Watches & Wonders 2024: Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Channels ‘70s Style with Gold Chain Bracelet

Watches & Wonders 2024: Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Channels ‘70s Style with Gold Chain Bracelet

Watches & Wonders, the world’s biggest international watch fair, is taking place this week in Geneva, and our team is still visiting and meeting with some of the world’s most prestigious watchmakers. Today, we’re spotlighting Patek Philippe’s latest version of its historic Golden Ellipse dress watch, one of the new timepieces generating buzz in the halls of the expo.

The Background: The Golden Ellipse, launched in 1968, is Patek Philippe’s second oldest existing model behind the Calatrava. Its odd elliptical case, combining elements of an oval and a rectangle, took its influence from the “golden mean” of ancient Greek mathematicians and the basis of numerous artistic and architectural masterpieces throughout history. The original model had a shimmering blue-and-gold dial and a manually wound movement, and gave rise to an entire collection of Golden Ellipses that by the late 1970s was comprised of 65 different references — even including a Golden Ellipse version of Patek’s sport-luxury Nautilus model. The collection’s first self-winding movements began appearing in 1977, with the debut of the ultra-thin, micro-rotor Caliber 240. For its 50th anniversary in 2018, Patek launched two new versions of the cult-classic model, one in platinum, the other in rose-gold, each with a svelte wrist profile under 6mm. Those models featured sunburst-finished enamel dials, hands and hour appliqués in either white gold or rose gold; inside the 34.5mm x 39.5mm case, mounted on shiny alligator leather straps, was that selfsame Caliber 240, with its 18k gold microrotor and a minimum power reserve of two days.

What’s New: Channeling classical vintage models of the Golden Ellipse from the late 1960s and 1970s — particularly the fondly remembered Ref. 3548 from 1968 and Ref. 3605 from 1974 — Patek Philippe introduces the new Ref. 5738/1R-001, swapping out the leather strap of the anniversary editions for a distinctively elegant, gold chain-link bracelet. Patterned after ‘70s-era bracelets like the “Milanais” on the 1968 watch and the “Polonais” on the 1974 edition, the bracelet of the new Golden Ellipse, made of rose gold, is designed to be both comfortably supple and easily adjustable (its gold clasp is equipped with three adjustment notches), constructed of a total of 363 individual parts including more than 300 links; in classical Patek Philippe style, each bracelet is assembled manually.

The watch’s rose-gold case, measuring 34.5mm x 39.5mm, is the slimmest in Patek Philippe’s collection, at just 5.9mm thick; inside, as has been the case since 1977, is Patek’s manufacture Caliber 240, at a similarly slender profile of just 2.53mm thick. It beats behind an ebony-black sunburst dial with lavishly contrasting rose-gold hands and markers. 

When and How Much: The Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Ref. 5738/1R-001 joins the regular collection in Spring 2024, at a U.S. retail of $60,097.

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