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Patek Philippe Announces the Return to Center Stage of the Chain-Style Bracelet in the Golden Ellipse Collection

The manufacture is reinterpreting its iconic Golden Ellipse wristwatch by endowing it with an exclusive brand-new bracelet whose modern patented construction unites comfort with elegance. Equipped with the caliber 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement, the new Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001 presents a case and bracelet in rose gold framing an ebonyblack sunburst dial on which the slender hour markers and hands, also in rose gold, stand out clearly.

With its instantly recognizable shape, between a circle and a rectangle, and its harmonious proportions inspired by the ancient golden section, the Golden Ellipse has made its mark as a style icon in the Patek Philippe collections. Launched in 1968 with a case in yellow gold and a dial in blue gold, it has since appeared in other hues of gold and with dials of different colors. For its 40th anniversary in 2008, the collection introduced a large model (34.5 x 39.5 mm) in platinum, with a blue sunburst dial (5738P-001) followed in 2018 by a large model in rose gold with an ebony-black sunburst dial (5738R001).

From the time of its launch and through to the early 1980s the Golden Ellipse collection was proposed, not only on leather straps but on several types of chain bracelet, such as the milanais-style bracelet of Reference 3548 (1968) or the polonais-style bracelet of Reference 3605 (1974). To these must be added a number of link bracelets with particularly distinctive designs. This great creativity expressed in the bracelets added to the aura surrounding this flagship watch of the 1970s, a unique alliance of audacity and balance.

A reinvented chain bracelet

Patek Philippe is revisiting this great era of horological design by proposing Reference 5738 on an elegant chain-style bracelet in rose gold that follows the contours of the wrist and offers superb comfort while also accentuating the finesse of the case. True to its continuous quest for innovation, the manufacture was intent on reinstating the chain bracelet in the collection, but eliminating the technical drawbacks associated with the previous versions, particularly with respect to adjusting the length. The product of 15 years’ development, the new bracelet in 18K rose gold, hand-polished throughout, is distinguished by its modern, patented construction, which made it possible to recreate the style of the classic chain bracelets. It comprises 363 parts, including more than 300 links, assembled manually one by one. The new bracelet is introduced as an exclusive feature of this Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001. Its modern construction allows the length to be adjusted more easily, whether shorter or longer. The clasp (its cover adorned with an engraved motif continuing that of the bracelet) offers the choice of three adjustment notches.

A pure, timeless dial design

The ebony-black “sunburst” dial forms a background to baton-style applied hour markers and slender cheveu-style hands, all in rose gold. This timeless, understated aesthetic perfectly reflects the spirit of the Golden Ellipse. A black onyx cabochon set into the crown completes the visual harmony of the design.

The slimmest Patek Philippe watch

Beating inside this model is the self-winding caliber 240, an ultra-thin movement with off-center minirotor in 22K gold allowing for a case with an extremely low profile (5.9 mm) – making the Golden Ellipse Reference 5738 the slimmest watch in the Patek Philippe regular collection.

The new Reference 5738/1R-001 joins the regular collection References 5738P-001, 5738R-001 and the Rare Handrafts Reference 5738/51G-001.

Patek Philippe and the metal bracelets

Ever since the emergence of the first wrist-worn timepieces in the 1910s, Patek Philippe has been renowned for the technical and aesthetic inventiveness of its bracelets. The late 1960s and the decade of the 70s also stands out as a period of great creativity in the metal bracelets proposed.

Patek Philippe’s metal bracelets can be divided into two types, according to the way in which they are constructed.

The links of the chain bracelets are crafted one by one by artisan chainsmiths from a gold wire or a wire in another metal, and then assembled by hand to produce a structure that is remarkably supple. Throughout its history Patek Philippe has continued to showcase the skills of its artisans and certain specialized suppliers, such as Gennari Ponti, subsequently renamed ARSA (Ateliers Réunis SA) before being integrated into Patek Philippe when all the manufacture’s workshops were united under one roof at Plan-les-Ouates in 1996.

The links, clasps and catches comprising the bracelets known as “mechanical” are produced on CNC machinery from a bar of metal (gold, platinum or steel) before being assembled by hand and then –depending on the bracelet – polished or satin brushed, also by hand. This category includes the polished/satin-brushed bracelet of the Nautilus (launched in 1976 and requiring more than 15 different finishing operations), the “Goutte” (or “droplet”) bracelet (1998) and the fully polished bracelet of the ladies’ Twenty~4 watch (1999).

The new chain-style bracelet developed and crafted by a historic partner of Patek Philippe and introduced as an exclusive feature of the Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001 unites the best of those two worlds, with parts produced by industrial processes on the latest-generation CNC machines, and then assembled and finished by hand, drawing on all the traditional know-how of the artisan chainsmiths.

Technical data

Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001

Movement: Caliber 240 Ultra-thin self

Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement

Diameter: 27.5 mm

Height: 2.53 mm

Number of parts: 161

Number of jewels: 27

Power reserve: Min. 48 hours

Winding rotor: Mini-rotor in 22K gold, unidirectional winding

Frequency: 21 600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)

Balance: Gyromax®

Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)

Balance spring stud: Adjustable

Functions: 2-position crown:

• pushed in: to wind the movement manually

• pulled out: to set the time

Displays: By hands:

• hours and minutes from the center

Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal


Case: 18K rose gold

Solid back

Crown set with a black onyx cabochon

Water-resistant to 30 m

Case dimensions: From 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock: 34.5 mm

From 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock: 39.5 mm

Height: 5.9 mm

Dial: Ebony black “sunburst”

Dial plate in 18K gold

Cheveu-style hour and minute hands in 18K rose gold

Baton-style applied hour markers in 18K rose gold

Bracelet: Chain-style bracelet in 18K rose gold, manually polished throughout, with exclusive patented construction comprising 363 parts, including more than 300 links assembled manually one by one Clasp in 18K rose gold with engraved cover and three adjustment notches

ML Staff. Courtesy of Patek Philippe


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