September 11, 2015
When vintage Patek Philippe collecting started to become popular in the 1980s collectors favored precious metal watches such as 18k and platinum. What they did not realize at the time was that stainless steel watches were a lot more rare than precious metal watches, and the collectors started seeking steel Patek Philippe. Since there was less production of steel cases the price of steel Patek Philippe watches have exceeded solid gold watches due to their rarity. Some of the early Patek Philippe calatrava ref 570s in steel and other early models from the 1940s and 1950s have reached prices of of over $100,000 up to $250,000.
The two stainless steel watches I have featured here are the Patek Philippe reference 3466 and 3483 which are simple steel models from the 1960s. The cases are very similar in design but the 3466 is a subsidiary seconds automatic watch, and the 3483 is a sweep seconds manual wind model. Both these models are very affordable at the moment trading between $15,000 and $30,000 depending upon the condition of the watch. These watches have a similar case design of the famous Patek Philippe Amagnetic reference 3417 which has been trading at approximately $50,000 over the last year.
After doing some research and reviewing auctions it seems like less than 50 pieces of the 3466 are known and less than 15 of the reference 3483. I believe these are smart watches to buy due to the fact they are rare, very attractive and more affordable than other steel Pateks we see on the market.