The present Patek Philippe Nautilus “KHANJAR” Ref. 3700 replica watch takes a very prestigious position as being amongst the rarest, most exclusive, and certainly the most coveted examples of a Nautilus ever offered at auction.
At a similar level of importance, it further stands out with a solid 18-karat white gold case and bracelet – an exceptionally rare and ultra-luxurious configuration for such an early Nautilus. Manufactured in 1978, the present lot is one of less than 10 white gold examples to have appeared at auction since the model’s original launch in 1976.
Amongst its many virtues, its bold, white Khanjar at 6 o’clock makes it an extraordinary watch of Royal provenance – and amongst the rarest of all Khanjar watches known to exist. In fact, until now, the present “Jumbo” Nautilus in white gold is the only publicly known example in white gold featuring the crowned Khanjar.
As an expression of his gratitude to the teams of Britain’s elite Special Forces branch, the SAS, he presented “Khanjar” watches to the SAS soldiers who were instrumental in defeating the rebellion. Made on special commission for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, this “Khanjar” watch was without a doubt given by him as a gift to a close, high-ranking associate or foreign dignitary. According to scholarship, the tradition of gifting watches by His Majesty began following his defeat of the Dhofar Rebellion working in partnership with the British government.
Shortly after the victory, His Majesty commemorated the occasion by surmounting the Khanjar with a crown. All watches made for him since then feature this attractive, crowned Khanjar. As there were no authorized retailers in Oman at the time, nearly all of these vintage Patek Philippe Nautilus copy watches were ordered and sold through Asprey London.
This particular example is preserved in exceptional condition. With hardly any signs of wear and never having been polished, the sharp bevels, angles and curves are perfectly preserved. The dial is original and absent of any restorations, with beautifully aged luminous baton hour markers that match perfectly the original hands. The Extract from the Archives of course confirms the case and bracelet as white gold, as well as the dial, with its steel baton hour markers.
On rare occasion, very few were sold through Asprey Geneva, as the present lot. Accordingly, the watch is accompanied by its original box, stamped with the identical crowned Khanjar as found on the watch’s dial. On the box’s inside cover, the prestigious stamp ‘Asprey, 40 Rue du Rhone, Geneva’ is found.
The present lot’s historical significance, royal provenance, immaculate condition, and, superb rarity make it one of the most exciting and important Swiss-made fake Patek Philippe Nautilus watches to appear at auction in recent years.