Sold For
$48,400 USD

35 bids

No reserve
Auction Ended
On Nov 25, 5:05 PM UTC
Lot #1766

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1A

This auction is subject to a 10% buyer’s premium on top of final bid amount (hammer price).

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Released in 1976 as Patek Philippe's response to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, an avant-garde luxury stainless steel sports watch borne from AP's necessity to survive the Quartz Crisis, the Nautilus was Patek Philippe's attempt to go head to head with AP's increasingly popular sports watch. Designed by Gerald Genta, the same man that had created the Royal Oak, the Nautilus was inspired by a porthole and thus features a rounded-over octagonal bezel and hinge-like protrusions on either side of its case. Featuring its signature horizontally embossed dial and iconic integrated bracelet, the Nautilus has become the most sought-after watch in the market today as collectors clamor over examples thanks to its iconic design, extreme exclusivity, and impeccable craftsmanship.

Long established as one of the most iconic watches of all time, it is often forgotten that the Patek Philippe Nautilus did not receive a positive reaction upon its release on account of its large 42mm case. Knowing the size was turning away most potential customers, Patek Philippe decided to debut a smaller variant with a 37.5mm case - the ref. 3800/A that we have here. Released five years after the original Nautilus in 1981, the ref. 3800 allowed Patek's customers to try the Nautilus out, see it in the wild, and grow accustomed to its somewhat alien design at the time. Upon its success of the ref. 3800/A, the Nautilus began to pick up sales across its entire collection as collectors began to appreciate the Nautilus' design in the way they had started to appreciate the Royal Oak's a few years prior. While the original Nautilus ref. 3700 is indeed where the collection began, the ref. 3800/A can lay claim as the collection's savior as there was no guarantee that Patek's higher-ups would keep the marginally performing collection around should the tides not have turned around as they did. However you view it, the Nautilus collection would be far removed from what it is today if it wasn't for this now iconic variant.

Loupe This Scorecard


M 9


Vetted & Approved


Extract of the Archives

Est. value range

$40,000 – $60,000

The Details


Patek Philippe






Automatic cal. 335




Stainless steel bracelet




Very good


Stainless steel


Watch and Extract from the Archives

Dial Color



Featuring the Nautilus' famed horizontal guilloche engraved texture, this ref. 3800's dial shines discreetly with its understated shade of black.


Launched with the intention to bring the Nautilus' design to a wider audience, the ref. 3800 was a more modestly-sized piece with a 37.5mm case, which ultimately allowed it to succeed and get the Nautilus on as many wrists as possible.


This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.


Watch is in near-mint overall condition. Fine surface wear can be seen if inspected closely, namely on the polished surfaces of the watch. Original tritium dial in near-mint condition, with lightly aged indexes. The bracelet comes with 22 links, 6 of which are removable. 1 extra link on the side.

Our Perspective

I have always been a massive fan of the reference 3800 Nautilus. The size and style are extremely sophisticated. I've always felt that this size wears better than its big brother, the 3700.

Justin Gruenberg