While Patek Philippe is often regarded as the finest maker of complicated watches, some would argue that the Ref. 5970 is the best and most important reference that the illustrious brand has ever made. It bridges the gap between vintage references like the 2499 and 3970 and modern watches that boast a bit more heft. Larger than its predecessors, the 5970 still has a distinct vintage feel to it and is well deserving of the high demand that has built over the years.
The 5970 was introduced in 2004 and was a significant redesign of the perpetual calendar for Patek. At 40mm, the new case was quite large compared to its predecessor, the 3970, but the watch boasts the same Lemania-based movement. The 5970 was produced from 2004 to 2011, the shortest production run of any Patek Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, and followed by the 5270.
Approximately 2,800 of these perpetual calendar chronographs were made was made in four metals: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum. While the platinum model is regarded as the most desired, the yellow gold version is believed to be the most rare.
Regardless of metal, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a 5970, you will quickly understand why Hodinkee wrote “Some call it the best watch Patek Philippe ever made. Some describe it as perfectly proportioned. Others call it the last of the great Patek Philippes.”