Best Patek Philippe Watches

Most Wanted Patek Philippe Watches

Patek Philippe is widely regarded as the most prestigious watch brand in the world — ask any watch collector, retailer or auctioneer, and they will likely agree. If you ask them, however, for the most desirable, popular or best Patek Philippe watch to own, and it will be hard to come to a consensus.

The breadth of Patek Philippe’s history and portfolio means there’s a Patek watch for different tastes; but the demand shows that certain models are definitely collector’s favorites.

Here are 5 watches that represent the most wanted Patek Philippe designs; and what makes them so desirable.

 

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5711

 

Nautilus 5711
Patek Philippe Nautilus Blue Dial Steel Mens Watch 5711

The Patek Philippe Nautilus made waves when it was first introduced in 1976. For the first time, the conservative watchmaker introduced a true sports watch, and not only that – it came in steel when most watches were in precious metals and it was priced steeply.

On the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus in 2006, Patek introduced the ref. 5711. It was faithful to the design of the original Nautilus (ref. 3700) all while incorporating contemporary styling and a new in-house movement.

It’s important back story, combined with utilitarian function and a timelessly elegant design, reignited interest in the Nautilus. Today, the 5711 is the most valuable steel sports watch in the market and is said to have a wait list of 8-12 years at authorized dealers.

 


 

PATEK PHILIPPE AQUANAUT 516X SERIES

 

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Extra Large 5167A and Travel Time Steel Watch 5164A

Patek Philippe introduced the Aquanaut in 1997, as a more attainable alternative to the Nautilus. It was the first Patek Philippe watch to come with a rubber strap; and the more casual look was also intended to attract younger audiences.

For the 10th anniversary of the Aquanaut in 2007, Patek revamped the design, graduating from its previous embossed checkboard pattern to a gradient pattern that mimics the lines of the latitude and longitude on a globe. The result is a clean, sleek, and more balanced dial that appears more unified with the case and rubber strap.

Today, the 516X series is sky-rocketing in popularity, with many seeing it as a great alternative to the almost unattainable Nautilus 5711 — and it sure is.

 

Aquanaut 5164R
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Rose Gold Mens Watch 5164R

While the steel version 5164A and 5167A are decidedly sporty, the  5164R (R for Rose Gold) combines the precious metal with a brown dial and rubber strap, making for a handsome and dressier sports watch.

Beyond its good looks, the 5164R is a multitasker. At 6 o’clock is a date indicator that is tied to the home time, and on the left of the 40.8mm case, two buttons allow you to move the GMT hand independently. The watch is also waterproof down to 120 metres.

 


 

PATEK PHILIPPE CALATRAVA 5227

 

Calatrava Hunter Case 5227
Patek Philippe Calatrava Hunter Case Yellow Gold Automatic Mens Watch 5227
To many, Patek Philippe is synonymous to mechanical and complex complications, such as perpetual calendars and world timers. But it also has a collection of powerfully subtle dress watches called the Calatrava. Introduced in 1932, the minimalist design has been considered the embodiment of the perfect dress watch, with perfect proportions and only the date as its complication.

 

Calatrava Hunter Case 5227
Patek Philippe Calatrava Hunter Case Yellow Gold Automatic Mens Watch 5227

In 2013, Patek Philippe introduced the Calatrava ref. 5227, which can be considered a concession to modern times. Calatrava watches are usually on the smaller side (30 – 32mm for vintage models, and 35 – 38mm for the current collection), so the 39mm was a long awaited move. Finally, a Calatrava that will fit modern wrists.

What makes the ref. 5227 well-loved is that even with the larger size, it has the classic Calatrava elements right – the delicate round case, the dauphine hands, and the clean dial with applied gold indices. The officer’s case back is a charming touch — it opens on an invisible hinge to show the movement, a feature that took Patek two years to perfect.

 


 

PATEK PHILIPPE CALATRAVA 5524

 

Pilot Travel Time 5524
Patek Philippe Calatrava White Gold Pilot Travel Time Watch 5524

With the Calatrava known as the quintessential dress watch, the ref. 5224 White Gold Pilot Travel Time is unlike anything we’ve seen from the line before. One look and one will know that it is a pilot’s watch, but one will surely do a double take when they are told it’s a Calatrava.

While they’re not exactly known for making aviation watches, Patek does have a history of making them, for military to boot, back in the 1930s. The ref. 5224 is a homage to that time, with modern updates: a 42mm case made in white gold instead of the usual steel, and a rich, textured blue dial, instead of black as one would expect from a pilot’s watch.

 


 

PATEK PHILIPPE PERPETUAL CALENDAR 3940

 

Perpetual Calendar 3940
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 18K Yellow Gold Watch 3940

Patek has many celebrated ultra-complicated watches, but it would take some contextual background to truly appreciate the Perpetual Calendar 3940G. Its relative affordability compared to other complicated Pateks has made it somewhat an underrated piece.

It’s certainly one of the most important watches in Patek Philippe’s modern history. It was the first highly complicated, serially produced timepiece with a perpetual calendar (produced together with the perpetual calendar chronograph ref. 3970), and is also one of the longest-running production references in the history of Patek Philippe, as it was continually produced from 1985 to 2006, spanning four different case metals and four different dial iterations. It must also be mentioned that even Philippe Stern chose to wear a 3940 daily.

 

Perpetual Calendar 3940
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 18K Yellow Gold Watch 3940

Its background aside, the 3940’s construction is also one to marvel at. It is powered by what was then the all-new, ultra-thin calibre 240, Patek Philippe’s first movement to use an off center micro-rotor. This made way for the 3940’s elegant and astoundingly slim 9mm case that fits tightly to the wrist.

Of course, not to be forgotten are the fantastic aesthetics of the watch. The 3940 has a pleasing vintage look, with a white opaline dial, dauphine hands, and symmetrical subdials. Even with all its functions, the design is an exercise in restraint, which Patek Philippe is renowned for.

 

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