First introduced in 1968, the enigmatic Golden Ellipse line from Patek Philippe celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and to mark this historic moment, the Geneva based luxury watch manufacture has created a limited edition series of 100 anniversary sets, each consisting of a platinum watch and matching cuff links. The manufacture also extended its regular collection by a new grand-taille model in rose gold with a black dial.
After the Calatrava (1932), the Golden Ellipse is the second oldest watch in the Patek Philippe collection. When it was launched in 1968, it was hailed as a unique combination of sleek audacity and harmony. The bold elliptical case – a cross between a circle and a rectangle – featured a blue-gold dial with a mysteriously deep shimmer. Its balanced proportions were inspired by the “golden section”, the so-called divine proportion discovered by mathematicians in ancient Greece.
Soon, the Golden Ellipse watch became popular among watch lovers and established itself not only as a Patek Philippe icon but also as an internationally recognized symbol of style and class. In the late 1970s, the watch was available in 65 different versions. Its unmistakable shape was leveraged in many models of different sizes and in various precious metals. The ellipse was fused with other case shapes, including rectangular and octagonal forms, and even presented in a Nautilus Ellipse version. It came with leather straps or metal bracelets (braided, chained, milanaise), with various dial colors, applied hour markers or Roman numerals, and was also offered in jewelry as well as haute joaillerie versions for ladies. The famous ellipse design was even adopted for luxurious accessories such as cuff links, rings, and lighters.
The remarkably thin Golden Ellipse case, originally fitted with a manually wound movement, was first endowed with the legendary ultra-thin caliber 240 in 1977, automatically wound by a minirotor completely integrated in the movement. In 1993, Patek Philippe launched ladies’ models with strap lugs that echoed the case shape as elegant double ellipses. Then, with the Ref. 3738/100, the manufacture introduced a men’s model in three gold versions with differently colored dials (sunburst blue gold for the yellow-gold case, sunburst charcoal for the white-gold case, and sunburst chocolate brown for the rose-gold case).
In 2008, Patek Philippe celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Golden Ellipse with a new version of the jumbo model (34 x 39.5 mm) which for the first time was crafted in platinum and with a sunburst blue gold dial (Ref. 5738P-001). On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the collection welcomes two new versions of this legendary cult watch.
Model: Ref. 5738/50P-001 Golden Ellipse
For a 100-watch limited edition that pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Golden Ellipse, Patek Philippe has chosen two venerable traditional crafts: enameling and engraving.
The stunning black enamel dial of this model boasts an eye catching volute pattern decoration manually engraved in the 18K white-gold plate. The center features a motif reminiscent of the Calatrava cross, Patek Philippe’s logo. This elaborate decoration perfectly blends in with the unmistakably bold contours of the Golden Ellipse and emphasizes the harmony of the golden section. In addition, the watch dial features two delicate cheveu hands in satin-finished white gold for hour and minutes.
This watch is powered the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement. The case back in solid platinum is decorated with the commemorative engraving “Ellipse d’Or 1968–2018”. The crown is set with an onyx cabochon with the same color as the black enamel dial. And as all Patek Philippe platinum watches, the Ref. 5738/50P-001 features a diamond set in the caseband at 6 o’clock.
The watch is worn a shiny black hand-stitched alligator strap with square scales and a platinum prong buckle that echoes the shape of the elliptical case.
The limited-edition watch comes in a box with white-gold cuff links featuring in the exclusive Golden Ellipse design: the black enamel inlay showcases hand-engraved volutes around a Calatrava cross.
Model: Ref. 5738R-001 Golden Ellipse
Following the grand-taille model in platinum, launched in 2008 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Golden Ellipse, Patek Philippe is now presenting the iconic design as a new grand-taille version in rose gold (34 x 39.5 mm). The Ref. 5738R-001 pairs the warm glow of the polished precious metal with an ebony black sunburst dial adorned with applied hour markers and delicate cheveu hands in rose gold. A black onyx cabochon set in the winding crown rounds out the harmony of this timepiece.
This classic dress watch is powered by the self-winding caliber 240 movement with an off-center 22K gold minirotor completely recessed in the bridge plane. Featuring a very slender (5.9 mm) case, the watch is fitted with a solid rose-gold back.
The refined, style-defining aspect is underscored by a hand-stitched shiny black alligator strap with square scales. Its rose-gold prong buckle echoes the shape of the characteristic case silhouette.
As in the other Golden Ellipse models, the strap attachment is discreetly concealed beneath the caseband. Patek Philippe has also created cuff links in rose gold with sunburst ebony black inlays to match the exclusive Golden Ellipse design.
The new Ref. 5738R-001 in rose gold complements the grand-taille version in platinum with a blue dial. The smaller Ref. 3738/100 in yellow, white, and rose gold has been discontinued.
Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement
Diameter: 27.5 mm
Height: 2.53 mm
Number of parts: 161
Number of jewels: 27
Power reserve: Min. 48 hours
Winding rotor: 22K gold minirotor, unidirectionally winding
Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
Balance spring stud: Adjustable
2 crown positions:
• Pushed home: To wind the watch
• Pulled out: To set the time
Patek Philippe Seal
Ref. 5738/50P-001 Golden Ellipse
Limited 100-watch edition, with matching cuff links
Solid back with commemorative engraving “Ellipse d’Or 1968-2018”
Case protected against moisture and dust, not water-resistant
Case dimensions: 34.50 x 39.50 mm
Width 9 to 3 o’clock incl. crown: 38.35 mm
Length (across lugs): 39.45 mm
Height: 6.58 mm
Width between lugs: 15 mm
18K white gold with black enamel and hand-engraved volute pattern
Hour and minute hands cheveu-style, 18K satin-finished white gold
StrapAlligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, platinum prong buckle
White gold with black enamel and hand-engraved volute pattern
Ref. 5738R-001 Golden Ellipse
18K rose gold 5N
Solid back in 18K rose gold 5N
Water resistant to 30 m (3 bar)
Case dimensions: 34.5 x 39.5 mm
Width 9 to 3 o’clock incl. crown: 38.35 mm
Length (across lugs): 39.5 mm
Height: 5.9 mm
Width between lugs: 21 mm
18K rose gold 5N, sunburst ebony black
Applied baton hour markers in 18K rose gold 5N
Hour and minute hands cheveu-style, 18K rose gold 5N
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, prong buckle in 18K rose gold 5N