Patek Philippe is largely considered the best watchmaker globally, but ask a group of collectors, dealers, bloggers, and auctioneers to agree on the five best models the company has released since 2000, and chaos ensues.
They may concede on the broad strokes that have catapulted the historic Geneva watchmaker to the top of the watchmaking pyramid (family ownership, excellent craft, and a firm dedication to the brand’s history).
Nautilus, Ref. 5711/1A
Patek Philippe released a newer Nautilus, Ref. 5711, on the model’s 30th anniversary in 2006, a modern version praised for its elegant blending of vintage features and contemporary style. The Ref. 5711 became a watchmaking phenomenon in the process, rewriting the laws of the secondary market, where it commands a substantial premium above retail.
The contemporary Ref. 5711/1A featured numerous improvements over the original, including increased water resistance, better corrosion resistance due to higher-grade steel, and enhanced comfort because of a superior double-folding clasp.
Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Ref. 5970P
Collectors recognize the 5970 for its wonderfully balanced proportions and 40 mm case diameter. It is a direct descendent of Patek Philippe’s classic references 1518 and
As far as watch holy grails go, the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Ref. 5970, is the granddaddy of significant complexities. The 5970 combined modern style with the traditional origins of its beloved older models, with square pushers and elegant stepped lugs.
This clock builds on the 5970P, which is the most popular contemporary Patek. It adds an outstanding factory-set bezel that enhances the entire event, making it a tremendous black-tie timepiece.
Nautilus Blue Dial Steel Men’s Watch 5711
When it was initially released in 1976, the Patek Philippe Nautilus created a splash. The conservative watchmaker launched actual sports watch for the first time, and not only that, it came in steel instead of precious metals, and it was expensive.
In 2006, Patek presented Ref. 5711 to commemorate the Nautilus’ 30th anniversary. It was created to be as similar to the original Nautilus (Ref. 3700) as feasible while still incorporating contemporary aesthetics and a new in-house movement.
The Nautilus’s significant backstory and utilitarian purpose and a timeless, beautiful form revived interest in it. The 5711 is now the most expensive steel sports watch on the market, with an 8-12 year waitlist at authorized dealers.
Aquanaut 516X Series
Patek Philippe released the Aquanaut in 1997 as a more affordable alternative to the Nautilus. It was the first Patek Philippe watch to have a rubber strap, and the more casual appearance was designed to appeal to a younger audience.
Patek redesigned the Aquanaut for its tenth anniversary in 2007, switching from an embossed checkboard pattern to a gradient pattern that resembles the lines of latitude and longitude on a globe. As a result, the dial is cleaner, sleeker, and more balanced, and it blends in better with the case and rubber strap.
Aquanaut Travel Time Rose Gold Men’s Watch 5164R
While the steel versions (5164A and 5167A) are unmistakably athletic, the 5164R (R for Rose Gold) pairs the precious metal with a brown dial and a rubber strap to create a beautiful and dressier sports watch.
In addition to its appealing appearance, the 5164R is a multitasker. At 6 o’clock, there’s a date indicator connected to the home time, and two buttons on the left of the 40.8mm case let you adjust the GMT hand separately. The timepiece is also water-resistant to 120 meters.
Calatrava Hunter Case Yellow Gold Automatic Men’s Watch 5227
Many people associate Patek Philippe with mechanical and sophisticated complexities like perpetual calendars and global timers. Calatrava, on the other hand, is a series of powerfully understated dress timepieces.
Patek Philippe released the Calatrava ref. 5227 in 2013, which may be regarded as a modern-day concession. Calatrava watches are typically on the smaller side (30–32mm for antique models and 35–38mm for the current line), so the leap to 39mm was a long time coming. Finally, a Calatrava that is appropriate for today’s wrists.
The Ref. 5227 is famous because, despite its bigger size, it has all of the typical Calatrava characteristics, such as the delicate round case, dauphine hands, and clear dial with applied gold indexes. The officer’s case back is a lovely touch since it opens on an unseen hinge to reveal the movement, a feature Patek spent two years perfecting.
Ask any watch collector, merchant, or auctioneer, and they would undoubtedly agree that Patek Philippe is the most respected watch brand globally. If you ask them which Patek Philippe watch is the most desirable, popular, or best to possess, they will struggle to agree.