By Nirja Dutt
It’s true when they say, all you are doing when you buy a Patek Philippe is keeping it for the next generation. The house is known for their indomitable creations and has been known to be the ones who have crafted some of the finest timepieces across centuries and continue to do so. While every time you step down the rabbit hole of their wondrous history and watches, the fear of them still up for grabs is always a question. Why do they discontinue these models that are so coveted for so long?
While the act of ending a particular model has been on for a while, the world was literally in a tizzy when they announced the end of the legendary Nautilus 5711. What followed was a whirlwind of reactions from around the globe wondering on why the house decided to end its legendary run with what can be called as one of the most sought after timepieces in the market. Thierry Stern, president, Patek Philippe famously gave an interview to Swiss newspaper Neuen Zürcher Zeitung explaining that he didn’t “want a single model to suddenly make up 50% or more of our collection and dominate Patek’s image”
A bold move to say the least, it turns out that’s been the nature of the company since its inception, with trailblazing inventions, pathbreaking watches and crafting their own path literally embedded in their ethos, Patek Philippe has the reputation it does for a reason. Dreamt in a maze of reference numbers, many watches have been bid farewell to over the years, here’s a list of what is no longer sold officially by the house in 2023:
Grand Complication Reference 6300G-010
Fondly known as the Grandmaster Chime in blue, the watch is perhaps one of the most complicated wrist watches housing 20 complications. The house still keeps the noble metal version in white gold and two haute joaillerie versions up for sale. According to the statement given by Stern in 2021 he explained how they don’t want more than a third of Patek Philippe’s entire portfolio to be in stainless steel. Perhaps this is why this 1920 idol is now exclusively precious.
Minute Repeater World Time Reference 5531R-012
As one of the first ever minute repeaters and world timer to chime in local hours, this emblematic timepiece is crafted in rose gold. Nestled in the heart of the dial is a hand painted image of Lake Geneva, beaming at the centre of the ‘world’.
Minute Repeater Reference 5078G-001, 5078G-010 and 5178G-001
All three-minute repeaters have been known to be classics that are powered by the calibre R 27 PS. Crafted in white gold, these models are equipped with a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The simplistic yet deceivingly complex timepieces are the epitome of what Patek Philippe stands for—classics that can last generations.
Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Reference 5204R-011 and 5271P-001
Cognitively built, these precious metal (rose gold and platinum respectively) perpetual calendar chronographs have a split seconds function showcasing the house’s ease with dexterity in a 40mm and 41mm case.
Grand Complication Reference 5316P-001
Combining a perpetual calendar with a minute repeater pulsed with a tourbillon, this watch is a testament to the haute horology’s most prestigious complications in one fine timepiece.
Annual Calendar Reference 5905R-001
Counted amidst one of the most popular versions of the annual calendar with a chronograph, this complication watch is no longer in production, although there are many other colourways with different cases still available including the stainless steel version with a green dial.
Bicompax Chronograph Ref. 7150/250R-001
Crafted in rose gold with 99 diamonds on the bezel, this creamy ivory dial comes to life in a haze of its complexity. No longer in production in this exact colourway, there are still a few versions of this classic up for grabs.
Calatrava Pilot’s Watch Travel Time Reference 7234G-001 and 7234R-001
With a GMT function at bay, the Calatrava Pilot’s Watch Travel Time’s blue and brown dial version have been a stalwart in their category. With a bold demeanour the pieces are best known for their ability to display its complication in a single glance of clarity.
Calatrava Reference 4978/400G-001and 7200/200R
A flurry of gem-set wonders, these Calatrava’s were best known to embody the simple elegance of this timepiece’s iconic design with glittering dials.
Nautilus Reference 7010R-011 and 7010R-012
Out with the quartz and in with the new, these rose gold Nautilus creations with diamond bezels will no longer be in production.
Aquanaut Ref. 5268/200R-001
Simple yet brilliant, the sublime rose gold aquanaut with diamonds on the bezel will never go out of style, while this may no longer be available officially, there are many versions that are still sold by the house.
Twenty-4 Ref. 4910/1201R-001
Lastly, one of the most underrated collections, featuring a rectangular case with a seamless integrated bracelet, this reference with a brown dial and rose gold case and bracelet will no longer be available.
While each one is beloved, iconic, classic, modern, and every other adjective in the dictionary, the idea behind discontinuing models still remains room for newer versions with more innovation. Continuously upholding the pinnacle of brilliance, cannot wait for what Patek Philippe brings out next.