Patek Philippe Ref. 5496P – An Owner’s Review

Experienced Patek Philippe collector, “Patekova,” has kindly provided a review of his Ref. 5496P. Many thanks to him for sharing his insights, experience and thoughts on this fascinating watch.

Let me start by acknowledging that I broke my general watch-buying rule in acquiring my 5496P. The rule in its simplest form has 3 components:

  1. I must LOVE the watch;
  2. It must be rare and difficult to acquire OR if not, it must serve some practical purpose and in that case not be an expensive watch (eg a no date Rolex Submariner);
  3. It must be a “good investment”. What that means to me in terms of watch collecting is different than a purely financial investment. It means that if someday I sell or trade the watch I will “not get killed” – ie I will break even, make money (maybe a lot), or lose money (but only a little).

I consider myself to be a fairly disciplined buyer, yet when I bought my 5496P I did so knowing that the only rule component that seemed applicable was “1”. In my defense at least I can say that for me “1” is the most important component.

So what do I love about the 5496P?

First, to state the obvious, it is platinum (the so called “noblest of metals”). I find the vibrant white color of platinum almost irresistible. and enjoy the additional weight compared to a gold watch. I love knowing that even if to the rest of the (non watch-collecting) world it could merely be steel (or white gold), it is the relatively rare and “under the radar” platinum. Platinum!

Platinum case contrasted against the rose gold hands. Simply gorgeous.

Second, I love the size. The 39.5 mm diameter combined with the relatively thin (for such a complicated watch) 11.2 mm make for a very comfortable watch to wear even on my small wrist.

Third, THE DIAL! I find the dial perfectly proportioned and not cluttered. The silvery surface color combined with the rose gold applied hour markers and rose gold applied date numerals is stunning. The completed moon register (unlike the original dial version) adds tremendously to the balance of the dial.

Perfectly proportioned dial with moon register aiding that perfection

Fourth, the Calatrava style case. Need I say more?

Fifth, the “grand complication” functionality. Housing the superb 324 S QR caliber movement, the 5496 offers a full perpetual retrograde complication. I like to have constant movement on the dial of a watch – in this case, the sweep seconds compared to a perpetual with no seconds hand. Also, I love how the date hand springs back to “1” at the end of the month.

Sixth, additional goodies: self winding, sapphire case back with beautifully finished movement, additional solid platinum case back, platinum deployant clasp and sophisticated winding box. Even though I never use the clasp (I prefer a tang buckle), the solid back or winding box I like having them. They are all part of a very special and alluring package.

Grand complication movement displayed through the sapphire caseback

So what are the negatives? As far as I am concerned the watch has none! Yes, I would like it to be rare, highly desired and likely to escalate to great heights in value over the years. But the fact that I think this is unlikely to happen is not the watch’s problem. It is my problem – a problem I can very easily live with.

To receive notification of future articles and reviews, please enter your email in the notification box below.