For generations, Patek Philippe has been widely considered one of the world’s most prestigious luxury watch manufacturers. Collectors, auctioneers, retailers and even those with just a minor passing interest in horology are all certain to agree. However, ask the same watch aficionados to name their favourite Patek Philippe models and it’s likely that you’ll receive a multitude of different answers.

For that reason, we're going to break it down and talk about Chrono Hunters top 12 most popular Patek Philippe watches.

Just before we get into the watches, the reason why fans of luxury timepieces have a hard time reaching a general consensus on what makes the best Patek Philippe watch is perhaps testament to the brand’s varied and eclectic portfolio. With Patek Philippe, there are different watches to suit different preferences and requirements. It’s often the case that a watch that is revered by one collector might not be on the radar of another.

Despite this, there is a selection of classics that tend to attract the attention of watch lovers, both at auction and on the wider secondary market. In this article, we’re going to focus on twelve of the most sought-after Patek Philippe watches for men, and take a detailed look at what makes each of them so special:

1.Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A Blue Dial

You probably guessed that this watch would make it on to the list of most popular Patek Philippe watches, The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A has long been one of the world’s most desirable steel sports watches. As of 2021, it’s about to get a whole lot more sought-after, as Patek Philippe has confirmed that the model has now been discontinued.

In many respects, the Nautilus 5711/1A was a victim of its own commercial success. It is arguably the most popular Patek Philippe watch of the 21st century, and potentially the most sought-after Patek Philippe watch of all time.

Initially created as a sports watch back in 1976, the Nautilus attracted attention due to its distinctive design. The bezel of the Nautilus is neither rectangular nor round, but somewhere in between. It's large 42mm diameter, curved outward sides and attractive blue dial were all game-changers, and by 2006 the definitive version arrived in the form of the 5711/1A - a model which is now one of the most sought-after luxury watches in the world.

In recent years the waiting list for the 5711/A has reached hitherto unseen lengths of up to ten years at some retailers - a significant example of the demand for this watch as a luxury item. Whilst there has since been a new release of this watch with a green dial, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the discontinuation of its current iteration has done to prices on the secondary market, which now sit way above retail value for the navy-blue dial model.

2. Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time 5990/1A-001

The Nautilus Travel Time 5990/1A-001 is a very popular watch and had to be included in this list of the most popular Patek Philippe watches. The 5990 was one of the first Patek Phillipe’s to bring chronograph functionality to the wrist, and it can also display two time-zones at once. This level of engineering is enough to make it sought-after on the secondary market, particularly when you consider it’s a more affordable model than other Patek’s which offer the same functions.

Making its debut in 2014, the 5990/1A-001 has been in high demand ever since. Part of the reason for its success lies in the fact that Patek Philippe stayed true to designer Gerald Genta’s vision for the original Nautilus. On the 5990/1A-001, the watchmaker has implemented some very understated changes which proved popular with collectors, including an ever-so-slight rounding of the hinges which frame the dial, in conjunction with a three-part case.

While at first glance this might look like a run-of-the-mill Nautilus, additional changes like a slightly larger steel case help to distinguish it from previous incarnations. Despite the increased profile, the 5990/1A-001 still retains a compact and slim profile and is a joy to wear.

Fans of tradition will be pleased to find that this model features the familiar Nautilus pattern which has been horizontally embossed in much the same way as the original. Traditional design touches like a counterweight used by both chronograph hands help to endear this watch to purists. It’s also reassuring to see that the chronograph hands share the same lancet shape – a simple way of informing the wearer that each hand is part of the same complication.

Like all steel Nautilus models, it’s incredibly difficult to come by the 5990/1A-001 via the authorised channels. As a result, it commands a high price tag on the secondary market, and demand has never particularly waned since its launch – even during times of economic downturn.

3. Patek Philippe Nautilus Self-Winding Rose Gold 5712R-001

This luxurious take on the Nautilus pairs perfectly with formal attire, and with a beautiful rose gold finish, it’s difficult for friends and colleagues not to take notice. The 5712R-001 features a self-winding mechanical movement, making use of Patek’s 240 PS IRM C LU caliber complete with a power reserve indicator.

Ultimately, this makes the Nautilus 5712R-001 as technically impressive as it is visually stunning. Its black-brown dial features gold applied hour markets complete with a luminescent coating to make it sufficiently readable in low-light settings, while the rose gold case boasts a screw-down crown and sapphire crystal case back. It is also water-resistant up to 60 metres.

Like other Nautilus models, the 5712R-001 sits relatively large at 40mm, with a height of 8.52mm. However, the streamlined design helps it to appear compact on the wrist. To finish, a dark brown alligator strap with a fold-over clasp contrasts well with the rose gold, further denoting luxury and class.

As we’ve established, most Nautilus models are hugely in-demand, and the 5712R-001 is no exception. This dressy number sits firmly on the wish lists of many a luxury watch aficionado, which is why it could not be excluded from this list of the most popular Patek Philippe watches.

4. Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A-001

This beautiful timepiece is the complete travel companion, making it perfectly suited for summer adventuring. At first glance, the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A-001 appears to be an update on the Nautilus 5990, but without a 60-minute chronograph complication installed.

The steel case measures 40.8mm and utilises Patek Philippe’s signature rounded octagonal design. A satin-brushed and highly polished finish exudes pure class, and the embossed black dial with a slight brownish hue is understated yet reassuringly formidable. Dual time zones indicating local and home times use white and blue apertures respectively – with the local time displayed on the date indicator.

With water resistance of up to 120 metres, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A-001 isn’t just built for show – it's the sort of watch that will stand you in good stead whether you’re delivering presentations, letting your hair down on a beach in Bali or skiing the slopes of Verbier. This watch is a Chrono Hunter firm favourite and holds a solid place in this list of most popular Patek Philippe watches, it'll take something really special for this one to lose its spot.

5. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-010

No comprehensive list of the best Patek Philippe watches for men would be complete without the 5168G-010 in striking khaki green. This jumbo version of the Aquanaut measures 42.2mm and boasts a warm green dial that many horology fans consider more olive than khaki – but regardless of how you want to classify it, there can be no denying that it’s a sumptuous, attractive watch that is simultaneously trendy and technical.

A matching green rubber strap complete with folding clasp makes this watch practically unmissable on the wrist. It’s a great all-rounder which combines a white gold case, luminous hour markers and hands, water-resistance of 120 metres and a 324 S C caliber to create a sporty yet classy number - arguably something of an anomaly among Patek Philippe’s catalogue. For this reason alone, the Aquanaut 5168G-010 is considered by many to be the best Patek Philippe watch, and the prices it can command on the secondary market certainly back this up.


It’s fair to say that Patek Philippe covers a lot of ground among its varied catalogue of luxury timepieces. From rugged diving watches to ornate dress pieces, there is literally something for all watch lovers to enjoy.

From an investment perspective, Patek Philippe models make sound financial sense. As you can ascertain from this article, many of the most popular Patek Philippe watches tend to appreciate in value over time.

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