Patek Philippe Complications: Refined Timepieces
The storied manufacturer Patek Philippe has mastered the art of watchmaking. Their Complications collection contains timepieces with useful features, such as an annual calendar or GMT function, all of which live up to Patek's unrivaled standards.
5 Reasons to Buy a Patek Philippe Complications
- High-quality Patek Philippe in-house calibers
- Complications like an annual calendar, GMT function, world time display, or flyback chronograph
- Patek Philippe's legendary craftsmanship
- Precious metals, such as rose gold, white gold, or platinum
- Men's and women's sizes
A Universe of Complications
Patek Philippe is among the world's most highly respected luxury watch manufacturers. This family-run business is based in Geneva, Switzerland and is famous for crafting timepieces with intricate complications. Many of these watches can be found in the aptly named Complications collection.
This series contains a wide selection of timepieces with practical functions such as an annual calendar, moon phase indicator, chronograph, or second time zone. The most complex models combine multiple complications. For example, the ref. 5930G is Patek Philippe's first model in series production to feature both a world time display and chronograph.
The classically elegant timepieces in the Complications collection resemble one of Patek's most popular dress watches, the Calatrava. Most models have an exquisite case crafted from rose, yellow, or white gold. Platinum editions are also available. One notable exception is the ref. 5212A-001, which is made of stainless steel.
Each timepiece houses an in-house caliber of the highest quality. These movements feature elaborately decorated bridges and plates and boast superlative accuracy.
How much does a Patek Philippe Complications watch cost?
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Complication(s)|
|5961P-001||133,000 USD||Annual calendar, flyback chronograph|
|5905P-001||68,000 USD||Annual calendar, flyback chronograph|
|5930G-001||60,500 USD||World time display, flyback chronograph|
|7130G-014||47,000 USD||World time display|
|5524G-001||45,500 USD||GMT, pointer date, day/night display|
|5205R-010||45,000 USD||Annual calendar, moon phase display|
|5235G||41,500 USD||Annual calendar, regulator|
|5396G-011||39,500 USD||Annual calendar, moon phase display|
|5146J-010||33,000 USD||Annual calendar, moon phase display, power reserve indicator|
|5212A||33,000 USD||Annual calendar, stainless steel case|
Watches with an Annual Calendar and Classic Pointer Displays
Having an annual calendar is extremely practical. Watches with this complication have displays for the date, day, and month. What's even more impressive is that they know whether a month has 30 or 31 days. This means you only have to manually correct the date once a year on March 1st.
Patek Philippe offers an entire series of watches with this function. One example bears the reference number 5146. This elegant dress watch is 39 mm in diameter and indicates the day and month on separate subdials using pointers. These subdials sit at 2 and 10 o'clock, respectively. The date occupies a window at 6 o'clock, directly below the moon phase display. Finally, a power reserve indicator at 12 o'clock lets you know how much energy the automatic caliber 324 S IRM QA LU has left.
The case comes in rose, yellow, or white gold. Each version has matching applied indices, numerals, and hands. You can choose from a white silver-plated or anthracite sunburst dial. A beautiful alligator leather strap with a folding clasp holds this timepiece securely on the wrist. Plan to spend between 30,000 and 33,000 USD on a new yellow or rose gold timepiece. The white gold edition costs slightly more at 33,000 to 37,000 USD.
Patek Philippe also creates a smaller version for more delicate wrists. This timepiece, the ref. 4947, comes in white or rose gold and measures 38 mm in diameter. A diamond-studded bezel frames the white silver-plated or light blue sunburst dial. You can call one of these watches your own for around 45,000 USD.
Prices for an Annual Calendar with a Date Window
Models with the reference number 5396 or 5205 have an annual calendar with the date, day, and month each displayed in separate windows. The 5396 series has its day and month windows below the company name at 12 o'clock and a date display at 6. A combined moon phase and 24-hour display sits directly above the date. The 24-hour portion is synchronized with the central time display and serves as a day/night indicator.
The 5205 series has the same combination subdial at 6 o'clock. However, all three of its calendar displays are on the upper half of the dial, with the day at 10, date at 12, and month at 2 o'clock.
Patek Philippe offers both series in rose or white gold with a white, dark blue, or black dial. Mint-condition rose gold models sell for between 40,500 and 46,500 USD. Their white gold counterparts cost anywhere from 39,500 to 44,500 USD. Pre-owned pieces demand a few thousand dollars less, regardless of the case material.
Purchasing a Flyback Chronograph
The Complications collection is also home to a few chronographs. The 42-mm watches of the ref. 5905 series are flyback chronographs with a 60-minute counter at 6 o'clock. Furthermore, they feature an annual calendar with a month window at 2, day at 10, and date at 12. All this functionality comes from the automatic in-house caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H.
These timepieces are available in rose gold, white gold, or platinum with a black, blue, or dark brown dial. You can purchase a never-worn edition for around 66,000 USD. Well-maintained pre-owned models demand an investment of between 60,500 and 65,000 USD.
At just under 40 mm in diameter, the refs. 5960 and 5961 are slightly smaller than the ref. 5905 series. However, thanks to the automatic caliber CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H, these watches boast a few more functions than their larger sister model. This includes a power reserve indicator below the date at 12 o'clock and a dual 24-hour and 60-minute counter at 6.
These models also come in platinum, rose gold, or white gold. What's more, each ref. 5961 has a bezel studded with 36 baguette-cut diamonds. A new ref. 5960 in rose or white gold changes hands for about 53,000 USD. If you're interested in the rose gold ref. 5961, be prepared to spend roughly 115,000 USD. The same timepiece in platinum demands some 133,000 USD.
Fans of classic bi-compax chronographs should take a closer look at the refs. 5170 and 7150 . Both are available in rose or white gold and are powered by the manual caliber CH 29-535 PS. They have a 30-minute counter at 3 and a small seconds at 9 o'clock. The main difference between the two references is their size. While the ref. 5170 measures 42 mm in diameter, the ref. 7150 comes in at 38 mm and is a great choice for narrower wrists. Prices for these models range from 55,000 to 72,000 USD.
GMT Models for Frequent Fliers
Watches with a GMT function are beloved among frequent travelers, especially those that often hop between time zones. The Complications collection contains multiple timepieces with this practical feature.
One example is the reference 5524. Pilot's watches from the 1920s and 30s served as the inspiration for this timepiece. Large luminous numerals dominate the otherwise tidy dial. The wide sword hands also glow in the dark. Each watch features separate day/night indicators for the local time and the time back home. A pair of push-pieces at 8 and 10 o'clock operate the GMT display. Finally, a pointer date at 6 o'clock rounds off the 5524's functionality.
The 42-mm case comes in rose or white gold and is mounted on a refined brown calf leather strap. You can call one of these timepieces your own for around 45,000 USD new. Pre-owned pieces cost only slightly less at 43,000 USD. Patek also offers this model as a women's watch. Aside from its 37.5-mm case, the ref. 7234R is identical to the 5524. This version costs about 38,500 USD.
Keeping an Eye on the Time Around the Globe
World time watches allow you to keep track of all the world's time zones simultaneously. Patek Philippe outfits the references 5230, 5231, and 7130 with this complication. Each is equipped with the manual caliber 240 HU. This movement displays the time in 24 time zones via a combination of central hour and minute hands, a 24-hour disc, and a city disc. A push-piece at 10 o'clock makes it easy to switch between individual time zones.
The references 5230 and 5231 are both 38.5 mm in diameter and available in rose gold, white gold, or platinum. The only way to tell the two models apart is their dial layout. While the center of the 5230's dial is guillochéed by hand, that of the ref. 5231 features a world map made of cloisonné enamel.
Prices for a gold ref. 5230 range from 35,000 to 39,000 USD depending on its condition. On the other hand, the platinum ref. 5231 demands some 132,000 USD.
With a diamond-studded bezel and 36-mm case, the 7130 series is geared toward a more feminine audience. Plan to spend between 46,000 and 52,000 USD on one of these timepieces.
How much do regulator watches cost?
The ref. 5235 stands out from the rest of the Complications collection thanks to its regulator-style dial. That means that the hours, minutes, and seconds are all displayed separately from one another. This version has a central minute hand, with subdials for the seconds and hours at 6 and 12, respectively. What's more, the automatic caliber 31-260 REG QA comes with an annual calendar. Its date window sits within the small seconds at 6, while the day and month are located at 10 and 2 o'clock.
Patek Philippe offers this reference in rose gold with an anthracite dial or in white gold with a silver dial. Prices for the white gold version begin at 40,500 USD new and 37,500 USD pre-owned. The rose gold edition debuted in 2019 and costs around 48,500 USD.