Entry-level Patek Philippe – The ‘Cheap’ End Of The Luxury Spectrum

Are you looking for an entry-level watch brand that will fit your budget? If you want to own the best without regretting anything down the road, you should strongly consider looking into the watches offered by Patek Philippe.

Why Patek Philippe?

When you hear the brand Patek Philippe, you’ll feel that there’s a certain air of magnificence surrounding it, like it’s something luxurious and unobtainable. This is understandable since Patek Philippe has a deep history of watchmaking that dates back more than a century ago. Some of their patrons include monarchs, presidents, renowned artists, and famous musicians.

When you get a Patek Philippe watch, you wear a piece of art that you won’t just throw away years after acquiring it. It can’t be compared to a smartphone which you have to upgrade every 3 years or so. The timepieces Patek Philippe make are very stylish and have lasting visuals that won’t go out of fashion even after a decade or more has passed.

Those who buy a Patek Philippe watch usually look for an heirloom they can bequeath to their children; something that won’t easily lose value even after generations pass. Patek Philippe watches are for people who want to own the best and the finest timepieces in history. If you’re one of them, then purchasing an entry-level watch brand offered by Patek Philippe is a good place to start.

What the the Entry-level Patek Philippe watches?

Here are the three entry-level luxury watches you can look for from the Patek Philippe collection.

Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Calatrava is the entry-level luxury watch from Patek Philippe best used for formal occasions. The fine and timeless design of the collection will last for many years to come.

You can see the Bauhaus influence in the designs of the Calatrava but not too much that they look like eccentric accessories from a different time.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava measures 37mm to 42mm in width and around 8.5mm in height. You have the option to choose a case made of stainless steel or gold. It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, dauphine or sword-style hands, hour markers in stick or Arabic numeral styles, a bezel with a diamond-studded option, and a leather strap with a tang clasp. A variety that has a transparent case back is also available.

The Calatrava houses a variety of automatic and hand-wound movement, including the 240 PS C, 324 S C, and 215 PS calibres. Each is designed to run different complications and each has varying power reserves.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava features a variety of watch complications including a seconds subdial, a date window, a calendar hand, a day-night indicator, and an extra hand for timing an additional time zone.

If you’re looking for a dress watch that will still retain its value 10 or 20 years from now, the Patek Philippe Calatrava is one of the best entry-level luxury watch brands to consider.

Pros:

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Every bit of the watch exhibits elegance
  • Wide variety of complications and styles to choose from
  • Power reserve of up to 48 hours
  • Water resistant up to 60m

Cons:

  • Not all watches have lume
  • Limited number of watches produced every year
  • Hands can be hard to see under certain light conditions

Price: $16,000 to $141,000

Patek Philippe Aquanaut

The Aquanaut is one of the most popular collections among entry-level luxury watch brands. It’s known for having a rounded octagonal shape resembling that of a submarine’s window. It was the first watch to have a transparent case back and have a 120-meter water resistance at that time.

The Aquanaut measures 40mm in diameter and 8.5mm in thickness. The case material varies, giving you the option to choose among rose gold, white gold, platinum, or stainless steel.

The dial has a globe-like pattern with a rugged texture with a date window found at the 3 o’clock position. The hour markers are in Arabic numerals and are laced with luminescent material. The lume-coated hands have a simple design for optimum visibility.

Among Patek Philippe watches, the Aquanaut is the only one affixed with a rubber strap. The strap has a folding clasp made of stainless steel and adorned with the Calatrava cross.

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut features a Calibre 324 SC automatic movement with a 28,800 vph (4 Hertz) action. The exhibition case back enables you to clearly see the bridges, the barrel, and all the complicated mechanisms that make the watch run.

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut is the ideal luxury watch for sporty people who also want to have an elegant timepiece they can wear on formal occasions.

Pros:

  • Legible watch face
  • Thin and lightweight, making it very comfortable to wear
  • High-precision movement that complies with COSC standards
  • Power reserve of up to 45 hours
  • Water resistant up to 120m

Cons:

  • For its price, you might be expecting a better water resistance rating
  • Lume is noticeable but not really that bright
  • It’s expensive for an entry-level luxury watch

Price: $21,000 to $144,000

Patek Philippe Nautilus

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was introduced back in 1976 and since then, it has become one of the most sought-after timepieces in history.  Its unique rounded octagon shape was the brainchild of master watch designer Gerald Genta. It resembles a ship’s porthole, complete with ears on either side of the dial. This entry-level luxury watch has a sporty vibe, similar to the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet.

Having a 42mm diameter, the Patek Philippe Nautilus was a pioneer in introducing large luxury sports watches to the market. Now, the Nautilus is available in a variety of case sizes, ranging from 30mm to 45mm. Case material variants include stainless steel and gold. All models use a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on the front and on the transparent case back.

Although a lot of variants have appeared, all Nautilus models retained the embossed, horizontal grooves pattern on the dial. The dial also features clean, strip hour markers and rounded hands which are both luminescent. The bezel, however, has more flexibility with the option of getting a diamond-studded version or a plain one.

Complications on the watch vary from model to model. Patek Philippe Nautilus watches may have a date aperture, a calendar subdial, a small seconds subdial, a moonphase function, a chronograph feature, or a power reserve indicator.

Movements used on the watch vary, depending on the available complications. Some of the entry-level luxury watches have quartz movements but most of the Patek Philippe Nautilus models have automatic ones.

The special construction of the Patek Philippe Nautilus enables it to have a 120-meter water resistance rating. This which was already considered high at that time when the first reference model was released.

Pros:

  • Classic and elegant look with a bit of a sporty vibe
  • Versatile design as it can work both as a sports and a dress watch
  • Legible watch face
  • Great lume brightness
  • Sturdy build
  • Power reserve of up to 55 hours
  • Water resistant up to 120m

Cons:

  • Some people might find the watch a bit large and bulky for their taste
  • The dial pattern might give the watch a cluttered look
  • Expensive for an entry-level luxury watch brand

Price: $27,000 to $448,000

Conclusion

A Patek Philippe timepiece can be considered an investment. The materials used in manufacturing the watches and the meticulous process and testing they undergo all contribute to the exceptional value of Patek Philippe watches. Their timeless designs will continue to exhibit elegance for many more years to come.

If you’re looking for an entry-level watch brand that will still look great and may even fetch a higher price in the future, choose Patek Philippe. Their Nautilus, Argonaut, and Calatrava models are the best you can get from the market.

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