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patek philippe nautilus

If ‘Nautilus’ is the first word that comes to mind when you hear Patek Philippe, join the club. For several years now, the iconic luxury sports timepiece from the 70s has been the ultimate grail watch for nearly every ambitious individual.

But before we put on our detective hats to figure out why exactly the Nautilus, of all Patek Philippe models, is more desirable to the high-end collector than a chewy treat is to my cat, we first need to learn about the brand itself.

History of the Patek Philippe Nautilus

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe is one of the last family-owned, independent watchmakers in Geneva, with an uninterrupted watchmaking history of nearly two centuries. Being one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers, the brand has made significant contributions to the modern world of horology.

Patek Philippe is considered the master of ‘Supercomplications’, a reputation the brand acquired by being one of the earliest pioneers of both the Perpetual Calendar mechanism and the Annual Calendar on a wristwatch. And in 1976, the brand released its first luxury sports watch, which is still considered the upper echelon of luxury in the watch world. 

Why Was the Nautilus Created?

The quartz crisis of the 70s made it crucial for the Swiss watch industry’s survival to get on board with the revolutionary quartz technology. This was due to the fact that a quartz movement proved not only more affordable to produce, but also much more accurate and robust than the comparatively-delicate mechanical movement.

The Swiss luxury watch brands had a difficult choice: either change their long-standing approach to masterfully-crafted mechanical watchmaking or take a massive risk by doing something that hadn’t been done before (except by AP). But just like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe went with the second option.

At a time when luxury watches were constructed exclusively with precious metals, the brand introduced a luxury timepiece made entirely of stainless steel, a move that was initially seen as an absurd oxymoron. Following AP’s footsteps, Patek hired the young Gerald Genta to design this relatively new concept. And thus, the iconic Nautilus was born.

Design Inspiration of the Nautilus

Patek Philippe Nautilus 2

It’s true that a designer’s mind never rests. As the story goes, while dining with Henry and Philipe Sterns from Patek Philippe, Genta brainstormed and produced a napkin sketch. The sketch of this watch featured a case design inspired by the porthole window of a transatlantic liner and ‘ears’ influenced by the hinges of those portholes.

The five-minute doodle on this napkin would go on to be the blueprint of one of the most important watches the brand ever produced. Apart from the iconic case and dial, the Nautilus would also feature an integrated bracelet, a trending feature at the time.

Although the collector community loves to compare the Nautilus with AP’s Royal Oak, these two were created with different inspirations behind their iconic designs. While the Royal Oak has a ‘brutalist’ design with an industrial look, the Nautilus is seen as the more refined of the two, with a rounded octagonal bezel.

Facts to Know About the Nautilus


All the Nautilus references come in a rounded case shape, with the iconic ‘ears’ on two sides of the case. The watches are constructed with various case materials (such as stainless steel, gold, and two-tone), dial configurations, movements, bracelet options, and complications.

While some models feature a monobloc case construction, most modern variants are manufactured using a 3-part case construction (although, the latest ref-5811/1A has returned to an upgraded version of the monobloc case).


The Nautilus wouldn’t be a Patek Philippe without the brand showing off some of its technical superiority in its most sought-after collection.  Apart from the standard Time and Date featured in all Nautilus references, you’ll also find numerous complications such as Chronograph, Moonphase, Annual Calendar, and Perpetual Calendar on the brand’s more sophisticated models.

Water Resistance

Designed as a luxury sports watch with water resistance ranging from 60m to 120m, the Nautilus is well-equipped with features that position it as an excellent, versatile timepiece for daily activities.

In today’s context, I consider it more of a luxury everyday-style watch than a true sports watch. Typically, the dressier and more complicated models, like the Grand Complication, will provide lesser water resistance than the regular time/date models.


Pricing any Nautilus can get tricky, as the difference between the retail and the secondary market price is colossal. The main reason for this is that the brand’s supply cannot keep up with the demand, causing a waitlist system to be implemented that many collectors may not feel keen about. Thus, it’s not ordinary to see a Nautilus sell several times over its retail price in the gray market.

Notable Patek Philippe Nautilus Models You Should Know

By no means is this a definitive list of all Patek Nautilus models. But I chose these fifteen models to showcase the different styles, materials, dial configurations, movements, and functions that can be found within the Nautilus lineup.

I also grouped these models into three categories for the sake of an easy understanding of the numerous variants that can be found within the Nautilus family. These categories are:

  • Classic Nautilus (Time & Date)
  • Complications
  • Ladies Collection

Classic Nautilus

1. Nautilus 3700/1A

Nautilus 3700/1A

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1A, released in 1976, was an elegant, yet sporty luxury watch, produced by a brand mostly known for manufacturing the world’s best complicated timepieces. The timepiece was constructed from a 42mm monobloc stainless steel case with a slim height of 7.6mm and a straight, integrated bracelet with polished center links.

The monobloc case was a patented design that enabled the watch to have 120m of water resistance, thanks to a gasket underneath its bezel. Apart from the iconic case design, the dark blue dial with horizontal grooved lines popped as the only contrasting element on a monochromatic timepiece.

The ultra-thin movement inside this watch was the caliber 28-255 C. Although this movement was supplied by Jaeger-LeCoultre, it was modified by Patek Philippe and featured Patek’s proprietary Gyromax balance wheel.

This movement ticked at a beat frequency of 19,800 VPH and had a 40-hour power reserve. The 3700/1A is still considered by many as the most important Nautilus, as it paved the way for future variants. Not to mention helping the brand stay relevant during difficult times.

The watch retailed at approximately $3,100 at the time of its release.

2. Nautilus 5711/1A-010

Nautilus 5711/1A-010

While this wasn’t the first Nautilus, something about the 5711/1A made it an absolute legend within the high-end collector’s sphere. Released during the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus, this relatively-uncomplicated watch somehow became more desirable than most of the brand’s notable offerings.

While closely resembling the 3700/1A in its dial color, there were some significant differences between the two. Compared to the original ‘Jumbo’, the 5711 came in a wrist-friendly size of 40mm stainless steel case, with a case height of 8.3mm and 120m of water resistance.

Housed within the case was the in-house caliber 324 S C, which offered an improved power reserve of 45 hours while beating at a higher frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, but also featured a 24k gold rotor with Côtes de Genève decoration.

Not to mention that technological innovations, such as the Gyromax balance wheel and the Spiromax balance spring, meant that the performance of the 5711 was superior to that of its predecessor. 

The 5711/1A retailed at approximately $25,000 at the time of its release.

3. Nautilus 5711/1A-014

Nautilus 5711/1A-014

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 came out not long after the official discontinuation of the 5711/1A. And although it lived a surprisingly short production run, it was successful in boosting the trend of green dials on wristwatches.

Unfortunately for die-hard fans unable to acquire this model during its tremendously fruitful period, Patek Philippe no longer produces this reference, along with any other 5711 model. The watch came in a 40mm stainless steel case, with 8.3mm thickness and a green dial unique to the Nautilus family, making this a truly rare timepiece.

The movement used was Patek’s latest in-house Caliber 26-330 S C, also utilized in the newer Nautilus 5811 model. This updated movement, replacing the 324 S C, beats at 28,800 VPH with up to 45 hours of power reserve and features both the Gyromax balance wheel and Spiromax balance spring.

Although the watch retailed at approximately $35,000, one factory-sealed piece was sold at an auction in Monaco for a dizzying price of $470,000.

4. Nautilus 5711/1A-018

Nautilus 5711/1A-018

Yes, you knew this was coming! If you thought the green Nautilus was a shock to the watch world, its hype was nothing compared to the ‘Tiffany Blue’ reference, released by the end of 2021.

As jaw-dropping as it was, the $6.5 million that one of these sold for at Philip’s auction wasn’t too surprising, considering that this was not just the final rendition of the legendary 5711, but was also a double-signed dial with an extremely limited release of just 170 pieces. It doesn’t get any rarer than this!

The watch was presented in a 40mm steel case, with a thickness of 8.3mm and 120m of water resistance. The manufacture caliber 26-330 S C could be seen through the exhibition caseback, along with a few other details that were exclusive to this piece. These included the sapphire caseback text highlighting the partnership between the two brands.

This 170th Anniversary model, commemorating the 170 years of partnership between Tiffany and Patek, retailed at $53,000 and was exclusively available at the Tiffany & Co. boutiques in New York, San Francisco, and Beverly Hills.

5. Nautilus 5811/1G-001

Nautilus 5811/1G-001

After the Nautilus 5711/1A was officially discontinued, the brand released the 5811/1G-001 as the ‘new and improved’ flagship Nautilus as a replacement for the 5711.

This new 2022 model is constructed of a two-part, 41mm white gold case instead of the smaller stainless steel case used in the 5711. However, it maintains a case height of 8.3mm and 120m water resistance. The 5811/1G fashions a sunburst blue-black dial with a centric gradient effect and white gold applied indices and handset.

Additionally, the watch features an improved bracelet with a patented fold-over clasp with micro-adjustments, enhancing the wearing experience. The decorated movement, displayed through the sapphire caseback, is the latest manufacture caliber 26-330 S C, which beats at 28,800 VPH, giving the watch up to 45 hours of power reserve and smooth sweeping seconds hand.

Considering the never-ending demand, along with the updated design and specifications, the $69,790 retail price for this watch doesn’t seem unreasonable for what’s being offered in terms of improved technical specifications and design.

6. Nautilus 5711/1P-011

Nautilus 5711/1P-011

In 2016, during the 40th Anniversary of the Nautilus, Patek released a 5711 made entirely of platinum, and the watch community’s reaction was… mixed.

While, unsurprisingly, several ecstatic collectors competed to get one in their collection, others could not get over the bold “40 1976-2016” text on the dark blue dial (although it’s said to be much more subtle in the flesh than what the press photos indicate). 

The 40mm case was made up of solid platinum 950, had a thickness of 8.3mm, and water resistance of 120m, making it another elegant yet sports-capable timepiece. 

The sunburst gradient blue dial, slightly brighter than the standard 5711/1A, featured baguette diamond indices, adding to the platinum watch’s luxurious feel. Similar to the standard 5711, this watch featured the beautifully decorated in-house caliber 324 S C and provided 40 hours of power reserve while beating at 28,800 VPH.

With subtle details that separated it from the standard steel Nautilus, along with being limited to only 700 pieces and a stomach-churning retail price of approximately $113,000 (at the time of release), this watch was a true understated ‘flex’ to own.

7. Nautilus 5719/10G-010

Nautilus 5719/10G-010

There aren’t many watches that have the potential to make the standard 5711 look like a poor man’s Patek. However, the fully diamond-covered 5719/10G-010 does just that!

The watch comes in a 40mm white gold case, a slightly thicker case height of 8.7mm, 120m of water resistance, and the automatic caliber 26-330 S C beating inside. The movement provides 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and 45 hours of power reserve.

A total of 1,343 flawless diamonds are set by hand on this timepiece (strictly complying with Patek Philippe’s Seal’s stringent requirements). Just to give an idea, the breakdown of these gemstones is as follows:

255 diamonds and 3 baguette diamonds on the 18k gold dial.

100 diamonds and 32 baguette diamonds on the case

803 diamonds and 150 baguette diamonds on the bracelet.

While the Tiffany Blue Nautilus had its secondary price driven up by demand, this diamond-encrusted timepiece is the epitome of luxury, retailing at a whopping price of approximately $453,600.


8. Nautilus 5726A-001

Nautilus 5726A-001

As seen by now, the Nautilus is generally known for its three-handed luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet. However, the reference 5726A-001 gives us a more complicated watch, this time with an alligator leather strap.

The watch comes in a 40.5mm stainless steel case with a thickness of 11.3mm, water resistance of 120m, and sapphire crystals covering both the dial and the caseback. Through the exhibition caseback, you can view the decorated Patek Philippe Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303. 

This relatively long movement reference number is attributed to the complications that the watch features, which include the Annual Calendar and Moonphase, along with the Day, Date, Month, and 24-hour display.

This movement beats at 28,800 VPH and maintains a power reserve of up to 45 hours. The sunray gradient black dial with the signature embossed horizontal groove lines, combined with the black leather strap and the gorgeous blue Moonphase at the lower center, make this model a hopeless romantic’s ideal grail timepiece.

The Nautilus 5726A-001 retails for approximately $49,090.

9. Nautilus 5980/1AR-001

Nautilus 5980/1AR-001

It’s understandable when watch brands avoid dabbling with two-tone case materials, as these often lead to a divided fanbase. It’s always when you plan to bring back something that was ‘cool’ in the 80s. But in 2013, Patek Philippe released one of the most desirable two-tone luxury sports watches ever made.

The Nautilus 5980/1AR-001 comes in a 40.5mm two-tone case, with a mixture of stainless-steel and 18k rose gold case. The larger case height of 12.2mm is attributed to the automatic caliber CH 28-520 C, featuring a column-wheeled flyback chronograph and a date indicator. This movement gives the watch a higher power reserve than the standard three-hand Nautilus, allowing it to run for up to 55 hours at a beat frequency of 28,800 VPH.

By expertly combining highly elegant and sporty elements (and not resulting in an accidental creation of ‘Frankenstein’s monster’), the brand did not just create a gorgeous contemporary timepiece but also a truly versatile one!

With up to 120m of water resistance, a solid rose gold screw-down crown, and a sapphire caseback, the watch retails at approximately $75,700.

10. Nautilus 5980R-001

Nautilus 5980R-001

The Nautilus 5980R-001 is identical to the previously mentioned ref. 5980/1AR in terms of the technical features, but it comes with different case and bracelet configurations, making this model look and feel entirely distinct.

The 40.5mm case is made of rose gold and displays a gradient brown dial with darker tones on the periphery. Similar to the 5980/1AR, this model features matching rose gold applied indices with lume, along with a rose gold handset.

However, this reference appears sportier, thanks to the white and red accents on the subdial above 6 o’clock that features a co-axial chrono counter. And the fact that the chronograph pushers on either side of the right ‘ear’ hardly stand out makes this model maintain the easily recognizable rounded silhouette of the Nautilus.

The movement housed inside the brushed and polished rose gold case is the manufacture caliber CH 28-520 C, featuring Patek Philippe’s seal-worthy hand finishing and a 55-hour power reserve.

This Nautilus 5980R-001 comes at a retail price of approx. $73,330.

11. Nautilus 5712/1R-001

Nautilus 5712/1R-001

Unlike most Nautilus references that maintain symmetry with their dials, the 5712/1R-001 differentiates itself by presenting the most playful and equally daring dial configuration.

The gradient-brown dial shows off a gorgeous Moonphase and date indicator on the bottom left, a subdial with small seconds on the bottom right, and a power reserve indicator on the top left corner, rendering this as one of the busiest dials on a Patek Nautilus.

Part of the latest release within the Nautilus family, this variant comes in a fully rose gold case and integrated bracelet, measuring at 40mm case diameter and a slim height of only 8.52mm. Inside the case is the automatic Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU, which provides the wearer a slower beat frequency of 21,600 VPH, but a slightly extended power reserve of up to 48 hours.

Considering that this reference features just 60m of water resistance, you wouldn’t take this as a do-it-all sports watch but rather as an exquisite dress or everyday style watch. 

The retail price of the reference 5712/1R-001 is approximately $82,800.

12. Nautilus 5740/1G-001

Nautilus 5740/1G-001

Patek Philippe pulled out all of its guns with the release of its most complicated Nautilus in 2018, the reference 5740/1G-001. The watch is presented in a 40mm white gold case, with an 8.42mm thickness, a tapered integrated gold bracelet, sapphire crystal covering both the dial and the see-through caseback, and a water resistance of 60m.

Powering the first Grand Complication model within the Nautilus lineup is the Patek Philippe Caliber 240 Q, ticking at a beat frequency of 28,800 VPH and having a power reserve of 45 hours. The blue dial on this appears much brighter than a 5711’s darker gradient dial.

It displays three subdials featuring various functions: Day/Night Indication, Date, Leap Year, Month, Perpetual Calendar, and a Moonphase. The fact that Patek incorporated a Grand Complication in such an ultra-thin case truly showcases the unbeatable watchmaking strength of the brand.

This is also the most expensive Nautilus model sold at retail for a staggering price of approx. $145,480.

Ladies Collection

13. Nautilus 7118/1A-010

Nautilus 7118/1A-010

It’s often construed by the enthusiast community that the majority of watch brands don’t cater to women’s watches as well as men’s. And while this can be debated, most can’t deny the pursuit of perfection from Patek Philippe when looking at the ladies’ collection, like this Nautilus 7118/1A-010.

This watch comes in a 35.2mm stainless steel case, a case thickness of 8.62mm, and a water resistance of 60m. With a combination of silvery opaline and gray dial featuring a wave motif instead of the strictly linear lines of the larger counterparts, the 7118/1A is one of the more subdued models within the ladies’ lineup.

Housed inside the case is the automatic Caliber 324 S C, beating at 28,800 VPH and providing a maximum power reserve of 45 hours. Apart from the pattern, all of the minor details on the dial, including the hands, applied indices, and the date window placement, make this reference boast an original design whilst maintaining the unmistakable design DNA of the Nautilus.

With a retail price of approximately $30,750, this is a strong contender as an elegant yet discreet, everyday-style luxury timepiece.

14. Nautilus 7010/1R-012

Nautilus 7010/1R-012

The Patek Philippe reference 7010/1R-012 is by far the most compact offering within the Nautilus collection, coming in at just 32mm, with a case height of 6.9mm and a water resistance of 60m.

The model features a solid rose gold case, an integrated bracelet, a two-tone golden/brown wave dial, and 45 flawless diamonds individually set on the gold bezel.

Powering the timepiece is an in-house quartz Caliber E23-250 S C.. Unlike the mass-produced quartz calibers found in entry-level watches, this movement transcends nearly all quartz calibers in terms of its finishing, performance, and overall attention to detail.

Protected behind the solid caseback, the Caliber E23-250 S C beats at a quartz frequency of 32,768 Hz and has a battery life of 3 years. And although this model can be found in a few other configurations, including different dial and strap options, I found the 7010/1R-012 to be a well-balanced pick that exudes a feel of both elegance and style.

This reference retails at approximately $52,040

15. Nautilus 7118/1300R-001

Nautilus 7118/1300R-001

The Patek Nautilus 7118/1300R-001 can be seen as the polar opposite of the relatively minimal 7118/1A-010 discussed previously. The rose-gilt ‘waves’ motif dial features 11 reddish-brown spessartite gemstones as hour markers and 68 baguette-cut spessartites on the bezel.

And if this is the first time you see these gemstones on a watch, it shouldn’t be surprising considering how rare these stones are. The solid rose gold case measures 32mm, with a case thickness of 8.62mm, and comes with 60m of water resistance.

Housed inside the case is the Patek Philippe automatic Caliber 324 S C, coming in with 45 hours of power reserve and a smooth sweeping seconds hand thanks to the 28,800 VPH beat frequency. What I find truly fascinating about this reference is how the gemstones constantly play with light to create ever-changing shades of red, gold, and brown.

The contrast between these darker cognac-colored gems against the much lighter case and dial makes the design of this watch a breathtaking hybrid of classic and contemporary. It’s unique but not too flashy, and I absolutely adore that about this fusion.

The 7118/1300R-001 retails at approximately $82,000.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that Patek Philippe had anticipated the level of success one of their riskiest releases would garner over several decades. It’s almost poetic to see how such an attempt at the brand’s survival resulted in the creation of a timeless legend.

No matter what case materials, dial colors, complications, or bracelet options are featured on the various Nautilus references, the iconic silhouette of Patek Philippe’s most successful timepiece remains uncompromised.

FP Journe vs Patek Philippe

In watch enthusiast circles there is never a shortage of details to obsess over. Whether it is the dial and bezel combo of a new Oris Divers Sixty-five you have been lusting after for months or which ultra-luxury brand between FP Journe or Patek Philippe is the king of the mountain, we always have decisions to make. As we begin to ascend through the luxury tiers in this hobby, the pros and cons tend to become less objective allowing for personal preference and style tend to shape our decisions.

If you are lucky enough to be one of the watch enthusiasts saving up for that brand new Oris, let me first say congratulations and second inform you of one of the unfortunate truths of watch collecting. No matter how blessed you are in your ability to enjoy a timepiece, there will always be someone who has more. There are fellow watch enthusiasts who see your grail investment as nothing more than a beater, something to knock around on the weekend while giving their “Haute Horlogerie” watches a rest.

While I am sure that many owners of these pieces would be quite happy to wear something from entry or mid-level luxury brands, there is no doubt that they feel the difference when they put it on their wrist. Let’s look at two of these illustrious brands that help make up the ultra-luxury subset of watch collecting. One an enthusiast crowned member of the Holy Trinity of watchmaking in Patek Philippe and the other a relative newcomer with an eccentric owner and namesake in FP Journe.

If you are lucky enough to be deciding between these two elite watchmakers, well done, you have made significantly better life choices than myself! If you make up the other 99% of readers to this article, let’s play a fun game called “If I won the Lottery”! Either way, we are going to see these two heavyweights slug it out as FP Journe Vs. Patek Philippe. Let’s decide which watchmaker of near-horological perfection is right for you.

History of Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe watch

The history of Patek Philippe is one of the most illustrious of all luxury brands dating back to 1839. Starting as Patek, Czapek & Cie by Norbert de Patek and Francois Czapek. They were later accompanied by Jean-Adrien Philippe resulting in the brand as we recognize it today in Patek Philippe.

Specializing in complicated timepieces such as the “Duke of Regla” in 1910, which was a Westminster chime pocket watch, the company secured its place among the most prestigious Swiss watchmakers of the time. Following the universal challenges of the Great Depression, Patek Philippe found refuge in the form of two brothers willing to invest in the company in Jean and Charles Henri Stern.

If that Stern surname sounds familiar it is likely due to the fact the family still remains in control of the brand today, or you have an XM subscription and a thirst for shock jock radio. Considering you are this deep into the article already, I would be willing to bet the former.

Throughout this investment and ultimate transition to ownership of the Stern family, Patek Philippe has released some real bangers! Take for instance the Calatrava, the literal gold standard of circular dress watches. So simple, yet objectively perfect. Then there are the grand complications! Watches so complicated that I get an actual headache just trying to think of how the mechanics inside work.

I think there may have even been some weird 70’s style of watch designed by some guy named Gerald Genta. I am sure someone has heard of it before, I think it is called the Nautilus. This history of success and portfolio of some of the most iconic watches to ever grace the wrist (albeit a very well-off wrist), has helped to cement Patek Philippe as one of the Holy Trinity.

This enthusiast-crowned title was given to the three most sought-after and illustrious watchmakers in many a watch enthusiast’s eye Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and the one and only Patek Philippe. Although many agree on these three as top of the horological mountain, there are those who feel it might be time to inject some new blood into the mix. Perhaps a company like our challenger FP Journe.

History of FP Journe

FP Journe watch

In terms of the history of the Swiss watch industry, FP Journe is a fresh-faced baby. Officially founded in 1999, FP Journe is the brainchild of the one and only Francois-Paul Journe. While most ultra-luxury brands are on the 5th or more regime, FP Journe is still operated by the watchmaker that founded it. In an industry built upon tradition and slow but steady innovation, Francois-Paul Journe is a breath of fresh air.

It is impossible to separate the brand from the watchmaker, but who exactly is Francois-Paul Journe? To put it simply, Francois-Paul Journe is a watchmaking savant. He attended watchmaking school in Paris at the tender age of 14. After a few years, he would later graduate and begin to develop all sorts of complicated watches such as a planetarium mechanism at just 22 years old.

To anyone with an understanding of the complexities of watchmaking, this is no small feat no matter how much time you have dedicated to the craft. After furthering his development with his uncle and a mentorship with the one and only George Daniels, the horological legend that created the Co-Axial escapement that powers many of Omegas modern watches and most of them holds their value, Journe opened his first workshop in 1985.

After several awards and achievements in the world of watchmaking FP Journe the brand as we know it today would officially begin in 1999. FP Journe quickly grew a cult following of dedicated collectors that were inspired by their genius and creativity of Mr. Journe. The next several years saw him opening boutique locations throughout Asia, the UK, and the United States.

The bespoke watchmaker grew into a brand capable of producing close to 1000 watches annually. Despite a minority ownership by luxury brand Chanel, FP Journe has secured its place among the most prestigious of all independent watchmakers. The history of these two great brands is very different. Patek Philippe is steeped in tradition and history.

The traditional watchmaking legacy is only recently being overshadowed by their “new” watch, the Nautilus. A watch that was released when Francois-Paul Journe was fresh out of watchmaking school. The legacy of FP Journe on the other hand is still being written. Time will tell how the brand is perceived in the next 50 or 100 years, but with Francois Paul Journe still at the helm, there are several directions this story could go. 

If you are deciding between these two brands with your hard-earned money, their histories do little to help make the decision easier. With Patek Philippe you get a brand that encompasses classic watchmaking and traditionalism but with FP Journe there is an element of excitement since their history is still being made.

Since I am forcing myself to pick, I am going to award this point to Patek Philippe. I am a traditionalist! As much as I wish I could pick the more exciting option, I’d be pretending to be cooler than I actually am. Now that we have looked at the history of these 2 brands, let us dive into some of their more iconic watches and see how they compare.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 – It’s the King for a reason

You can’t mention Patek Philippe watches without taking a closer look at their iconic Nautilus line. Are Patek Philippe watches the most expensive? No, there are watches from many independent brands that exceed what Patek Philippe produces, but nobody can mark up a time-only watch like Patek Philippe.

Admittedly this pricing is fueled much more by the hype associated with these models, but when a roughly $35K watch can be found on the grey market for as much as $150K, something is up. And don’t even get me started on the limited production models. $500K for a green dial, sure seems like a great deal. $6.5 million for a Tiffany Blue dial, what in the actual F@*$! What is this watch that could make people lose their minds over the slightest of variances?

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was designed by famed watch designer Gerald Genta to help compete with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which Genta also designed a few years previous, which popularized the idea of a luxurious stainless steel luxury watch.

The reference 5711 is a 40mm time-only watch, sporting a signature case shape and integrated bracelet. The watch is powered by an in-house caliber 26-330 S C and finished to a standard that only Patek Philippe can achieve, The Patek Philippe Standard. sarcasm aside, the Patek Philippe standard rivals that of the previously used Geneva Seal and for those in the know, is a big deal.

So, what’s not to love about the 5711? For starters, the prestigious movement which although absolutely beautiful and finished to the prestigious Patek Philippe standard is still just a time-only movement without a hacking second. As trivial as it seems, this lack of a pretty standard feature tends to ruffle quite a few watch enthusiasts feathers.

Add to this the fact that the bracelet uses a pin and collar system that will require a trip to the watchmaker for most owners and you’re left with what feels like an outdated luxury watch. I guess the good news is that if you have enough money to afford one of these at their current prices, especially the green or Tiffany variants, you could probably afford to keep a watchmaker on staff to make adjustments as needed.

FP Journe Chronometre Bleu- Are FP Journe watches any good?

Much like the Nautilus to Patek Philippe, the FP Journe Chronometre Bleu is often the first watch that comes to mind when people think of the brand. With a comparable MSRP of roughly $37K, this watch seems like a relative bargain to the Nautilus only commanding around $80-90k on the grey market. As insane as it seems, this watch still may even have some room left before it hits its value ceiling.

What exactly will your meager $80K bring you in the world of FP Journe? The Chronometre Bleu, reference CSBLEAU TA 39 A BL, is a 39mm time-only watch made of tantalum and matched with a beautiful alligator strap. The real showstopper here is the blue chrome dial. It demands your attention, unlike any other blue dial I have ever had the fortune of glancing at.

The watch is powered by a hand-winding caliber 1304 movement crafted out of 18k gold. The off-centered sub seconds and signature handset help to give this watch a look that is distinctly FP Journe.
As beautiful as the Chronometre Bleu is, it is not a watch for everyone. The alligator strap, while looking dapper when paired with a suit, would have a hard time with a more casual look.

In addition to that, the 30m of water resistance does not do much to instill confidence that this watch is welcome outside of its role as a stand-alone dress watch. The case features a very durable material in tantalum, but based on what we see with the rest of the watch, it appears that this is not intended to be put to the test.

The flagships from both of these watches are about as good as it gets within the watch industry. They both feature finish and construction that separate them from the pack, while also being definitive examples of their respective offerings. How do you pick a winner when the alternatives are this exceptional? Throw away all logic and reasoning and go with your gut of course!

For me, it’s the FP Journe Chronometre Bleu. I love both of these watches, but when I compare them head to head the Nautilus seems like a futuristic design that is slightly hampered by some outdated components, while the FP Journe sports a classic design with some intentional artistic flare. Not to mention, with the money left over I could easily afford almost any luxury sports watch for men in production to help fill that need.

Now that we have taken a look at the history and each of these brands’ respective icons, let’s look at the brand identity or the X factor if you will. Both of these brands present classically designed options in the ultra-luxury segment, but it’s how they differ that helps give them their distinct identity and fuel the passion of their collectors.

What makes FP Journe so special?

When looking at the design cues from FP Journe it doesn’t take long to pick up on the hallmark features. The watches are classically designed but do not come across as vintage reproductions. I have always thought that they looked like a watch designer from the 1950s who was asked to design a complicated watch from the 2000s.

The use of sub-dials is there, in and of itself a very classical feature of a timepiece, yet the use of asymmetry and multiple sub-dials, helps give the watch that futuristic feel. When I try to put my finger on what makes an FP Journe such a unique timepiece it is the design. The watchmaking and complication are top-notch.

The finishing is right up there with any other ultra-luxury independent watchmaker. The design, however, is in a league of its own. There are few watches that have a design identity so strong that you can identify them from across the room, but if you are lucky enough to be in the same room as someone with an FP Journe, you’ll know from that first glance of their wrist.

What makes Patek Philippe so special?

If you are a watch enthusiast, at one time or another, Patek Philippe was the brand that was presented to you as the pinnacle of watchmaking. You may have expanded your knowledge and started to view other brands as worthy of that place, but there is no other brand in the watch world as deserving of the title as the most luxurious.

In my opinion, it is this brand cache that makes a Patek Philippe so special. When you walk into a room and notice someone with a Patek Phillipe on their wrist, you know that you probably walked into the right room. These watches are synonymous with people of power and influence and that is a quality that brands can’t pay for, not even Patek Philippe, it needs to be earned.

The X factor is always a hard category to award a point to. This is in many ways the most subjective of any of these categories. If I am honest with myself, however, I am going to have to give the point to FP Journe. Even though a Patek Philippe will carry with it such respect and heritage, it is the strict adherence to a design ethos with FP Journe that captures my attention.

Patek Philippe has a vast catalog and in many ways doesn’t always stand out as Patek Philippe watches. The same can not be said of FP Journe. Sure, there is some variance between models, but that design is always there.


It’s almost laughable at this price range, but the final category that we need to compare between these two brands is value. With the current hype surrounding Patek Philippe and FP Journe we need to accept that when we look at the list price for these models we are looking at fake numbers. These watches are not available at their list prices and these price figures are less useful than a glass hammer.

Do Patek Philippe watches hold their value?

Patek Philippe watches are one of the safest bets in the watch industry. That wasn’t always the case, but due to the popularity of models such as the 5711 Nautilus selling for 400% of its list price, all of their models have seen a nice bump up in residuals.

Models that you may have been able to score a discount on in years past are now reselling for over-list price and have waitlists of their own. All boats certainly do rise and Patek Philippe may be the best example of this in the watch industry over the last 5 years.

Do FP Journe watches hold their value?

FP Journe watches are considerably less common than what you find with Patek Philippe. Add to this their incredibly loyal and passionate collector base and FP Journe watches are very safe investments as well. While they may only trade today for up to 200% of their list price, due to the lower production, I expect these watches to have a higher ceiling.

I can only imagine what will happen to the value of these watches when FP Journe is no longer here to produce them himself. I am sure we will all see that 200% markup as the deal of a lifetime in the decades to come. These brands both benefit from some of the strongest growth potentials in the watch industry. There are 2 different ways to approach this point for value.

In terms of the value of the watch that you get for the list price, I feel that FP Journe is able to offer more value for what they are asking. When it comes to the overall value of the brand, on the other hand, nobody can compete with the Patek Philippe and specifically the 5711 Nautilus. As I mentioned earlier, however, the list price is irrelevant to these brands.

If there was a snowball’s chance in hell that you could get either of them at least this point may have gone a different direction, but I have to give this one to Patek Philippe. After a grueling battle of back-and-forth action between these two great brands we stand tied at two points apiece. I don’t believe in ties, so lucky for you, a guy full of opinions and without the potential to ever actually put my money where my mouth is will make the final decision on this one.

The stakes have literally never been lower as you are guaranteed an exceptional watch no matter which one you choose. Patek Philippe pulls ahead when we look at the brand cache, history, and overall value. FP Journe showed its strength in design, both with their overall lineup and their Chronometre Bleu in particular. This truly was a close battle, but if I have to choose its FP Journe.

I really appreciate both of these brands and the unique value propositions that each of them presents in this ultra-luxury category. If I was actually in the position to purchase a watch from one of these brands, I would probably get one from both. They are very different from each other and if I am spending that type of money on a watch, I am sure that the hypothetical version of myself can afford both and deserves it (He works hard for his money, don’t judge!).

The reason I went with FP Journe over Patek Philippe, however, is actually pretty simple. Despite awarding the point in value to Patek Philippe, there is a very real possibility that there will come a day when not even hypothetical me can afford an FP Journe. I am not sure that there is a ceiling for this brand. Patek Philippe on the other hand, while growing in value every year, should always be available, even if you need to reach deeper in your pocket every year to get it.

Patek Philippe vs Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe are known to be the most luxurious watch brands in the world. These companies have a rich history – The Vacheron Constantin company is the oldest watchmaking company in the world (in continuous operation) while the Patek Philippe company is the oldest family-owned watchmaker in Geneva that is still operating today.

Timepieces from both companies have found abode place in some of the most prestigious wrists and homes in the world. They have been worn by kings, royals, celebrities, presidents, and billionaires who could afford the price point they command. It does not matter which brand you choose between the two. You are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime.

And the price you will pay to own a vintage Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watch cements this adage of the two companies being the most luxurious and expensive brands in the world. In 2019, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 watch made history as the most expensive watch ever sold at an auction at $31 million.

The Vacheron Kalista (a 1979 custom masterpiece that featured 118 emerald-cut diamonds) sold for $11 million. The creativity, innovation, and man-hours that go into making Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watches are, inarguably, over the top. Patek Phillipe and Vacheron Constantin’s watches are appealing and special. This article places these watches head to head to compare features and functionality and offers insights into the watch that offers the best value for money.

Brief History

Patek Phillipe

Patek Philippe Store

Founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek, Patek Philippe is the oldest family-owned independent watchmaking company in Geneva. When the company began operations, its driving force was to create timepieces of utmost precision and accuracy without losing aesthetic value.

And they have achieved this perfectly over the years through consistent innovations that have earned the company numerous awards – including the 1844 award for keyless winding and hand-setting system.

In 1863 they made the first Swiss wristwatch for Hungarian countess Koscowicz. From this achievement, the company would later gain over 100 patents during its continuous 183 years of watchmaking. The notable patents and awards include;

  • Patent for time-zone watches in 1959
  • An award for the tourbillon movement that achieved the world timekeeping precision record for a mechanical watch at the Geneva Observatory in 1962 (The record is still unbeaten)
  • Patent for ultra-thin automatic caliber 240 in 1977
  • Patent for a secular perpetual calendar watch with retrograde date indication in 1986
  • Patent for Annual Calendar mechanism technology in 1966

These patents solidified the company’s prestigious position on the totem pole of the watchmaking industry. Patek Phillipe’s clientele range from dignitaries, millionaires, celebrities, royalty, and top business executives.

Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin watches

Vacheron Constantin has over 250 years of continuous watchmaking history. The company was established in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron and remains one of the most progressive and recognizable luxury watch brands. The company was passed down to generations of the Vacheron family until 1810 when Jacques-Barthelemy became the head of the company.

Jacques wanted to expand the business across the globe (before then they were exporting to Italy and France) and he brought in a strategic partner, Francois Constantin to help make this a reality. The company changed its name to Vacheron and Constantin. Francois Constantin was an ingenious businessman who took the business to America and other parts of the globe.

In 1887 the company became a joint-stock company after the death of Francois, Jacques, and other heirs who had taken over the helm of running the company. It would change hands several times with the latest ownership belonging to Richemont International – a successful and large Swiss watch manufacturing company.

Why compare the Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 and The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watches?

This article compares two classic watches in the same category – the Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 and the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch. The harmony Chronograph 3300 caliber watch was the counter to the widely popular Patek Philippe 5170G-010 timepiece. Both companies spared no expense in the design and manufacture of these watches.

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch was released at BaselWorld in 2010. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 was released in 2015 at the SIH show to commemorate the 260th anniversary of the Vacheron Constantin brand. They manufactured a limited run of 260 pieces.


A Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch costs north of $87,000. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch costs approximately $74,000. Custom pieces from either company can run into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars depending on complexity, design, and the number of manpower spent. Most parts are assembled by hand by watchmakers with a wealth of experience in making luxury watches.

This is what makes these watches pricey. It is unheard of to find an original Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watch going for less than $10,000. According to, the most affordable Patek Philippe watch is the Aquanaut edition (with 5167A reference) which retails at $21,650. The most affordable Vacheron Constantin watch is the steel version of the FiftySix Edition watch (which debuted in 2018 at the SIHH) and retails at $11,700.

Design and Style

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch is meticulous and elegantly designed. The watch targeted the modern and contemporary clientele. It has a clean, simple design without the extra fluff and additions found in many luxury watches that debuted within this timeframe. It is a large watch but can still be worn with a suit or official attire comfortably.

The case has smooth, clean, and polished edges. The bezel is not exaggerated either, with the company choosing to stick to the simple polished outlook rather than the winding bezel you find in other luxury watches (such as the SBGA211G Grand Seiko diving watch). The Patek 5170G watch is made of white gold metal (also known as grey gold in the industry) and comes with either a black or white dial.

Both dials are also clean, without fluff, but nothing is boring about them. It does not have lots of inscriptions or added features. The black dial has well-polished Breguet Arabic numerous that allow for easy reading. The beautiful leaf-style hands are also simple, and functional, and may seem understated.

The inscriptions on the black dial (including the Patek Philippe signature at the 12 o’clock mark) are white, which increases the watch’s contrast. There is a Lancet-style counterweighted seconds mark for the chronograph. Each of the sub-registers features a miniature, railroad-style, white-printed track. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has an ivory, bone-white dial with blue numbers and golden hands.

There is a ridged section underneath the tip of the lugs. The mid-case curves inwards at this point, making the watch look thinner than it is. The crown has a slash cut that makes it easy to tune the watch. It also has a coaxial mono-pusher in-built button. The hour and minute hands are rose-gold.

The hour-hand has an apple-head style while the minute-hand has a spear-shaped design. The counterweighted seconds-hand is blue and the chronograph section has a 45 minutes sub-dial. The chapter rings are red-gold and the hour markings are blue. There is a pulsation scale on the dial.


The Patek Philippe 5170G-010 watch measures 39.4mm in diameter (not inclusive of the crown) and is 11mm thick. There is a 21mm spacing between the lugs. This is pretty thin for a chronograph watch. This thickness means that the watch can fit under your cuff easily while resting flush on your wrist. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has a 42mm case (not including the crown) with a square rounded look unique to this model.

It has a distance of 51.6mm from lug to lug and is 13mm thick. It is a broad watch with a lug spacing of 24mm. Although it is a big watch, its unique design makes it seem less overbearing when worn on small wrists. The overall design of the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 was inspired by the model manufactured by the company in 1928.

The 1928 mono-pusher chronograph timepiece featured a bi-compax layout with poire-shaped hands, a pulsimeter scale on the white dial, and a shape that slightly resembles that of the Harmony chronograph (with the rounded white dial and square bezel). The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has a cushion-shaped, curved caseband with a circular dial enclosed inside a squarish bezel.

The single pusher on the crown was purely a design element. It was meant to give the watch a more sophisticated look, feel, and functionality. Placing all functionalities on a single element (the crown) made the watch more complex but elevated Vacheron Constantin’s company status as an innovative luxury watchmaking company. They added a power-reserve indicator at the base of the watch and painted the hour markers blue.

Straps and clasp

When you turn the watch underneath you can see the patented Patek Philippe de riguer pull-tabs spring bars. These tabs make it easier to remove both sides of the straps from the case to allow for deeper cleaning between the lugs. It also allows for easy changing of straps without the risk of damaging the watch by scratching when using a screwdriver.

The medium rectangular scale alligator leather straps have a single-fold grey gold clasp with the logo inscribed on the surface of the clasp. This clasp is beautifully polished and has a Calatrava cross to add panache to the mechanism. The Calatrava cross is also present on the crown. The two vintage-inspired chronograph pushes (for setting and resetting the watch) on the casing are also perfectly polished.

The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 has matte dark brown alligator leather straps with a monotone stitch on the underside and a sheer-sided construction that shows you the layers of leather making the watch. The clasp is a single-fold, highly polished mechanism with a Maltese cross logo on the inner section.

The straps can also be brown alligator leather accompanied by a pink-gold single-fold clasp. The spring bars that hold the Harmony in position are slightly curved. Despite the watch’s seemingly large size, this small (but innovative) feature makes it much more comfortable for the wearer.


The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch features an in-house movement (CH 29-535 PS caliber). The CH 29-535 PS caliber was an improvement of the previous movement technology on most Patek Philippe watches and features modern and better chronographic movements with a 65-hour power reserve.

The wheels have self-adjusting hammers, 33 jewels with 269 components, and a patented Patek Gyromax balance. This balance adjusts for isochronism, heat, and cold. All the levers inside the watch are satin-finished and fully visible. Every screw has been black-polished with its slot and circumference chamfered to a clean and neat edge. The watch makes 28,800 revolutions per hour.

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch is a mono-pusher chronograph. You can make it stop, start, or reset using the same button (located at the crown position). The 3300 caliber movement is manually-wound with a spectacular finish seen through the back sapphire case back.
Underneath, the watch has 252 parts including 35 jewels enclosed in an engraved half-bridge balance structure with Breguet to help it keep time.

It has a column wheel lateral clutch mono-pusher featuring a brass polished Maltese cross. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has 65 hours of power reserve. The power spent is observed from the subdial at the 6 o’clock mark. It makes 21600 revolutions per hour. The screws are black polished, satin 8 steel levers with beveled, chamfered bridge edges, and mirrored glass on top.

The balance cock with golden Fleurisanne engraving is the only decorative highlight inside this watch. This gives the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch an old vintage, yet impeccable look. A column wheel controls the chronograph functions, effectively eliminating the jerking of the watch’s seconds hand when you start the watch.

The cone-shaped gear between the crown and the winding pinion allows for the smooth winding of the watch. You still have to push it in or pull it out with some force. This design was and it prevents unwanted and accidental winding or unwinding by the slightest touch of the crown.

Water resistance

Neither The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 nor Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch is designed for diving. Both have a 30m water resistance capacity. This gives the two watches decent exposure to rain, splashes, and shields against damage if they accidentally fall into the water. However, do not wear any of these watches when diving or swimming.

Extra features and information

Because of the highly intricate and complicated mechanisms of the two watches, it is recommended that any mechanical service or repair be done at the factory or designated repair centers. Patek Philippe Company encourages their clients to contact them when they want to service their watch. They have serviced their watches in-house or through regulated agents since the company’s inception.

When you have spent close to $100,000 on a timepiece, you will be hesitant to take it to a watch repair shop that opened recently around your block. These watches need to be handled by trained personnel with the tools and expertise to deal with such delicate pieces.


Does Vacheron Constantin hold value?

The watches we have looked at here command more than $70,000 apiece. The price has not fluctuated since the watches debuted. Only 260 pieces of the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph watches were manufactured and sold out. This makes it extremely difficult to access an original Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch (unless in the second-hand market). The rarity pushes the prices through the roof.

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch is also a rare watch and a beautiful piece to own. The older and rare a watch is, the higher the resale value. Watches from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe companies hold their value well compared to watches from other luxury companies. Watch enthusiasts and collectors pay a premium to own these watches because they know they can flip them for a profit in the future.


As pioneers in the luxury watchmaking industry, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin companies have come a long way and have created legendary timepieces. Consistent innovations (such as the in-house CH 29-535 PS caliber for Patek Philippe and the mono-pusher chronographic mechanism of the Vacheron Harmony watch ), adaptation to technology, and great marketing have made watches from these companies irresistible to the avid watch collector.

The Patek Philippe 5710G-010 and the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 are among the most popular luxury timepieces ever manufactured across every spectrum. The same goes for the Patek Philippe nautilus and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas watch. Whichever watch you buy, you are guaranteed to get value for money.

They are elegant and rare. Patek Philippe makes less than 50,000 watches per year and only 260 pieces of the Vacheron Harmony watch were manufactured to celebrate the company’s 260th anniversary. This keeps the value of these watches high and makes them perfect conversational pieces and possible investments with an almost guaranteed higher ROI.

Rolex vs Patek Phillipe

Both Rolex and Patek Philippe are incredibly iconic watchmakers known all throughout the world. These two companies are innovators and creators of their own original designs and have been leading the pack in the world of watchmaking.

Although these two are comparable, there are several big differences that make up each respective brand’s distinctive identity.

In this article, we will be looking at the similarities and differences between the two companies, and the pros and cons that come with each one. Though, there are more differences than similarities between the brands that we will discuss.

To begin this conversation, we have to talk about a sort of elephant in the room:

Why would you buy a Rolex over a Patek Philippe?

3 Rolex watches on display

The main reason one might consider a Rolex watch over a Patek Philippe one comes down to a unique factor that this brand holds true over every single other watchmaker out there: popularity and recognition.

For many decades, Rolex has expertly marketed itself better than any other brand in the game and has become synonymous with concepts such as wealth, fashion, success, style, and more. The company has overall become the epitome of a “luxury wristwatch” to the general public. The golden standard.

Simply think, if you asked someone right now about Rolex, who is generally not in touch with knowledge regarding wristwatches, they will very likely be guaranteed to be familiar with the brand and those concepts stated earlier. It is a company that has remained in pop culture for decades similar to Apple, Nike, Coke, etc.

On the other hand, if you ask that same person about Patek Philippe, there is a slight chance that they might not know anything about their company; as Patek is targeted towards people of very high wealth, more so than Rolex, and their niche market are already aware of their existence, reputation, and offerings.

From this one very unique factor from Rolex, there come other unique advantages as well. One of these being that there will always be a very high demand for their watches from people all over the world. What this means for Rolex owners is that if you purchase one of their watches, you are almost certainly guaranteed to be able to resell that watch–likely for an even higher price than what you bought it for. This is one extremely appealing advantage to any sort of investor looking into the brand.


Rolex vs Patek Philippe pricing is another big differentiating factor between the companies. As alluded to earlier, Rolex watches generally retail for much less than Patek Philippe’s offerings; and this could either be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of value you are seeking.

Patek Philippe watches of course hold their value and appreciate similarly to Rolex, but the number of people who are able to afford the high cost of a $100,000 Patek Philippe watch is diminished as opposed to the amount of people who won’t have to sell their car after buying a $10,000 Rolex. From this standpoint, it really does depend on an individual’s personal preferences and lifestyle. 

To put this in perspective, at those prices listed earlier you could buy ten whole Rolex watches at the cost of that one Patek Philippe watch (if taxes didn’t exist).

To explore an example of this idea, let’s compare two of the most popular and iconic watches of each brand and ask a bit of a subjective question–Which is better, Rolex Submariner or Patek Philippe Aquanaut?

In this comparison, we find that the Submariner, as the name suggests, is designed for deep diving, having a high water resistance of 300m, and retails at around $10,000 – $40,000 usd. It is essentially built to withstand robust activities, has an outer timing bezel to time your dives or any other situation, and can be dressed up or down quite a bit.

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut on the other hand is also a type of “dive” watch withstanding 120m of water resistance, which is suitable for swimming but a bit riskier when diving,

Still, the Aquanaut is arguably more versatile than the Submariner. The reason for this is that it can be worn naturally with the highest end suit, but at the same time it can be rocked with jeans and a tee shirt. However this watch has a much wider range of price at approx. $30,000 – $130,000 usd.

So based on that, we once again find that this argument depends on an individual’s preferences and lifestyles. And speaking of lifestyles, that is another thing to consider when deciding between Rolex or Patek Philippe.

Types of Watches

Throughout the previous century, Rolex designed watches like the Submariner and their GMT to be robust and reliable in order to be used by personnel in the United States military. Doing so, they have created their catalog to consist of professional sport watches that have been tried and tested in true critical applications.

Additionally, their Explorer model was the primary watch provided by Rolex to be utilized by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in their expedition to become the first people to ever climb the top of the tallest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest.

Today, these models are still in production, updated every year, and are in very high demand. Models like these can be easily worn every day for any situation at 100m – 300m of water resistance with shock resistant movements.

On the other side of the spectrum, Patek Philippe’s highest water resistance timepieces come at 120m, which is not bad either, for the very popular Nautilus and Aquanaut. Extremely versatile and beautiful watches that are swimmable but are not able to be worn without precaution in deep diving or in heavy water sports as stated before.

These two watches are actually more so comparable to the Rolex Explorer in all of those regards.

Another very popular watch known from Patek is their Perpetual Calendar. This beautiful timepiece is a staple when it comes to dress watches with complex movements. On the dial, it features a day, date, month, even a leap year indicator, and most iconically, its moonphase.

It is important to note that the moon phase design was first introduced by Patek Philippe themselves, and now lives on in this iconic model of theirs.

This leads our conversation into the opposite standpoint previously taken:

Why would you buy a Patek Philippe over a Rolex?

Patek Philippe Store

Although Patek does not offer any sort of 200m – 300m water resistant dive watch, as they are not primarily a tool watch kind of company, what they instill instead are some the highest end works of art–and that is how one should look at Patek Philippe as a whole. 

When you think of it this way, those high prices are much more justified.

Think of a painting from a renowned artist. Now, that is simply colors being placed in specific areas of a canvas to make a work of art. Let’s say that painting sells for $100,000 like a Patek Philippe might. As a whole, the artist will likely have spent very little to create that art, as the real value comes from their name, talent, and work.

So although you might not know exactly who created your Patek Philippe watch, there is no denying that these are clearly artworks inside and out made by masters at their craft, consisting of precious metals, and house extremely advanced mechanical technologies inside the watches themselves. 

What’s more, these ‘art pieces’ can of course be used in real life applications of primarily telling time, as part of an outfit or ensemble, and can carry the stories of the people who have worn them in the past.

It is also important to emphasize the incredible complexity in the watches that Patek Philippe make. They strive to really push the boundaries in terms of what is possible to function inside a watch, using only mechanical features.

They can go from a simple date-only complication in a Nautilus, to their Grandmaster Chime, which boasts twenty (yes, twenty) separate complications. Patek truly have no limits, and I doubt that they will stop at that twenty.

While both companies create their own in-house caliber movements, Rolex mostly focus on perfecting their original designs in order to provide the most efficient and reliable movements possible, while Patek focus more on creating those complex designs with many complications added onto it.

Nevertheless, we cannot forget to mention this simple powerful fact: Patek Philippe was the company that started it all and created the very first wristwatch in the late 1800s. That could be all the information you need if you are looking for the winner between these two companies.


In terms of exterior design, Rolex has created some of the most recognizable layouts that have become blueprints for all other watches designed today–which could either be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it.

Let’s start with the most obvious: the Submariner. The design of this watch with its geometric circles, rectangles, and triangle indexes, as well as the outer bezel’s timing layout, have been a standard in dive watch design for its form and functionality.

There is not much that can be improved in this and that is why it has rarely changed since its inception, and continues to thrive today. However, like stated before, this could be a con for some people as these designs are very often similarly seen in many other companies.

Because the design has somewhat reached a peak in simplicity and functionality, many others will struggle to come up with anything different, which leaves many of the same-looking watches all over the place.

However, that is what does make Rolex so sought after–they are THE original. But again, although some companies have managed to slightly break the mold, it is extremely difficult to change what is not already broken.

Now moving on to Patek Philippe, their outer designs are generally much more unique to their respective brand.  If you look around, you do not find many similar watch layouts like the Nautilus, Aquanaut, Perpetual Calendar, and especially not the Grandmaster Chime (I’d actually be shocked to see that). That can be a huge draw for someone looking for something very iconic, luxurious, but unique all at once.

Furthermore, Rolex cases and bracelets are very similar from model to model, such as their famous Oyster designs; whereas Patek Philippe seemingly strive to create differentiating and original cases for each one of their timepieces. So let’s summarize some of these points as they are commonly asked:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would you buy a Rolex over a Patek Philippe?

Rolex has the unique advantage of popularity and recognition throughout the world; which Patek Philippe does as well, but Rolex is generally more known and accessible. Their average rough estimate price for one of their watches is somewhere around $15,000 usd, which is much less expensive than that of Patek Philippe’s. 

Furthermore, Rolex has its rich history in professional sport watches, which they continue to manufacture today, and that is what primarily makes up their catalog if that is what you are looking for. Lastly, the value of their watches become investable, as they often appreciate over time.

Why would you buy a Patek Philippe over a Rolex?

Now, Patek Philippe can be quite a bit more expensive than Rolex depending on the model and make, but they must be thought of more as functional works of art than watches, really. 
Moreover, their catalog consists of very unique designs that are not easily duplicated by other companies like the ones from Rolex are.  Like stated before, Patek Philippe are some of the most expensive timepieces out there, but they are also the most reputable and recognized from best of the best when it comes to that arena

Patek Philippe, Rolex, or Omega?

Another common debate being thrown around is that of Patek Philippe vs Rolex vs Omega. If we analyze these companies altogether, it is quickly evident that Patek Philippe is much more of a high end luxury and dressy brand, rather than a luxury sport watch one as both Rolex and Omega are.
Both Rolex and Omega have many more similarities than Patek Philippe in this regard, and they are real rivals when it comes to this.

Both have their own defining dive watches (Submariner vs Seamaster), ‘adventure’ type watches (Explorer vs Railmaster), chronographs (Daytona vs Speedmaster), and dress watches (Datejust vs Constellation)–just to name some of the more prominent categories. Both are also very highly marketed and recognized. Although Rolex definitely wins above all brands when it comes to that, Omega still holds its own against Rolex in that regard.

Nonetheless, their true differences lie in their price ranges, as Omega is a sort of entry-level in the world of luxury sport watches, ranging anywhere between approx. $3,000 – $15,000 usd. Whereas Rolex can range a bit higher in price as previously discussed. So this debate mostly depends on an individual’s preference in brand and their budget

Do Rolex or Patek Philippe keep more accurate time?

Interestingly, both companies likely average around the same time of accuracy. This is due to Patek’s incredibly complex movements with many different complications, and more complications mean more things that can vary an accuracy.

Meanwhile, Rolex have mostly focused on perfecting their movements with maybe one or two simple complications. After decades of testing, and thousands of people wearing their watches, Rolex have come a very long way in terms of functionality in their movements. And in doing so, they compete with Patek Philippe in the topic of accuracy.

Who was created first, Rolex or Patek Philippe?

Patek Philippe was founded in 1839, and Rolex in 1905. As previously discussed, Patek Philippe was also the company that first introduced the world to watches, but Rolex still has a lot of “firsts.”
For instance, they created the famous GMT movement for United States aviators in the 50s, which became one of their crowning (no pun intended) achievements. Patek, however, invented other features now commonly known such as the moon phase complication; which they still use in the Perpetual Calendar as one of their main lineups.


In summary, both Rolex and Patek Philippe are giants in the watchmaking industry. They pioneered many of the designs we see today, but they are not all that similar to one another overall. Rolex built their reputation based on creating professional sport watches to be tested in real life situations, and at the same time marketed those watches towards the average citizen. 

Whereas, Patek Philippe built their own brand based on perfecting the concept of a mechanical wristwatch, and pushing the boundaries in terms of materials, movements, complications, and designs overall.

Rolex is more affordable than Patek Philippe, but both are creators with distinct identities, rich histories, and iconic catalogs to choose from. So as stated before, choosing between these two comes down to an individual’s personal preferences, how they live their life, their budget, and the kind of value they seek. Or just get both, why not?

Patek Phillipe vs Breguet

They are people who simply appreciate fine watches, and then they are horology aficionados. The former would be thrilled to find a low-budget watch that is simple yet recognizable, but the latter are the ones who have a sophisticated appreciation for the craft, history, and horology that goes into the production of different watch brands.

It is these horology aficionados that know that a Patek Phillippe or Breguet on the wrist of a man goes beyond a status symbol to reflecting his appreciation for incredible quality and watch mechanics.

With Patek Philippe bringing on exceptionally well-crafted, and insanely complex watches, more and more debates on the watch internet universe have arisen comparing the brand to Breguet – the only timepiece on planet Earth that echoes the classic British and French pocket watches of the 18th century. Can there be the last brand standing at the end of this battle? Let’s find out!

Patek Phillippe vs Breguet: who’s the best?

Patek Philippe has become one of the world’s most well-established luxury brands, which is widely recognized as the luxury watch par excellence and at the same time offers collectors a great form of investment. Just as their famous tagline says, you never truly own a Patek Philippe, you just take care of it for the next generation.

Breguet on the other hand is famous for inventing the tourbillon around the end of the 18th century and was the first watch brand to feature the guilloché technique on its dials. Its founder Abraham-Louis Breguet is widely regarded as the best watchmaker of his time. 

If you are seeking which is the better option between them, we can’t make that decision for you. However, you will find the highlights of each brand alongside the pros and cons spelled out here. The truth is both Patek Philippe and Breguet compete in the same luxury segment, but they do not perform in the same way. 

They are in many respects complementary and that’s something you can notice once you compare watch brands like Blancpain vs Breguet vs Piaget timepieces. All three are among the oldest surviving watchmaking brands that started as manufacturers of watch movements even though their style is comparable. This article aims to provide an in-depth review of these top-of-the-line watch brands and we have simplified the information needed by comparing these brands in different sections.


Breguet Lucerne

No true watch enthusiast can mention Breguet without evoking the Tourbillon, the Breguet overcoil, or the first watch with keyless winding immediately. Incontestably one of the oldest surviving watchmaking brands, Breguet has the richest watch brand in history.

It was founded in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet and is credited with pioneering numerous watchmaking technologies such as the tourbillon (invented by Abraham Breguet in 1801), the world’s first self-winding watch called the Perpétuelle (invented in 1780), and the world’s first wristwatch, invented in 1810.

Abraham-Louis Breguet quickly rose to fame as his inventions gained recognition and became the top choice of European nobility while enriching the watchmaking world with revolutionary inventions such as the tourbillon, the Breguet overcoil, and the first functioning shock-protection system, the pare-chute.

Beyond these iconic innovations, Breguet also impacted the watch world by creating Breguet hands and numerals. After the death of Abraham Breguet in 1823, his son, Antoine-Louis Breguet took over the fast-growing company and maintained top-quality standards, so much so that a Breguet watch became a sure sign of wealth and success.

Breguet’s current catalog comprises a wide range of timepieces with classic designs. They include the Classique and Classique Complications collections (modeled after the company’s historical timepieces), the Tradition collection, the Reine de Naples and Héritage collections, and the Marine and Type XXI collections.

•Flawless craftsmanship with highly detailed and extremely well-made timepieces that come at a reasonable price point when compared to its competitors.•Not a great investment piece at the moment.
•Over 240 years of tradition•The high price point for entry-level watches
•Precise in-house calibers
•A mind-blowing amount of complications  such as a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, or minute repeater
•Refined and timeless style and design
•Highly operational movements that showcase an exceptional standard of horological art

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Store

Patek Philippe, the ‘Rolls Royce Boat Tail’ of all watch brands was founded 183 years ago.

Just like Breguet, it is an old watch manufacturer with an uninterrupted watchmaking history. It was named after Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe who jointly founded it in Geneva and has remained one of the few independent Genevan watch manufacturers that are still family-owned. 

From iconic watches with tourbillons to some of the most complicated mechanical watches in the world, Phillipe is widely known to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers in the world that builds nearly every component for their watches themselves. 

Considered the ‘crowning piece of any watch collection’, Patek Philippe has a legacy for crafting some of the world’s most exquisite timepieces out of precious metals like gold or platinum. Although stainless steel editions exist, they are very few in Patek’s catalogs, making them a fantastic investment option. Its iconic collections include the classic Calatrava, the sporty Aquanaut and Nautilus lines, the feminine Twenty-4, and the outstanding complications and grand complications.

•Prestigious luxury timepieces•Long waiting lists and wait times. (The Patek Philippe Nautilus for instance has a waitlist of about 30 years!)•Great investments option•Expensive•Modern in-house calibers that ensure high precision•Inventor of many important complications•Longevity and timeless designs•Expert craftsmanship•Supreme and durable materials

Patek Philippe vs Breguet

Movements & Quality

Both Patek Phillippe and Breguet value quality and precision. They craft their watches with the highest quality materials which are designed to last a lifetime. Breguet uses in-house made High-frequency mechanical movements and it is not shocking to know that it was among the first watch brands to outfit movements with anti-magnetic silicon components since it has been making watches since 1839 with utmost care and precision. 

Patek Philippe began manufacturing self-winding movements in the year 1953 and since then has developed a number of high-performance mechanisms that form the basis of its beloved complicated movements. If you compare Patek Philippe vs Breguet’s movement finishing, Patek is in another league completely and would outpace Breguet, but not Breguet’s Tradition line.

Style & Design

Breguet timepieces all bear the pedigree of original design with a unique styling that stays ahead of Patek Philippe when it comes to the case, dial (especially guilloche), and hand finishing. But when it comes to dressing watches, Patek Phillippe’s Calatrava is the most iconic high-end dress watch.

 Both brands offer everything from timeless calendar watches with elaborate dials, to incredibly functional and visually pleasing timepieces that feature diamonds and fine engravings. Patek’s style approaches that of a classic luxury sports watch (such as the Patek Philippe Aquanaut) while the Breguet Classique and marine watch collections epitomize the watchmaking principles of precision, clarity, and elegance but not so much of flashy luxurious style. All in all both Brand’s timepieces feature dazzling aesthetics that will outlive several lifetimes.


Patek Philippe crafts some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive timepieces but Breguet’s watches offer a better value when it comes down to horological content. The price point of a Patek Philippe watch compared to a Breguet watch is probably the largest difference that sets these two brands apart. 

In December 2020 eight of the world’s top ten most expensive watches ever sold at auctions were Patek Philippe watches. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime (Ref. 6300A-010) currently holds the title of the most expensive watch/wristwatch ever sold at auction (US$31.19 million/31 million CHF) and models from the Complications and Grand Complications collections have prices ranging from 160,000 USD to several million USD.

 Breguet watches on the hand are highly affordable and have a much lower cost when compared to Patek Phillippe with Breguet’s entry-level watches selling from around $11,500.

Brand Popularity

It’s obvious that Breguet watches portray an exceptional standard of horological art that deserves to be identified and praised but this is not the case as it has become a bit eclipsed in fame by Patek. 

Brand popularity is where Patek Phillippe rules even though Breguet dominates when it comes to heritage and craftsmanship. Patek is a more well-known Swiss Watch brand with a second-to-none reputation for churning out elegant timepieces, but it was upon Breguet’s work that this was achieved.

 From the simple elegance of Calatrava to the iconic Nautilus, Patek Philippe watches are incredibly popular among collectors and have become one of the most desirable watches on the market today. Breguet may be as good as Patek Philippe but the latter has a more well-known brand and reputation. One thing shared by both brands however is that demand for their watches far exceeds the supply.


Even though both Breguet and Patek Philippe do not send their calibers to get a COSC certificate, they do their precision testing themselves by subjecting their watches to in-house inspections. Patek Philippe Seal guarantees an extreme rate accuracy with a tolerance of no more than -3/+2 seconds per day and has its timepieces checked (both the uncased movements and finished watches) in several phases during the manufacturing process. 

Breguet also imposes very strict requirements on the manual finissage of its movements to ensure top-notch accuracy. The Breguet Classique Chronometrie ref. 7727 for instance features a mechanical movement escapement that beats at a rate of 72,000 bph (beating most standard ETA movements that operate at 28,800 bph) ensuring an accuracy of approximately +1/-2 seconds per day.


Even though both companies are prestigious watch brands, Patek Philippe and Breguet both seem to be lagging behind other top watch manufacturers like Rolex and Tudor when it comes to warranty. Rolex, Omega, Longines, and Tudor all offer a five-year warranty but Patek Philippe and Breguet both offer a warranty of only two years (24 months) from the original date of purchase.

Whilst the industry-standard warranty is actually two years, many watch companies have gone beyond that and now offer five years of warranty, some eight, and some even longer. Patek Philippe’s warranty even expires if interventions are performed by unauthorized third parties.

Resale value

Resale values for different watch brands are hardly static since it depends on many variables and as a result, it is difficult to predict the future. Breguet might not be as expensive initially, but it does not maintain value nearly as well as Patek Phillippe’s timepieces particularly since it began mass-producing its watches. 

Currently, Rolex and Patek Philippe are the two most notorious brands for holding resale value and according to data, Patek Philippe watches are the 4th best luxury watch to invest in. Not only do they hold their value over time, but their prices also appreciate, making them a perfect investment option. Thus, Patek Philippe’s resale value trumps that of Breguet, whether vintage or modern but this can change in the near future.

Which Has A Better Ranking Patek Philippe or Breguet?

According to a recent report by a brand evaluation agency known as Interbrand which publishes a list of the best Swiss brands in the world, Patek Philippe stands as the third most internationally recognized brand in the Swiss watch business. It also took the 15th position as the best Swiss brand in the world while Breguet’s position was 25.

A Morgan Stanley report in association with Swiss consultancy firm LuxeConsult estimates Patek Philippe’s sales at retail were around CHF 2.03 billion in 2021 making it the 6th most powerful brand in the industry. Breguet lags behind Patek Philippe in this regard too with its brand value being around 1 billion CHF and it is ranked the 18th most powerful Swiss Watch brand.

Comparing A Popular Patek Philippe Watch With A Popular Breguet Watch

Now that we have completed an in-depth comparison of Breguet to Patek Philippe, let us take a look at some models of both companies. 

We wish to reinstate that there is no ‘better’ choice and none of our descriptions is presented in a bid to ‘sell’ one brand over another. It all comes down to your personal preference, as both Patek Philippe and Breguet are pretty similar in terms of quality and prestige.

The only main difference is found back in the name. Patek Philippe is known as a sign of wealth and success, whereas Breguet is often linked to vintage watches

Patek Philippe 5196R  vs Breguet Classique 7147 rose

Patek Philippe 5196R

Coming from the celebrated Calatrava line, Patek Philippe 5196R is recognized as one of the finest symbols of the Patek Philippe style and the very essence of the round wristwatch. One of the major reasons why this watch is so popular is because of its beautiful and elegant look. It epitomizes understated elegance and features an 18kt rose gold case of diameter 37mm and finely encapsulates the wrist with its brown alligator leather strap. 

What makes it stand out is the opaline dial that houses rose gold hands in addition to index hour markers. A close look at it will reveal that the minute markers are carved around the outer rim and a small seconds sub-dial is located above the 6 o’clock position.

Aside from a beautiful vintage look, this watch is powered by the 215 PS caliber and features a manual wind movement that ensures a gliding rotation of the hands with a 44-hour power reserve that ensures accuracy and better performance of the timepiece while increasing the lifespan of its battery at the same time. The price range is from 19,000USD to about 63,990USD.

Breguet Classique 7147 rose

Apart from the different movements and years of production, the Breguet Classique 7147 rose shares a lot of similarities with the Patek Philippe 5196R. It presents this 40mm watch in rose gold with a delicately fluted case band, sapphire-crystal case back and features a white “Grand Feu” enamel dial with Arabic numerals. 

Aside from a stunning aesthetic, it comes with a flawless finishing and a precise in-house caliber of the highest quality. Its offset and stepped-down small seconds sub-dial between 5 and 6 o’clock is also extremely functional and its self-winding movements are exquisitely decorated. It is comfortable on the wrist and the price range for a Breguet Classique 7147 rose is from 15,800USD to about 21,000USD

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196RBreguet Classique 7147 rose
•Brand: Patek Philippe•Brand: Breguet
•Reference number: 5196R•Reference number: 7147BR/29/9WU
•Movement: Manual winding•Movement: Automatic
•Case material: Rose gold•Case Material: Red gold, Rose gold
•Bracelet material: Crocodile skin, Leather•Bracelet material: Crocodile skin, Leather
•Year of production: 2004, 2012•Year of production: 2019, 2021, 2022
•Gender: Men’s watch/Unisex•Gender: Men’s watch/Unisex
•Location: Austria; France; United States of America•Location: Germany; Japan; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States of America
•Movement: Manual winding•Movement: Automatic self-winding movement
•Movement/Caliber: 215 PS•Movement/Caliber: 502.3 SD
•Case material: Rose gold•Case Material: Red gold, Rose gold
•Case diameter: 37.0 mm•Case dimensions: Diameter: 40.0 mm, Thickness: 5.4mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44mm, Lug width: 20mm.
•Water resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters/100feet)•Water resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters/100feet)
•Crystal: Sapphire crystal•Crystal: Sapphire crystal
•Dial: Grey, Silver•Dial: White
•Bracelet material: Crocodile skin, Leather•Bracelet material: Crocodile skin, Leather
•Bracelet color: Brown•Bracelet color: Brown
•Clasp material: Rose Gold•Clasp material: Rose Gold
•Power reserve: 44 hours•Power reserve: 45 hours
•Warranty: Two years•Warranty: Two years

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Breguet worth buying?

Yes. Breguet is a prestigious watch brand that has been in production since 1775 and many of Breguet’s watches provide tremendous value at an affordable price.

Is Patek Philippe the best watch in the world?

Patek Philippe is undoubtedly one of the world’s best watch manufacturers. It is one of the ‘Big Three’, or the holy trinity of watches (a designation that watch experts gave to the most prevalent luxurious watch brands in the world) in addition to Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin.

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