Patek Philippe is one of the world’s most prestigious luxury watch brands and buyers have a wide variety of different timepieces to choose from. However, established collections like the Nautilus, Aquanaut, Calatrava and Grand Complications are the most popular and most highly sought after.
In this article, we take a closer look at the most popular Patek Philippe watch models and collections within those collections, so that you can gain a better idea of what they each have to offer.
The Nautilus range was introduced in 1976 and has become one of the brand’s most instantly recognizable collections. Aesthetically, Nautilus models are defined by their porthole-inspired case shape. However, within the collection, there are a variety of different model types.
As the name indicates, Nautilus Date models feature a date display aperture on the dial. This is most commonly located at the 3 o’clock position, although some versions have the date display at the 6 o’clock position. Nautilus Date models are often among the most minimalist watches in the collection.
Nautilus moon phase models are models that feature a moon phase indicator on the dial. The display works by displaying the different phases of the moon – including full moon and both waxing and waning crescent moon – over the course of a lunar cycle. The moon phase indicator is found at the bottom of the dial.
Nautilus Annual Calendar watches are defined by the presence of the full date on the dial, including the day, date and month. The annual calendar complication automatically adjusts the date on the timepiece, based on 30 and 31-day months, but does need to be adjusted at the end of February each year.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph models are a line of Nautilus models equipped with chronograph functionality. This means the watch can be used as a stopwatch, with options to start, stop and reset the feature. The chronograph sub-dial on these watches is most commonly found at the 6 o’clock position.
The Aquanaut collection is a range of more casual Patek Philippe sports watches. The first Aquanaut models were introduced in 1997 and these timepieces are visually defined by their rounded octagonal case shape. Aquanaut models are also notable for their excellent water resistance.
Aquanaut Date models feature a date display window at the 3 o’clock position on the dial. The watches are made from a variety of materials. The most extravagant models feature diamonds on the bezel.
Aquanaut Travel Time watches are ideal for buyers who travel often and need to track multiple time zones. These timepieces include a dual time zone mechanism, indicating both local and home times. Meanwhile, apertures on the dial also provide day/night indications for both the local and home time zones.
Finally, Aquanaut models with chronograph functionality are categorized as Aquanaut Chronograph watches. The chronograph sub-dial is located at the 6 o’clock position and allows the user to operate the watch as a stopwatch, complete with start, stop and reset functions.
The Calatrava collection is a classic Patek Philippe collection, with a history dating back to 1932. For much of the brand’s history, the Calatrava has been regarded as the signature collection. These dress watches have an understated appeal, although the design of some models has grown bolder over the decades.
Calatrava Date models are visually simplistic, with the classic, conservative Calatrava design and a date display window at the 3 o’clock position. Case materials include yellow gold, rose gold and white gold.
Aesthetically defined by the presence of a guilloched hobnail bezel, the Calatrava Hobnail models are often labeled ‘Clous de Paris’. Case material can be rose gold, yellow gold, or white gold.
Calatrava Ladies models are specifically aimed at the women’s market and are primarily defined by smaller case sizes, which are generally in the 35mm range. Some models also feature bezels set with diamonds. Models aimed at women will also often feature very clean dials, without complications.
The Complications collection is characterized by the presence of complications on the watch, such as annual calendar functions and chronograph functions. While the features are generally less complex than the Grand Complications line, these watches can still include multiple complications on the same watch.
Complications Annual Calendar Moon Phase watches will feature both annual calendar functionality and a moon phase indicator. Annual calendar watches automatically track the date and include day, date and month displays. However, they need to be manually set at the end of February, as they operate based on 30 and 31-day months.
Complications Annual Calendar Chronograph watches include day, date and month displays and also offer stopwatch functionality. The annual calendar function needs to be manually adjusted once per year, at the end of February.
Complications Regulator models include the regulator complication, which means the watch displays the hours, minutes and seconds on separate dials. This is achieved by including two sub-dials, which display the hours and seconds, while the main dial displays the minutes. These models may also include annual calendar functionality.
Complications Chronograph models are Patek Philippe models within the Complications line that feature chronograph functionality. This allows these watches to operate as a stopwatch when required.
Grand Complications watches feature some of the most complex features available on any luxury watch. Visually, the Grand Complications collection also includes some of the most interesting and modern Patek Philippe designs.
Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar Chronograph watches include chronograph functionality, along with a perpetual calendar complication. Perpetual calendar functionality differs from annual calendar functionality because it displays the day, date and month, while automatically adjusting for February and for leap years.
Grand Complications Split Second Chronograph watches feature the split seconds complication, which allows users to precisely time two intervals of time with the same start point. It is one of the most advanced and prestigious watch complications, due to the mechanical complexity involved.
Finally, as the name should indicate, Grand Complications Split Second Perpetual Calendar models are a line of Patek Philippe Grand Complications models that combine the perpetual calendar and split second functions.
Patek Philippe watches can be purchased from authorized dealers, although the most popular Patek Philippe models will have extensive waiting lists. In many cases, this will mean you have to wait several years to get your hands on the timepiece you are looking for. Understandably, many potential buyers seek alternatives to this.
The best alternative is to purchase from a reliable grey market dealer, such as Jaztime.com. This approach allows you to obtain your Patek Philippe timepiece from a reputable retailer, unlike with private sellers on sites like eBay, but it also becomes possible to bypass the long waiting lists associated with authorized dealers.
Patek Philippe watches are some of the most prestigious and sought after luxury watches on the market. The collections and model types listed are among the most popular and are likely to have lengthy waiting lists from authorized dealers. Fortunately, Jaztime.com allows buyers to get their hands on these watches without delay.