El­lipse gloss

Patek philippe up­dates an era-defin­ing dress watch

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The unique na­ture of Swiss watch de­sign – strongly de­fined by tech­ni­cal and dec­o­ra­tive hand­craft – has al­ways al­lowed mav­er­ick ideas to flour­ish and en­dure, even against the back­drop of grow­ing mass pro­duc­tion in the horo­log­i­cal in­dus­try dur­ing the 1950s and 1960s.

The Patek Philippe Golden El­lipse, launched in 1968, em­bod­ies a col­li­sion of eras. The orig­i­nal dial of blue-gold, a spe­cially cre­ated al­loy, looked back to gold­smith tech­niques of the 1950s; the slim case, hands and in­dices emit 1960s suave; yet the piece’s sub­stan­tial, lozenge-like form hints at early 1970s fu­tur­ism. Three decades of it­er­a­tions have ren­dered the de­sign a true clas­sic; Patek even launched ac­ces­sories, in­clud­ing Golden El­lipse lighters, pen­dants and cuff­links. De­bate abounds as to the Golden El­lipse’s ori­gins – one idea is that its shape was in­spired by an aerial view of a US high­way junc­tion, while its form points to a golden ra­tio phi­los­o­phy. This lat­ter the­ory has merit; the women’s ver­sions are as hand­somely pro­por­tioned as the men’s, their form undi­min­ished on a smaller wrist.

In its 50th year, the Golden El­lipse serves as a clas­sic dress watch and sym­bol of taste. The 2018 up­date, the 5738R-001, a jumbo – grand taille – edi­tion with a 34mm x 39.5mm rose-gold case, sun­ray black-dial and typ­i­cally su­perfine rose-gold hands and in­dices, pays homage to its le­gacy. It is ac­com­pa­nied by a spe­cial-edi­tion set of cuff­links for the true horol­ogy con­nois­seur.∂ patek.com

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