10 Patek Philippe Watches That Exemplify Fine Watchmaking

Honouring traditional Genevan watchmaking with a harmonious blend of fine craftsmanship, rarity and aesthetics since its inception in 1839, Patek Philippe is one of the most renowned Swiss luxury watch brands in the world of horology. If you’re a watch collector, an enthusiast or simply have a taste for finer things in life, you know this isn’t an exaggeration. And, Patek Philippe watches are some of the most coveted ones that manage to transcend time and generations.

Patek Philippe produces some of the most complicated and reliable mechanical watches which lend the brand its lionised status that has been achieved over decades owing to innumerable reasons. From constant innovation in designing and techniques to developing and manufacturing each movement in-house, the brand combines ancestral savoir-faire, cutting-edge technology and avant-garde expertise in each of its pieces.

In fact, from the case and the dial to its functionality and mechanism, each watch is handcrafted by a dedicated artisan, aided with vast experience and skill. No wonder every single timepiece by the brand is considered a rare asset that holds and maintains its value even in the resale market. Think the legendary Nautilus 5711/1A, the first ever Aquanaut or the iconic, highly complex and sophisticated perpetual calendars.

Additionally, factors like exclusivity of timepieces stemming from their production for a limited series, use of highest quality materials and time required to create each piece also makes a Patek Philippe watch a highly profitable investment. While you can buy a new piece at their official authorised retailers, the classic and iconic pieces can be purchased through certified authentic resellers or auction portals.

(All Images: Patek Philippe)

The best Patek Philippe watches to invest in for a timeless collection

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Patek Philippe Nautilus — Reference 5712/1R-001

Inspired by the marine portholes’ design, Nautilus is an iconic timepiece by Patek Philippe that makes any watch collector or enthusiast go weak in the knees. Be it the classic 5711/1A or its various iterations, Nautilus is instantly recognisable and maintains its value incredibly. The 5712/1R model was launched in 2006 to celebrate 30 years of the Nautilus collection and the design is the perfect reverence to the original.

Set in an unusual octagonal-shaped bezel with rounded edges, it is one of the best and one of the few sports watches to be equipped with complications. With a pointer-type analogue date display, moon phases, a power reserve display and subsidiary seconds counter, the watch is exceptionally reliable and precise. Refined details like a brown sunburst dial with black-gradient rim, horizontal embossed pattern and luminescent coating on gold-applied hour markers add a distinguished edge to the design with a rose gold case and bracelet.

Powered by a self-winding calibre 240 PS IRM C LU with a power reserve of 38 to 48 hours, this Patek Philippe watch is water-resistant up to 60 metres, has a sapphire crystal case back and a screw-down crown.

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Patek Philippe Aquanaut — Reference 5167/1A-001

With a rounded octagon case that’s inspired by Nautilus, the Aquanaut is its rather sportier version that comes in bracelet or tropical rubber strap. It was first launched in 1997, and has been equally admired ever since. The 5167/1A features a dial that has a prominent curve in the embossed pattern which lends the design a unique look. It has a perfect balance of both sporty and formal looks which makes it versatile enough to be styled with different kinds of outfits.

Equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement with calibre 26-330 S C and a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours, this Patek Philippe watch is water-resistant up to 120 metres. Furthermore, it is fashioned in stainless steel that also resists corrosion, radiation, saltwater and abrasions. It has sweep seconds and a date counter at 3 o’clock.

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Patek Philippe Calatrava — Reference 5227R-001

A classic round wrist watch combining sophistication and function in a design, the Calatrava is another staple from Patek Philippe. And, fashioned in an elegant design with a rose gold case and a leather strap is the 5227R model that exemplifies what the Calatrava range stands for. While the 39 millimetre case features an ivory lacquered dial with gold-applied hour markers and a date aperture at 3 o’clock, the shiny alligator strap with square scales is fashioned in a dark chestnut hue accentuated with a prong buckle.

Water-resistant up to 30 metres, the watch is equipped with a self-winding calibre 324 S C mechanical movement with a power reserve of 35 to 45 minutes. If you’re looking for a dressy watch that’s every bit voguish and yet transcends time, a Calatrava should be your go-to.

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Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph — Reference 5270P-014

It was in 1941, when Patek Philippe started the regular production of perpetual calendar chronographs and the brand has dropped some of the most popular chronograph designs ever since. One of the most sought-after Grand Complication wrist watches, the 5270P was launched in 2011, and is one of the most iconic designs that’s unique yet a perfect ode to the original.

Fashioned in the most precious metal, platinum, this watch features a shiny black alligator strap with square scales for an eclectic look. Encased in a concave bezel case featuring two-tier lugs and correction push pieces is the lacquered green dial surrounded by a black radiant rim. Topped with gold applied hour markers, the dial also features twin day and month apertures at 12 O’Clock, pointer-type date display with moon phase at 6 O’Clock, two small apertures indicating day/night and leap year, subsidiary seconds and and a 30-minute counter.

The manually wound calibre CH 29-535 PS Q mechanical movement runs this chronograph with a power reserve of 55 to 65 hours. The watch is water-resistant up to 30 metres and can be distinguished by its traditional architecture and make which includes column wheel and horizontal clutch.

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Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time — Reference 5164A-001

Yet another Patek Philippe Aquanaut that’s known not only for its sporty yet elegant look but also for its functionality, is the Travel Time 5164A. With a dual time zone mechanism that displays both home and local time, this watch is perfect for someone who travels frequently. While the solid hour hands indicate the local time, the skeletonised hour hand shows the home time. When travelling, the local time can be adjusted forwards or backwards by pressing the pushers. Additionally, the dial also showcases small local and home apertures whether it is day or night in those time zones.

The watch is equipped with a self-winding calibre 26-330 S C FUS with sweep seconds hand. This water-resistant watch (up to 120 metres) features the signature rounded-embossed design with a date-by-hand counter at 6 O’Clock and a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours.

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Patek Philippe Grand Complications Celestial — Reference 6102P-001

Taking Patek Philippe’s Genevan watchmaking artistry a notch above is the Grand Complications Celestial watch that was first launched in 2002 as model 5102. Its reimagined version 6102P in a platinum make is a bold model with unique functions. This astronomical watch’s dial shows the exact configuration of the sky in the northern hemisphere complete with movement of the stars and movement and phases of the moon.

Equipped with a self-winding calibre 240 LU CL C mechanical movement, the astronomical readings are complemented by central hour hands denoting the solar time and a central date hand depicting the date marked on the outermost periphery of the dial. The watch has a power reserve of a minimum of 38 hours and a maximum of 48 hours. While an ellipse on the underside of the dial frames the portion of the sky visible from Geneva, this water-resistant watch (up to 30 metres) is further crafted with an alligator strap in a shiny navy blue hue.

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Patek Philippe Calatrava — Reference 5226G-001

Launched in 2022, this latest addition to the Calatrava line is a rather modish take while keeping its classic round shape intact. While a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern adorns the flanks, the guilloche motif continues around the entire case band for which the designers had to come up with a distinctive case construction altogether. It is driven by a self-winding calibre 26-330 S C mechanical movement that powers time and aperture-type date display and has a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours.

While the textured charcoal grey dial is surrounded by a black gradient rim and gold-applied numerals with luminescent coating, the watch comes with interchangeable straps — beige calfskin with nubuck finish (original) and black calfskin embossed with fabric pattern (additional).

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Patek Philippe Complications Calatrava Pilot Travel Time — Reference 5524G-001

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is a more functional and ultra-mod take on the classic, dressy Calatravas. Showcasing time in two different time zones, this watch is perfect for frequent flyers and pilots (as the name suggests) who travel to different countries often. It was launched in 2015, and is equipped with a self-winding calibre 26-330 S C FUS that indicates home time and local time simultaneously and has a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours.

The solid central hour hands denote the local time whereas, the skeletonised central hand indicates the time in your home time zone. The pushers help in adjusting the local time when travelling while the local and home time apertures are crafted on the dial to indicate day and night times in each time zone. Set in a white gold case, the blue vanished dial is marked with gold applied numerals with luminescent coating while the calf leather strap is crafted in a vintage brown hue. The watch is water-resistant up to 60 metres.

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Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph — Reference 5373P-001

An exclusive timepiece crafted in a limited series for left-handed people and those who prefer choicest rarities, this Patek Philippe watch is the first left-hander chronograph in the brand’s recent history. Crafted in a platinum case, the design exudes a rather sporty and contemporary style marked with an eccentric arrangement of displays and pushers, a charcoal grey dial with 18K gold dial plate and gold applied numerals.

It is enhanced by a manually wound calibre CHR 27-525 PS Q mechanical movement with a power reserve of 38 to 48 hours. This chronograph is equipped with a 60-minute counter, perpetual calendar, apertures displaying day and night, day and month, date indicated by hand and moon phases. Additionally, the strap of the watch is made with black calfskin that’s further embossed with a fabric pattern.

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Patek Philippe Complications World Time — Reference 5231G-001

Patek Philippe World Time Watches were launched in the 1930s and the 5231G, launched in 2022 interprets this model in a stunning white gold version with the map in Grand Feu Cloisonné enamel dial. Paying a tribute to the dynamism of Southeast Asia and Oceania, the watch has been meticulously designed with an aim to combine geography with art. The process starts with the artisan marking off the continents’ outlines with a thin gold wire. Those compartments are then filled with distinct enamel colours to create oceans and lands while consistently firing the enamelled dial plate in a kiln at high temperatures. This dial intricacy is perfectly finished off by the alligator leather strap crafted in a matte navy blue colour.

The self-winding calibre 240 HU mechanical movement has a power reserve of minimum 48 hours, while its innovative mechanism displays local time with central hands, and time in any of the world’s 24 time zones with rotating outer dial disks. These outer disks display the names of the 24 cities that represent the world’s 24 time zones. The displays can easily be adjusted by simply pressing the button on the case at 10 o’clock.