Patek Philippe has been one of the most recognizable watch brands in the world for a very long time now. The legendary Swiss luxury watchmaker pretty much been leading the market ever since it first stepped foot in the industry, back in 1839, and the brand hasn’t slowed down since.
While the majority of their watches are meant to be super chic, elegant and luxurious, there are a few intriguing additions to their line-up that are sure to please even the pickiest watch lover out there and we’re here to show every one of them in this short article.
That isn’t to say that we will solely focus on the exquisite watches that Patek Philippe has made over the years, but instead we will take a closer look at the top 20 best watches that they’ve ever created.
Another prerequisite over here is that they still need to be available for purchase, so we won’t cover any rare limited editions or one-off pieces that you can only get if you were to sell your unborn child to the brand for a chance to even look at them.
But before we go any further, we should offer you a brief history of the major categories that you will find in Patek Philippe’s timeless collection of watches, just so you know exactly what to expect from them. So, here they are:
The Most Important Patek Philippe Collections
Nautilus is our first pick of the day, and it actually came into being around the 1970s, becoming the brand’s top seller for a while especially thanks to its reach in the sports watch market around 1976.
Aquanaut is the second category to come up in our list as it came out in 1997 as a result of the success of the Nautilus collection. Although they are quite hard to come by these days, they are actually a lot more affordable than classic Nautilus watches so definitely keep hat in mind here.
Calatrava comes up next as the brand’s Bauhaus-inspired round dress watches. These first hit the scene around the 1920s and they were known for being very simplistic and eloquent of the upper class, especially when decorated with a ton of diamonds and whatnot.
Complications may sound like a made-up category, but these were actually a lot more popular than you’d think back in the day. This is a category full of different mechanical devices that can do a lot more than just tell the time, and yet they were usually purely cosmetical.
Grand Complications on the other hand included a lot more complications within one watch, and as a result they are a lot rarer to come by these days.
Golden Ellipse watches came out around 1968 and they were known for being very thin and unique looking watches. Amongst these watches we can find some of the most elegant models ever created.
Twenty~4 watches are very specific, they are actually 36mm or smaller, and while they can vary from round to square, quarts to mechanics and all the other tidbits that you can think of, the one constant thing about them is the fact that they are always meant for women’s wear.
Now that we have that out of the way and we are all on the same page though it’s about time that we jumped straight into this top 20 list, starting off with a model that most of us are already acquainted with:
20. Patek Philippe Nautilus Dual Time 5990
This is by far one of Patek Philippe’s most famous models but that may just be due to its incredibly high price tag alone. We are talking about a $100,000 watch right here that comes in steel or rose gold only, amped up with some of the most high-quality materials we’ve ever seen.
This really is a beauty to behold, especially thanks to its complex flyback chronograph function and every other complication that makes this a super unique model to boast with.
19. Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196
For the most part, whenever anyone actually wanted to get a watch from the Calatrava line they did so because they couldn’t afford some of the top-level Nautilus releases, but luckily this was never the case for this model.
Instead, the 5196 model completely took over the market thanks to its incredible Bauhaus aesthetic and that 37mm case that makes the watch look all the most unique to the touch.
18. Patek Philippe Calatrava “Clous de Paris” 6119
While definitely not for everybody, this gorgeous addition to the Calatrava lineup is actually one of our personal favorites simply because of how strange and completely out of the ordinary it looks and feels to wear.
It features a rather large diameter bezel of 39mm, and when coupled with the brushed dial you’ve got yourself what can only be described as the most modern looking Calatrava model to have ever come out of their factories.
Sitting at a price tag of around $29,000 this is definitely not the cheapest alternative you could get your hands on, although we would argue that it is well worth the investment to say the least.
17. Patek Philippe Complications 5396R
Coming up next, we have one of the most popular complications that Patek Philippe has ever released aka the Patek Philippe Complications 5396R.
This superb model features a very interesting and unique layout which allows for the 24-hour hand to come onto its subdial, while the three separate apertures showcase your day, date and month at the same time.
It is an interesting concept, although at the price of $52,000 this is definitely not going to be for everyone out there.
16. Patek Philippe Complications 5905
This is one of their most elegant models to say the least, and yet this isn’t its main selling point. In fact, its key selling point is actually the fact that it manages a flyback chronograph and a very useful annual calendar function all at the same time.
If that weren’t enough, this watch also features some of the most unique looking gothic apertures that we’ve ever seen, and after looking at it for just a second or so you will instantly be able to tell why this is worth around $58,000 in total these days.
15. Patek Philippe Complications Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524
Are you a fan of Patek Philippe’s Complications lineup? What about their stunning Calatrava collection? Can’t decide between the two? Just pick one that can be considered to be a part of both collections at the same time.
That’s right, featuring a ton of different complications including the dual time feature and the dual AM/PM indicators, this Patek beauty is definitely one for the ages to say the least.
14. Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5204
If you’re on the market trying to find the best grand complication watch then you need to check out this model because it’s well worth your time.
It features a ton of different complications including a split seconds chronograph, a perpetual calendar and of course, a moonphase as well.
13. Patek Philippe Grand Complications In-line Perpetual Calendar 5236
This watch is easily one of the most universally acclaimed models that Patek Philippe has ever released simply because of how unique and useful it really is.
It features a plethora of different complications to make your job easier, including a specifically designed indicator for the day, the date, the month, the leap year, and of course, the day and night showcasing AM/PM indicators.
12. Patek Philippe Grand Complications 6300G
As far as good looks go, this is quite possibly the most beautiful Grand Complications watch that Patek Philippe has ever made.
While functionality wise this is definitely one for the ages, what we would like to focus on more so is the fact that it is one of the most luxurious looking watches that we’ve ever seen.
The only real issue with it is its availability, since it is only buyable if you happen to leave a request for it on their website.
11. Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 5738
As you can expect from Patek Philippe’s esteemed Golden Ellipse category, this model is one of a kind in both its construction and its overall design choice.
It is definitely a fan-favorite amongst collectors simply because of the many artistic liberties that took part in its creation.
We also recommend going for the hand-engraved enamel dial version that came out in 2021, as it features a different color scheme which makes it look even more unique to say the least.
10. Patek Philippe Nautilus Self-Winding Rose Gold 5712R-001
Getting back to the basics with Patek Philippe we have this gorgeous piece that can make any formal attire look a million times better simply by slapping it down on your wrist.
As the name implies, this model offers you a self-winding mechanical movement unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, which is made all the better by its stunning design choice.
9. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-010
This khaki green model is by far one of the most unique watches you’ll ever see, especially coming from Patek Philippe of all places. This is a rather large watch which measures a total of 42.2mm and on top of that it features that green dial that has become a staple of the brand by now.
Coupled with that matching green rubber strap and of course, the folding clasp which makes wearing it all the more comfortable, this is definitely a watch that you shouldn’t avoid anytime soon.
8. Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524R-001
Yet another highly controversial piece right here, the Pilot Travel Time watch has become one of Patek Philippe’s most sought after watches after so many people dismissed it as being too radical when it first came out.
So, is this too much or is it just enough? You decide for yourself because for us personally, we believe that Patek Philippe has done an incredible job with it, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
7. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
Getting yourself one of these is akin to getting yourself a one-on-one date with Marylin Monroe back in the 50s and it truly shows. This is the type of a watch that everyone knows about and everyone dreams about owning, but very few people are actually going to get their hands on it.
Many would argue that it looks perfect and that there is no better model out there. While we do disagree, we can’t argue against the fact that it is a beautiful piece that we would take with us regardless of the occasion.
With a decent price tag of $30,000, this model is definitely not the cheapest out there but at the same time it’s nowhere near the most piggy-bank-breaking one either.
6. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5740
This spectacular watch actually came up during the recent Baselworld 2018 meetup where Patek Philippe decided to pretty much leave everyone else in the dust by bringing in their new piece de resistance, the Nautilus 5740 model.
Currently this is one of their most expensive and complicated watches and on top of that it is also one of the most unique pieces we’ve ever seen.
Coming up at around $125,000 this is definitely not the best choice if you’re looking to save up for your retirement plan, but hey, at least you’ll look like a million bucks everywhere you go while wearing it, so in our book, it’s definitely worth the investment.
5. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A
This Aquanaut model is actually one of the most popular models the Swiss watchmaker has ever made but not for the reasons you may think of. In fact, besides the fact that it looks incredible, its main selling point is actually the fact that it is a sportier version of the Nautilus category that is so beloved by the community.
Coming up at around $20,000 it’s no wonder that this is such a big-time seller for them, since that is practically a fraction of what most top-level Nautilus models sell for out there.
4. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164
This is one of the most famous complication watches that Patek Philippe ever released, and that all stems from its practicality.
It actually allows the display of a second time zone on itself which already elevates this model above most others that Patek Philippe has released in the past, and on top of that it also brings you the ability to showcase the date on it as well.
Couple all of that with the decent price tag of $35,000 and you can instantly tell why this is one of the company’s leading models right here.
3. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968
Lastly on our list we have this chronograph version of the Aquanaut, specifically a response to the popularity rise of the 5968A-001.
Design wise it is one of the boldest choices that Patek Philippe has ever made, especially thanks to the multiple orange accents on the dial and of course, that rather outlandish orange rubber strap that comes free of charge in the box besides the standard black rubber strap.
While not the cheapest model you could get, sitting at around $45,000 in total, it is still worth the price of admission simply because of how unique it is. The only real reason as to why it’s not higher on our list is the fact that it is super hard to come by these days.
2. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712
If the 5711 wasn’t exactly your style, then you have got to check out the 5712 because it is in our honest opinion one of their most incredible additions to their Nautilus collection by a longshot.
It features the same case and bracelet as the 5711, but besides this you get a whole different movement pattern with a ton of different complications and of course, a 240-based micro-rotor caliber.
It is a bit harder to come by these days, with a total waiting list of around six to eight years or so, but hey, for the price of $41,000 this is definitely better than a lot of other watches on our list.
1. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A (New Model)
Probably the most interesting thing about this extraordinary watch is the fact that before its new release, this watch was considered to be the “ugly duckling” of the lineup, the least beloved model and by far the worst seller from the Nautilus category.
As of Baselworld 2019’s re-release however, the community has definitely changed its mind and right now this is actually by far one of the most beloved additions to their list, bringing everyone together yet again to stare at in awe of the beauty that this model presents.
The brilliant watchmakers from Patek Philippe have definitely tried their hardest to always set the records as opposed to just following through with what everyone else was doing at the time.
While not all of their watches are considered to be financial successes, the one thing that we can all safely say about Patek Philippe is that they’re never boring, and for this we have to give them the praises that they deserve.
- The Most Important Patek Philippe Collections
- 20. Patek Philippe Nautilus Dual Time 5990
- 19. Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196
- 18. Patek Philippe Calatrava “Clous de Paris” 6119
- 17. Patek Philippe Complications 5396R
- 16. Patek Philippe Complications 5905
- 15. Patek Philippe Complications Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524
- 14. Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5204
- 13. Patek Philippe Grand Complications In-line Perpetual Calendar 5236
- 12. Patek Philippe Grand Complications 6300G
- 11. Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 5738
- 10. Patek Philippe Nautilus Self-Winding Rose Gold 5712R-001
- 9. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-010
- 8. Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524R-001
- 7. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
- 6. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5740
- 5. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A
- 4. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164
- 3. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968
- 2. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712
- 1. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A (New Model)