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.
From Annual Calendars to World Time Watches
Patek Philippe is among the world's most highly respected luxury watch manufacturers. The family-run business is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is famous for crafting timepieces with intricate complications beyond simple time and date displays. Many of these watches belong to the aptly named Complications collection.
The Complications collection contains a wide selection of timepieces with practical features, such as an annual calendar, a moon phase indicator, world time function, or second time zone. The most complex models boast multiple complications. For example, the ref. 5930G is the first Patek Philippe in series production to combine 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 and stainless steel editions are also available. Two notable stainless steel examples include the refs. 5212A-001 and 4947/1A. The latter debuted in 2021 and is Patek Philippe's first stainless steel perpetual calendar. The ref. 5905P is one of the collection's few platinum timepieces. It is 42 mm in diameter and pairs a flyback chronograph with an annual calendar.
Each timepiece gets its power from an in-house caliber of the highest quality. These movements feature elaborately decorated bridges and plates and boast outstanding accuracy.
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
- Rare and coveted models in stainless steel
- Precious metals like platinum and rose, white, and yellow gold
- Fantastic value retention
Prices at a Glance: Patek Philippe Complications
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Case material; complications|
|5961P-001||144,000 USD||Platinum; annual calendar, flyback chronograph|
|5170P-001||107,000 USD||Platinum; chronograph|
|5905P-001||81,000 USD||Platinum; annual calendar, flyback chronograph|
|5930G-001||69,000 USD||White gold; world time display, flyback chronograph|
|5146/1RJ-010||63,500 USD||Rose gold; annual calendar, moon phase display, power reserve indicator|
|5960/01G-001||56,500 USD||White gold; annual calendar, flyback chronograph|
|5205R-010||54,000 USD||Rose gold; annual calendar, moon phase display|
|5524G-001||50,500 USD||White gold; GMT, pointer date, day/night display|
|5212A-001||50,500 USD||Stainless steel; weekly calendar|
|5235G-001||46,500 USD||White gold; annual calendar, regulator|
|7130G-014||46,500 USD||White gold; world time display|
|5110P-001||46,500 USD||Platinum; world time display|
|5396G-011||45,500 USD||White gold; annual calendar, moon phase display|
How much does a Patek Philippe Complications cost?
Prices for a Complications timepiece range from roughly 23,000 USD for a used watch with moon phase and power reserve displays to around 206,000 USD for a pre-owned copy of the ref. 5070P-001, a platinum chronograph. Compared to its sister models in gold, the platinum edition is especially rare, coveted, and expensive. The same timepiece in white gold demands only 76,500 USD.
The ref. 4947/1A is the latest addition to the Complications family. Patek Philippe introduced this 38-mm stainless steel model at Watches and Wonders 2021. Defining features include an annual calendar, a midnight blue dial with a double vertical and horizontal satin finish, and a fully polished five-piece link stainless steel bracelet. The manufacturer equips this watch with the caliber 324 S QA LU, which displays the day, month, and moon phase on separate subdials. This reference has a list price of 47,900 USD. However, demand for stainless steel Patek Philippe watches often outpaces supply, so the ref. 4947/1A's market value could quickly exceed its list price.
The white gold Calatrava Pilot Travel Time ref. 5524G-001 sits in a similar price range and demands around 50,000 USD. This 42-mm wristwatch has a classic pilot's watch design and a blue dial. It can also display two time zones simultaneously thanks to the in-house caliber 324 S C FUS. This movement also features a pointer date at 6 o'clock and a day/night display for both time zones.
World time watches like the ref. 5231J are especially practical for frequent travelers. This yellow gold watch shows the time in the world's 24 main time zones all at once. It also has 24-hour and day/night displays for the various time zones. At 38.5 mm in diameter, this timepiece is a great choice for men and women alike. Perhaps the ref. 5231J's most notable feature is its beautiful dial with a "cloisonné" enamel center depicting the African, American, and European continents. Be prepared to spend about 115,000 USD on this exquisite timepiece.
Complications Models With an Annual Calendar
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 platinum or 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 42,000 and 45,000 USD on a new yellow or rose gold timepiece. White gold editions generally cost slightly less. Finally, the platinum edition is the most expensive at roughly 47,000 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 49,500 USD. The manufacturer also produces versions with mother-of-pearl dials under the reference number 4948. These watches sell for around 69,000 USD.
Patek Phillipe Complications With an Annual Calendar and Window Displays
Models from the 5396 and 5205 lines feature annual calendars 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 48,000 and 53,500 USD. Their white gold counterparts cost anywhere from 43,500 to 53,500 USD. Pre-owned pieces demand a few thousand dollars less, regardless of the case material.
Complications Models With Flyback Chronographs
The Complications collection is also home to a few chronographs. The 42-mm watches in 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, a day at 10, and a date at 12 o'clock. All this functionality comes from the automatic in-house caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H.
These timepieces are available in rose gold or platinum with a black, blue, or dark brown dial. You can purchase a never-worn edition for around 66,500 USD in rose gold and 81,000 USD in platinum.
At 40.5 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 models. 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 59,500 USD. The platinum edition sells for around 62,000 USD. If you're interested in a rose gold or platinum ref. 5961, be prepared to spend roughly 145,000 USD.
Fans of classic two-subdial chronographs should take a closer look at the refs. 5170 and 7150. Both are available in rose or white gold and use 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. Furthermore, Patek Philippe offers the ref. 7150/250R with 72 diamonds on its bezel and a further 27 diamonds on its pin buckle. You can purchase this rose gold chronograph for about 69,000 USD in mint condition. The 5170 occupies a similar price range and demands around 59,000 USD in yellow gold, 69,000 USD in rose gold, and 76,500 USD in white gold. The platinum 5170 is the most expensive at approximately 107,000 USD.
Complications GMT Watches for Frequent Travelers
Watches with a GMT function are beloved among frequent travelers, especially pilots and businesspeople who 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 case is 42 mm in diameter and comes in your choice of rose or white gold. Brown calf leather straps complete the look of these pilot's watches. Prices for a mint-condition model sit around 49,500 USD.
Patek offers a nearly identical women's watch under the reference number 7234R. This timepiece is 37.5 mm in diameter and costs roughly 37,500 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 automatic 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.
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.
The 5230 requires an investment of about 42,500 USD new. The yellow gold 5231 will set you back around 115,000 USD. You can find similar women's watches under the reference number 7130. These 36-mm timepieces feature diamond bezels and change hands for approximately 43,500 USD.
How much do regulator watches cost?
The ref. 5235 stands out from the rest of the Complications collection thanks to its regulator-style dial. This means 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 o'clock, 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 produces a rose gold edition with an anthracite dial and a white gold verion with a silver dial. Both cost about 46,000 USD.