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For Patek Philippe, 2024 Is Shaping Up to Be a Thrilling Year

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Ref. 5738 1r 001 Cortina Watch Featured Image

At Watches and Wonders, Patek Philippe paid special attention to its shaped watches; in particular, the Gondolo gets elevated in an unexpected way. 

Back in 1968 when Jean-Daniel Rubeli, the head of R&D at Patek Philippe, first introduced the Golden Ellipse to the world, his goal was to capture the design spirit of the 1960s. Just over 56 years old and looking remarkably good for its age, the Golden Ellipse is truly an ever-contemporary model that retains a strong appeal to design lovers across generations.

The Golden Ellipse is a reference to the Golden Ratio, which was heavily applied to architectural constructions of the era. This was right before the decade-long Quartz Crisis reshaped fine watchmaking. Even then, Patek Philippe continued crafting watches like the Golden Ellipse, an ode to simple elegance with a dial that’s generously laid out with plenty of open space. But what is as impressive is the Caliber 240 that was released in 1977. The perfect ultra-thin mechanical movement to match this creation.

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The compact case design of the effortlessly suave Ref. 5738/1R-001 contrasts against the weave-like pattern of the rose gold chain-style bracelet.

As we approach the 60th, anniversary of the Golden Ellipse, Patek Philippe has pulled out a show-stopper with the Ref. 5738/1R-001, featuring a chain-style bracelet in full rose gold produced and hand-finished by artisans from Wellendorf. Totalling 363 links, they are set at alternating rows and then aligned with a bar. This creates a very flexible and fully articulating bracelet that is like a second skin on the wrist when worn. This was a project they worked on for 15 years, before reaching a standard both partners were satisfied with. The bracelet’s design is exclusive to Patek Philippe – they don’t plan to share the knowledge with any other watchmaker.

Soothing Blues

Patek Philippe_Nautilus_Ref. 5980-60G-001_Cortina Watch

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is another shaped watch that was developed shortly after the Golden Ellipse was introduced, which is getting a refresh as well.

Rubeli credited his peer, Gérald Genta, with giving him the inspiration for the Golden Ellipse. In fact, for a long time, many thought the Ellipse d’Or was really by Genta. While the designer wasn’t involved in that watch, he did create one of the Manufacture’s most renowned timepieces – the Nautilus. The porthole-inspired watch has come a very long way since 1976, and the luxury sportswatch identity of the Nautilus has evolved along with the movements and complications that have been introduced in the line.

While the Nautilus collection used to offer more steel watches than gold, the balance shifted slightly when the Ref. 5811G Nautilus with gradient blue dial succeeded the Ref. 5711. This year, Patek Philippe is refreshing the Ref. 5980/60G-001 Nautilus Flyback Chronograph, which features the Manufacture’s powerful self-winding Caliber 28-520 C/522 flyback chronograph with vertical coupling and column-wheel operation.

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The unique monocounter chronograph display of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Flyback Chronograph Ref. 5980/60G-001 maximises the use of the counter for a more balanced dial layout.

This is one of the most popular Nautliuses around, due to the unique design of the chronograph display which sees the 12-hour totaliser nested within the 30-minute, which has the benefit of keeping the rest of the dial poetically empty, save for its iconic grooves. The dial is in a gray-blue opaline hue, offering a very soothing presence that adds a hint of seriousness to this sporty timepiece, especially with all the busyness happening around the main display. The owner can use the chronograph seconds hand as a running seconds hand, keeping the movement’s gear train and chronograph gears coupled constantly.

Patek Philippe_Aquanaut_Ref. 5164G-001_Cortina Watch

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5164G-001 is one of the three additions to the sporty range in gold.

Aquanaut Additions

As the demand for precious metals in sports watch models has risen over the last few years, Patek Philippe has also expanded the number of gold-cased references in the Aquanaut series. This year sees additions in the Aquanaut Travel Time, debuting a white gold variation that also has a similar blue-gray opaline dial to the Nautlius Ref. 5980/60G-001 above. It also comes with a “Tropical” composite strap in the same shade as the dial, which evokes the feeling of a laid-back, Mediterranean summer when you look at the watch.

It’s equipped with the self-winding Caliber 26-330 S C FUS with dual time zones indicated by a second skeleton hour hand, and day/night indications for local and home time in little apertures on the dial. An analogue date counter that is tied to the local time is displayed at 6 o’clock on the watch.

Patek Philippe_Aquanaut_Ref. 5269R-001_Cortina Watch

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5269R-001 with a non gem-set rose gold case is another new addition to the series.

A second Aquanaut Travel Time model with a highly utilitarian layout is the Ref. 5269, which in the past has always come with gem-set bezels. That changed last year with the Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R-001, in a rose gold case with the blue-gray dial as the previous two models. The Ref. 5261R-001 was critically and commercially a great hit, attracting those who preferred the slightly smaller case form of the Aquanaut Luce series without embellishments.

The new Ref. 5269R-001 comes in a rose gold case with luminous hands and trapezoid indexes above the Arabic hour markers. A single aperture indicating day and night time at home is positioned at 6 o’clock. Sized at just 38.8mm across and just 8.77mm thick, and paired with a matching composite strap, this is an easy everyday watch that looks elegant and sporty on anyone’s wrist. The watch is powered by a high-accuracy Caliber E 23-250 S FUS 24H with a long battery life.

Patek Philippe_Aquanaut_Ref. 5268-461G-001_Cortina Watch

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Haute Joaillerie Ref. 5268/461G-001 elevates the luxury sports watch with a well-balanced combination of diamonds and sapphires on the watch case, dial, and clasp.

For collectors who appreciate haute joaillerie timepieces, Patek Philippe has a new watch that takes sports chic to the next level. The Aquanaut Luce Haute Joaillerie Ref. 5268/461G-001 has a combination of brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires set on the dial, bezel, clasp and lugs, housed in a 38.8mm white gold case.

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The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Haute Joaillerie Ref. 5268/461G-001 is powered by the Manufacture’s Caliber 26-330 S which can be seen through the exhibition caseback.

There are 40 baguette-cut sapphires in a light to dark blue gradient from the sides to the top and bottom that total 3.6 carats. Eight additional baguette diamonds totalling 0.58 carats are set on the lugs. The hour markers are baguette sapphires with a snow setting of brilliant-cut diamonds between them. Finally, the centre of the dial is made up of alternating baguette diamonds and sapphires that replicate the checkerboard pattern of the Aquanaut. It’s equipped with the self-winding Caliber 26-330 S, Patek Philippe’s steadfast base movement that was first used in the Ref. 5212 in 2019, and can be seen through the exhibition caseback.

One More Thing…

Speaking of the Twenty~4, it’s the collection’s 25th anniversary this year. The ladies-oriented line was introduced by Mr. Philippe Stern at the turn of the century and has since been one of the Manufacture’s top-selling collections. In fact, the collection was highlighted when Patek Philippe began to pay growing attention to collectors and watch enthusiasts who desired timepieces that were contemporary in design with a casual chic style.

Patek Philippe_Twenty~4_Ref. 4910-1201R-001_Cortina Watch

The Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Ref. 4910/1201R-010 is the first Twenty~4 model dedicated to the anniversary of the collection this year, with a splendid aubergine lacquer on an embossed dial that was first seen on the Ladies’ Calatrava last year.

There’s not much mentioned about what lies ahead for the Twenty~4, but they have released a single reference that exemplifies how the Twenty~4 remains a top favourite. Housed in a beautifully polished rose gold case with a manchette bracelet, a discreet row of diamonds on each side of the case reminds us that this was an early example of the watch-as-jewellery style that’s so popular today.

Furthermore, the dial is stunning, with an embossed concentric wave pattern that’s hand-worked, adding layers upon layers of translucent purple and transparent lacquer that creates added depth and vivid colour when light falls on the dial. This dial was first used on the Ladies’ Calatrava Ref. 4997, in white gold with a blue dial and in rose gold with the same aubergine hue. With the warmth of the rose gold case, it really enhances the rich colour of the Ref. 4910/1201R-010.

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The Patek Philippe Twenty~4 enjoyed a design refresh in 2022 with a slight refinement that enhanced its cuff watch style that can be clearly seen here, paired with the manchette bracelet and curved case.

It’s clear that with its shaped timepieces, the Manufacture develops thoughtful pairings of fine watchmaking with artistic crafts that bring out a striking aesthetic. Find out more about these timepieces from one of our sales representatives today.

Discover Patek Philippe collections at our boutiques, or online. Contact a sales representative today to learn more.