Information about the reference 3940

Dec 02, 2019,04:14 AM

Dear all,

recently, I have seen many posts of the Patek 3940 on the forum. My interest for this reference is growing and I am looking for information about this beautiful model. 

According to what I have read so far, it seems that many series were produced.

I have quickly searched on the Internet and I have not found any good articles presenting the different series and highlighting their differences. I have noticed this interesting article which talked about the history of Patek Philippe's perpetual calendar. However, it does not describe the different series of the 3940.

I would like to know if you are aware of any good article that would talk about the specificities of each serie of the 3940 or, if possible, if you can tell me how many series were produced and what are the main differences.

As a subsidiary question, I have noticed that some versions have half of a circle of the indicator on the left in yellow. Is it normal or does it come with time?

Thank you very much in advance

Have a good day


Credit photo:

Credit photo: lascases on Watchprosite ( )

More posts: 3940grand complications

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Half Circle

 By: cbb in honor of Chamnong Bhirombhakdi : December 2nd, 2019-04:51
I believe is Platinum

Thank you very much for your reply Cbb.

 By: err_404 : December 2nd, 2019-05:53
Actually, I have noticed that some gold versions also have it.

Thanks Nico. It makes perfect sense.

 By: err_404 : December 2nd, 2019-05:56
It seems that some series have it and some do not. I wonder if it was done for the first series or if it is a "feature" that has been added.

I believe the differences are roughtly

 By: w220 : December 2nd, 2019-06:35
1st series: Day and Month ring is not recessed, only the 24 hour indicator and Leap Year is recessed. 2nd series: Day and Month ring are both recessed, and the 24 hour indicator and Leap Year are more deeply recessed. No dividing quadrants on the Leap Yea... 

Thank you very much w220! that's exactly what I was looking for. :-)

 By: err_404 : December 2nd, 2019-13:26
I have summarized your input in the table below: And to be (almost) complete, I would like to add this special edition with an X leap sub counter, shared by Mike H on the forum : ...  

your 3rd example above looks like a 2nd series to me, not 3rd series

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-13:32
I believe that your photos show a first series, an early second, and a late second series. Based on dial configuration. There is always the possibility of an early series dial fitted onto a later series watch, especially in transition years. Best way to k... 

That’s better.

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-14:22
Now your edited photo shows the third series. Note the difference in the “J” and also the sigma Swiss is aligned with the outer dot track.

Indeed! That's very interesting!

 By: err_404 : December 2nd, 2019-14:34
insignificant details for laymen, fantastic differences for enthusiasts!

Let me offer up mine for observation.

 By: BMR : December 2nd, 2019-14:55
I’ve always considered this a late 2nd series with the “J” like that of the first series, the sigma Swiss sigma outside the minute track, and the “5” on the date wheel that almost closes completely. ...  

I can add info to what is above.

 By: roger.goodgion : December 2nd, 2019-07:41
If not mistaken: Also 1st series the leap year quadrants were 4,1,2,3. Later series became 1,2,3,4. Thus the leap year number coincides with the quarter of the year the months are in. I believe not all series have the day/ night shading on 24 hr indicator... 

Then only other things I can add...

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-12:42
... were that there are subtle font differences in the third series as well as differences in the sigma Swiss placement relative to the outer dots. Also there were mechanical upgrades from first and early second series to the later versions iirc, but thes... 

Variations ...

 By: Chromatic Fugue : December 2nd, 2019-08:17
I can barely make out a subtly different color on the bottom half of the subdial, but only if I’m really, really looking for it, and it usually doesn’t even show up in photos. This is a 3940P originally sold in 2006; I don’t know whether it looked like th...  

I don’t think that’s correct.

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-12:38
I have a second series and a third series and both have it. As others have noted, there is a tendency for some to develop patina that can discolor the original 1/2 circle shading.

I stand corrected

 By: cpbmd : December 2nd, 2019-14:58
Thank you.

Mine are a from 2006 as well...

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-12:46
... and the day/night indicator shading is more evident than in your photo, but less so than another earlier version I have from 1998. I don’t think it’s due to fading, I think it’s just variations between dials. There are some examples with very pronounc... 

Is the conclusion that all the 3940 have a shade PM half circle and the color is more or less shaded depending on the model, or some 3940 do not have this shade at all?

 By: err_404 : December 2nd, 2019-13:41
I am asking (and bothering) as I am interested in the 3940 and I am looking for a model with no (or very light) shade on the dial. Anyway, thank you all for your interesting input. Cheers Rodolphe

yes and no

 By: sam1234 : December 2nd, 2019-13:48
The first series definitely has the most prominent demarcation between day and night. I believe that the shading remians present but generally less pronounced from the second series onwards, but there is a lot of variability between models due to aging an... 

As i now

 By: tactictac : December 2nd, 2019-15:51
The first series was 700 copies, movement number 770.000 to 770.700. The first series had the jump year (which is in itself a complication) on the other two it became slippery, less well... Second series, only the very first copies had the dial without a ...