Patek Ref. 3483A – an owner’s review

Very few watches made by Patek Philippe come in only steel. I have mentioned the 3417A as such an example. The 3483A is another. Produced between 1963-68, the 3483A was never a popular watch. It is difficult to determine just how many were made, but it is a decent bet that maybe only 500 or so exist.

There is evidence to show that 3483s were still sitting unsold with ADs in the late 1960s. There are some answers to why. Patek Philippe have always been regarded as sitting at the head of the horological table. Quite plausibly, owning such a prestigious watch necessitated a precious metal casing rather than the less expensive steel. Quoting from a Phillips auction catalog, “during the 1950s and 1960s, Calatrava style wristwatches became very popular and fashionable. At the time, watches cased in yellow, white gold and platinum were considered more valuable than their stainless steel counterparts. As such, very little were produced (in steel).”

The 3483 contains a Cal. 27 SC inside a 35mm steel case. The 27SC was produced between 1949-1970 with movement number between 700,000 – 712,699. The movement was used in a number of different references. The movement number on mine is 711XXX, placing it as mid-1960s. The archive extracts place it as 1966. 

Classic Bauhaus case design

Over the years, a few 3483s have come up for auction. The serial numbers on these watches have been 2639XXX-2659XXX.

The sweep central seconds is also a feature that I liked a great deal. The 27SC features on a number of other references, but not that many in steel. 

But what really made this watch special for me was the nature of the dial. It has a certain pearl-like finish that captures the light in such a special way. The layout of the dial could not be simpler. No numerals. No date. Incredibly simple. Incredibly pure. 

Pearl-like dial catches the light in a very specific way

Is this a desirable watch to own? I would say definitely yes. If i was considering a Calatrava in a range of $20k-$30k, then this would probably be right at the top of my list in that price range. Steel. Manual wind. Central seconds. The nature of the design makes the 35mm wear on the bigger side so it works for most wrists.

And the cherry on the icing comes with the box for the 3483A. Just so exquisite.