At 50, Golden Ellipse Remains A Paragon Of Perfection

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

NEITHER square nor rectangle, it also isn’t like a circle in a spiral, or even a wheel within a wheel. What form the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse takes is uniquely its own, and for a half-century it has served as a paragon of perfection.

Yes, the Golden Ellipse marks its golden anniversary this year. To celebrate the occasion, Patek Philippe has released two special models which pay proper tribute to the history of the brand’s second-oldest collection (after the Calatrava range) as much as they herald the significance of the lineage to haute horlogerie in general.

The Ref. 5738R and Ref. 5738/50P golden anniversary pieces retain the “Jumbo” case size — 34.5 millimeters across and 39.5 millimeters top to bottom — of the Ref. 5738P, which was unveiled by Patek Philippe in 2008 for the Golden Ellipse’s 40th birthday. Also unchanged is the movement residing within the cases of the 2018 watches, which is no less than the manufacture’s self-winding calibre 240.

The new Ref. 5738R, however, dons a rose gold case and an ebony black sunburst dial, discarding the platinum case and blue dial of the piece on which it was based. Applied hour markers and a pair of cheveu hands also rendered in rose gold now pick up the warm sheen of the case. A black onyx cabochon further adorns its winding crown.

Vastly more ornate is the Ref. 5738/50P, which is cased in platinum and limited to a set of 100 examples. Easily distinguishing it from the rest of the Golden Ellipse progeny is its black enamel dial, on top of which sits intricate volute patterns and a motif evoking the Calatrava cross — Patek Philippe’s icon — engraved on an 18-karat white gold plate. Meanwhile, embellishing the watch’s case back is the marking “Ellipse d’Or 1968-2018,” referring to the collection’s milestone and the French translation for “golden ellipse.” A black onyx gemstone also decorates its crown.

Accompanying the 50th anniversary pieces are cufflinks matching each watch’s design. And, yes, these are neither rectangle nor round, too.