Top 10 most wanted Patek Philippe wristwatches right now

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Patek Philippe sell 151 models in 8 watch families today. They added 17 new models in their 2023 collections.

But you'll find waiting lists as long as 8 years quoted for the most popular models – the Nautilus and Grand Complications.

Brad Pitt likes a Patek Nautilus.

And that’s just one reason the secondary market in luxury watches is booming.

Why wait when you can buy now?

Patek Philippes (like most luxury watches) come in very small numbers. They’re scarce. Every model (they’re usually called “references”, and referred to by the reference number) is a limited-edition product.

Some models make technical breakthroughs or have particularly appealing aesthetics.

They can be linked with a particular owner or historic moment.

A booming resale market

The secondary market in luxury watches is one of the most exciting in the whole collectibles world in 2023.

Watch enthusiasts and collectors are joined by investors, traders and flippers.

It can be volatile. And it can be very rewarding.

And Patek Philippes – perhaps the world’s most sought-after watches – play an enormous role.

Here are 10 Patek Philippes that will make you the envy of any watch lover in 2023.

10 – 5970 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Cancel culture is good for collectors, and this is a watch that is no longer made.

In fact, the 5970 was only made for 7 years, between 2004 and 2011. It’s part of a series of perpetual calendar watches that run back to the 1518 that was launched in 1940.  

This iteration of the series had a slightly chunkier – but undoubtedly elegant – case design than its predecessor. Some cases (rose and white gold) were only made for three years.

A desirable example of a particularly limited run might cost you getting on for £200,000.

9 – 5370 Split-Seconds Chronograph

Patek invented the split-second complication in 1926.

The mechanism allows 2 discreet timings. Hit the stop-watch button while timing and you’ll find that your apparently lone second hand masks a second second hand that continues to run. Hit it again, and the stopped hand catches the first.

It’s perfect for athletes.

It’s called a rattrapante complication and making it, never mind rendering it small enough to sit in this lovely case, is fiendishly complicated. So, you’ll find this watch in Patek Philippe’s Grand Complications watch family.

The 5370 remains on Patek’s books. The most recent version is the 5370P – the p stands for platinum. Its beautiful blue dial is a sight to see. And it’s currently listed at around $263,000.

Vintage models carry related references and a dizzying array of special looks and features. That, and the watch’s condition (plus provenance and paperwork), will determine what you pay.

8 - 5146 Annual Calendar

“Discontinued” is a magic word for this reference.

The 5146 carries an innovative calendar complication.

But it’s not a Grand Complication.

And it’s not a sport or technical watch, so it’s often classified as “everyday” – though it seems presumptuous to call any such watch “everyday”.

Because it falls between classifications in this way, the 5146 is undervalued by collectors.

You can find a good, used example for under £30,000 right now.

This was a long-lasting reference. It succeeded the 5035, which debuted the annual calendar complication, in 2005, and was withdrawn in 2021.

That makes it very good value for a Patek.

It is of course extremely beautiful, works wonderfully, and will be among the most sophisticated and elegant pieces of machinery you have ever owned.

7 - 5004T Split-Seconds

The letter at the end of a Patek Philippe reference tells you what material the watch is made from.

You don’t see many Ts.

The T stands for titanium.

And when it was made, this one-off special was the fourth Patek titanium watch.

This model was made for the 2013 Only Watch charity auction in Monaco.

There is only 1.

The 5004 reference had been discontinued when the sale was held, giving this single model extra cachet.

Alongside the split-second chronograph is a perpetual calendar. Although the dial is black, it’s actually made of gold.

5004s are extremely desirable in any form. This one made just shy of $4 million in its original sale.

It’s not for sale as far as we know. And, its design is not universally popular. When and if it is sold again it will be fascinating to see how much it realises.

6 - 2499 Perpetual Calendar

Start looking for examples of this model and you’ll come across a particular phrase:

“Price on application.”

It can be bought from retailers, but there were only 349 of them ever made.

Waiting for an auction sale might be your best bet if you’d like one.

It’s a perpetual calendar, and was produced from 1950 to 1985.

That run included four generations.

From 1950 to 1960 with square buttons, which were replaced with round ones from 1955 to 1966. The dial was updated for a series that ran from 1960 to 1978. And, the final series, from 1978 to 1984, which used round buttons among a number of other innovations.

Phillips sold a Patek Philippe Reference 2499/100, the final series, in 2020 for over $600,000.

5 – 1415 World Time

Patek Philippe released the World Time to an inpatient world just as war engulfed that world.

The year 1939 is a milestone in so many ways. The carnage that followed the outbreak of World War II confirmed one thing – the world had shrunk.

This was a truly global conflict. One fought very largely in, or with the support of, high-powered aircraft.

Patek reacted to the growth of air travel, telephony and telegraphy with a watch for a new generation of world citizen.  

The reference (known as Heure Universelle or HU) was manufactured until 1954. It has two major generations: a first series that listed 28 cities on its rotating bezels, and a second series with 41 locations.

Delivering time-zone readings is a complex matter for a mechanical mechanism. This was the first to do so successfully, and it’s the work of watchmaker Louis Cottier.

Very small numbers of this watch were made, including just 1 platinum example, and most are accounted for. They are generally highly sought-after star auction pieces.

These watches are beloved as works of mechanical art, but also as relics of history. You can see China’s capital changing through different iterations of the series.

Want to buy one? The platinum example was once the world’s most valuable watch when it sold at auction for over £6 million.

4 - Calatrava 5270

The Calatrava is inextricably linked with Patek Philippe.

Originally – and Patek acknowledge they take their name from this source – it was the name of a Spanish military order that dates back to the 12th century. The complex cross on Patek’s badging refers to the order.

The name is used for Patek’s main line of dress watches.

They are extraordinarily beautiful.

And the Calatrava 5270 is the Patek Philippe 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in this range, introduced from 2011, and made in three generations of models since then.

The Calatrava is Patek’s most “affordable” line, though that is a very relative term.

You should be spending around £120,000 for the final generation, launched in 2015, of this wonderful watch.

3 - Aquanaut 5167A

Aquanauts are – as you’ve guessed – water-resistant divers’ watches.

The line was launched in 1997 as a development of its parent, the Nautilus. The A reference was added in 2007.

It’s a self-winding movement with a simple set up of time, date, and sweeping second hand.

It’s a line still made by Patek, who will sell you a new one for around £20,000.

Vintage models will be priced according to age, rarity, condition and so on. A very nice 2022 model is listed online now for around £50,000.

2 - Nautilus 5712

Any Nautilus is a collector’s piece and they are all masterpieces.

They revolutionised the watch industry when they were introduced in 1976 by making the functionality of a sports/professional watch as beautiful as a dress watch.

New models are around £40,000.

The chief complication on this series – alongside the date – is a moon phase complication. That guides you through the full lunar month, from New to Full and back again.

The look is functional for a Patek, but supremely beautiful. The front of the watch is modelled on an ocean liner’s porthole windows. The integrated strap gives the watch a sleek, streamlined feel.

Collectors love this watch and the secondary market reflects that. A relatively recent example from the 2020s will probably be listed at a price approaching £100,000.

1 - Nautilus 5711

In the 2 years to 2022, used Nautilus 5711s with blue dials went up in price by around 100%.

They’re Nautiluses, so they’re extremely desirable already.

But what happened?

Patek don’t make many watches. And most of the watches they make aren’t Nautiluses, they’re Complications and Calatrava models for more general use.

But, it was the discontinuation of the 5711 in 2022 that really did it.

Patek replaced the line with the 5811, but nothing excited collectors like scarcity and so the explosion in 5711 prices really took off.

This means used models are generally auctioned, and that special editions are record breakers, like the olive green dial version and the Tiffany blue dial that realised $6.5 million.

They’re hard to come by, but if you find one it’s likely to come in at around £150,000.

You can own watches like this today

Luxury watches are a fascinating and rewarding pastime.

Nothing can match the thrill of owning these historic masterpieces of engineering precision.

They’re also a wonderful store of value with a lively and exciting secondary market to dip into.

Paul Fraser Collectibles can help you source the watch you want.

And we can get you the best price when you want to trade in or trade up.

Contact us now on +44 (0)1534 639 998 or email

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