Pre-Owned Picks — Steel Patek Philippe Watches For Less Than €9,000
This week in Pre-Owned Picks, I am selecting watches from Patek Philippe in steel cases that could be yours for under €9,000. Yes, a four-digit steel Patek is a steal. But you will not find an Aquanaut or Nautilus at that price. Sorry! But that’s not to say the choice is restricted to quartz pieces for ladies. You may find something quite fascinating in the line-up.
For a brand as prestigious as Patek Philippe, the common case material is gold. Patek elects to use the more alluring precious metals to complement the elegant case designs and delicate movements. Casting a case in stainless steel is almost an affront to the Swiss forefathers. As such, the steel Patek has become a rarified oddity relentlessly hunted by collectors.
Whenever Patek Philippe chooses to use the otherwise ubiquitous iron ore alloy, especially for complicated timepieces, collectors go wild. Just last year, we saw the Patek Philippe 6300A hammer at CHF 31,000,000 at the Only Watch auction. This is an extreme example, and is, in fact, the highest auction bid for a wristwatch ever — but you get the idea. So this week, I am selecting three steel Patek Philippe’s you can purchase for just a four-figure sum.
All watches are pre-owned and picked from Chrono24. Every week we pick a few pre-owned watches from Chrono24, the largest market place for wristwatches in the world — watches that we love ourselves, or think they will be interesting to you. So, to be clear, we picked the watches, Chrono24 only send us the images without their watermark and in a proper resolution.
1995 Patek Philippe Neptune Ref. 5080
Although my first choice is a steel Patek, its name begins with “N”, and it also has an integrated bracelet, it isn’t what you might be thinking from that description. No, I am not talking about a Nautilus. Actually, what we have here is the short-lived Neptune model. Introduced in the ‘90s, the Neptune populated the niche between dressy and sporty. With a thin steel case, exquisite leaf-shaped hands, and Roman numerals, the dressy side of the Neptune shines through. Couple it with the elaborate fish-scale bracelet, crown guards, and an engine-turned bezel, however, and the Neptune moves into a sportier realm.
The automatic caliber of the Neptune is concealed behind the solid steel case back. But the copper dial makes up for it by grabbing your attention with a very Patek color. The overall condition of this example looks very nice. The one drawback? It is lacking the original box and papers. But for this price, do we really care?
1987 Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3923
Looking at a Calatrava these days may not bring the excitement it once did, but you have to remember, this was the dress watch. The Calatrava is not about bells and whistles, but more concerned with subtle and svelte lines. But as I mentioned before, typically these watches are presented in precious metals. This reference 3923 was available for the Japanese market in the late ‘80s. What sets it apart is the opaline satin-finished dial that takes on a casual denim vibe that dresses it down. Along with the steel case, this is a versatile piece perfect for everyday wear. A manual winding movement will help you establish a connection to the ongoing running of the piece, and gives you time to pause before you set out on your day.
1960s Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3579
Last on my list may be a titchy, little thing but makes a big impact nonetheless. At 38mm tall by 33mm wide, the diminutive Patek is slightly deceptive. Thanks to the cushion-style case, the ‘60s reference 3579 provides greater wrist presence than the specs suggest. Beyond the groovy case is a very restrained dial with a fairly thick rehaut. With no date and thin baton hands, the visual impact of the watch relies on the deep blue dial. And, honestly, that’s enough. It certainly worked on me. As I casually scrolled through Chrono24 it leaped out at me. I instantly knew this one was worthy of this list.