08.04.2020 - Patek Philippe

Buying Your First Patek Philippe: Everything You Need To Know

So… you’ve got some cash to part with and ready to make that major investment with a luxury watch?

Patek Philippe is considered the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking. Since its inception in the 1800s, it has remained an independent and family-owned watch manufacturer, which makes it an attractive proposition.

If you’re searching for your first Patek Philippe, here are some handy hints to keep in mind before you do:

Why choose Patek Philippe?

The brand is synonymous with watchmaking and have been doing it for 175 years.

The quality and workmanship that goes into every watch is exquisite, and the movements are some of the most complicated and in demand in the world. Accuracy, technical ability and expert engineering are second to none.

Patek is certainly the best luxury brand to consider if a future resell could be on the cards as they keep their value incredibly well.

The collections

There are models to suit everyone and so it’s important to consider when you will be wearing your watch. Is it for fancy occasions, work or everyday wear?

Patek created a fair few collections including Complications, Grand Complications, Nautilus, Gondolo, Calatrava, Golden Ellipse, Aquanaut and Twenty~4 – each with different qualities and looks.

Patek Philippe Nautilus watches are a rounded octagon shape and are finished in steel, white gold or rose gold and are one of the most popular collections to date.

The Complications collections contain annual calendars, world time displays and dual time zones, really suiting a practical wearer, while Aquanaut watches are inspired by the Nautilus but bring a modern twist to the wrist.

Twenty~4 was brought out as an elegant set of dress watches created for ladies while the Calatrava of the 1920s were simple and elegant, with time and date only.

It’s handy to look at examples of these and more online before you visit an authorised dealer so that you be clear on exactly what you want.

For an exhaustive list of all that’s on offer, you could order the Patek Philippe catalogue.

Model references

When you’ve picked your favourite collection, it’s time to look at the different models. They are differentiated by the complications they have.

For example, a standard three hand (minute, hour, seconds) Nautilus with no complications is just known as a Nautilus. One with an annual calendar is an annual calendar Nautilus.

But most collectors don’t refer by name. They just use reference and model numbers, for example, 5711/1A.

When looking at different models, those made of rose gold are notated by the letter R, yellow gold by letter J, white gold by letter G and stainless steel by letter A. Patek says that stainless steel is the most precious metal they produce.


A crucial fact to consider is the extra costs associated with your watch. The general service on your watch which should be carried out every five years at least, may cost around £6000.

If you need any replacement mechanisms, these will need to be fitted by an approved Patek dealer.

More help

If you need assistance with buying or selling a Patek Philippe, do visit us or call our showrooms at any time and we’d be happy to help.