powered by the same calibre 240 movement, but with a case measuring 37mm in diameter.
Becoming increasingly collectible, the 3940 underwent several evolutions.