The most prosperous watch brands in the world are much like the most popular musicians or social media stars: those who remain on top of them do so by delivering what the public wants while finding solutions for their creativity. As the Patek Philippes of the world of horological science lean smartly on their biggest hits, the B-side Bangers are hidden in their classes too. The collected shadowed, and undervalued pieces are here for evidence. Some of these are deep cuts, such as the unanticipated outstanding diver from a brand famous for its clothing. Some people have hidden from the surface. Some of you might think the model is brand-new.
Which Patek Philippe Watch deserves more recognition?
1. Perpetual Calendar Ref. 3940
Since 1941, Patek Philippe has been producing perpetual calendar chronographs and perpetual calendar wristwatches. No other brand would generate a systematically produced perpetual calendar wristwatch until 1955 when Audemars Piguet presented the innovative ref. 5516, the first perpetual calendar wristwatch to signify the leap year, and another brand will not create a perpetual calendar chronograph in series until 1985 when IWC presented the Da Vinci Chronograph.
The reference 3940 shepherded in revolutionary new movements. When it was first presented in 1985, it was notable for its ultra-thin caliber 240 base movement with micro-rotor – the thinnest automatic movement in the world at the time, measuring only 2.4 mm thick. A significant departure from Patek Philippe’s previous perpetual calendar models, references 1526, 3448, and 3450, which used apertures at 12 o’clock for the day and month indicators, 24-hour and leap-year indications, and three subdials indicating the day, month, date, moon phase.
The model evolved until it was withdrawn in 2007 with production numbers in the thousands, with a generously sized 36 mm case depicting a concave bezel. Scholars now agree that, like the wonderful Quantième Perpetuel introduced by Audemars Piguet in 1978, the reference 3940 was a key model for Patek Philippe that contributed to the company’s success in 1980 to 90s. When it was first created, AP’s Quantième Perpetuel was the thinnest perpetual calendar wristwatch in the world. With the 3940, Patek Philippe would reclaim the title, and that’s how efficient and competitive the Swiss are.
First-series samples of the 3940 with flat, sunken subsidiary dials, early platinum examples with shiny, and rare champagne dial variants where lacquered dials are particularly appealing, and remain relatively inexpensive on the secondary market.
2.Perpetual Calendar Ref. 3970
The ref. 3970 perpetual calendar chronograph, presented in 1986, used a remarkably similar artistic structure to its legendary forebears, the references 1518 and 2499. It used a different base movement, the caliber CH 27-70Q, obtained from the Lemania caliber 2310, which powered early Omega Speedmasters. This was the first time Patek used a non-Valjoux movement in a chronograph. The 3970 was 36 mm in diameter, which was slightly smaller than its direct counterpart, which was 37.5 mm, the ref. 2499 fourth series. Amusingly, the case of the 3970 is larger than that of the admired 1518, which was 35 mm, and the same size as the exceptionally unusual and sought-after early ref. 2499s, which have 36 mm Vichet cases.
The 3970, like with the 3940, would include 24-hour and leap-year indications within the 9 and 3 o’clock subdials for enhanced capacity and convenience. The reference developed over three series before being phased out in 2004. First-series instances with snapback cases and Feuille leaf-shaped hands, as well as secondary illustrations with Feuille hands and screw-down case backs, are particularly appealing and scarce.
Their superior quality, vintage elegance, cultural significance in the evolution of two of the brand’s most promising models, and relative budget-friendly on the secondary market make them enticing on multiple levels.
Brevity is far from easy, as any YouTube comedian or Japanese calligrapher tells you. That is the research behind this watch, which is frequently forgotten by some of the world’s most sought-after wristwatches. A barely-there is the austere and silhouette face of the Golden Ellipse, with a golden dial tinted in gold, blue, and gold clues. The price is lesser, though.
The Calatrava, first presented in 1932, is all the more exquisite for the use with a suit, because of famous admirers such as Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Conor MacGregor. The Calatrava wristwatch was a model of Patek Philippe from its emergence, identified for its elegant and simple structure. It is considered underrated, however, because of the introduction of more functional models.
Score rare timepieces!
Predefined luxury watch models, without mentioning the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711, which has been discontinued just this year, have become so magnificent that they outperform nearly everything else the watchmaker generates. That’s a pity since heritage watch brands like these put just as much effort into producing pieces that don’t get as much attention. That implies there’s a chance for the intelligent buyer to score things fairly cool and awesome, with the extra advantage of not seeing it on every other wrist in your local hangout or office.