November 29, 20237 min Read

The Reference: Patek Philippe • 5970G

By Niclas Berglund

Bezl meets Louis, the founder and owner of House of Time, a prominent destination for watch enthusiasts in Belgium.

With his passion and expertise in the world of watches, Louis has established House of Time as a leading player in the sale of pre-owned luxury watches. Focusing on brands such as Patek Philippe, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex, his carefully selected range reflects his personal taste and deep understanding of the watch industry. Founded in early 2022, House of Time has quickly become a central point for lovers of rare and valuable watches.

When I meet Louis in his elegant store in Waterloo, situated in a tastefully renovated house that opened its doors in March 2023, it is clear that each watch here has been chosen with great care and knowledge.

Patek Philippe is a giant in the luxury watch industry, renowned for its outstanding craftsmanship, classic design, and innovative technology. This Swiss brand is known for its high-quality watches, appreciated by watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. One of Patek Philippe’s most popular models is their perpetual calendar chronograph, reference: 5970, which perfectly combines its historical legacy with modern technology.

Louis, what can you tell Bezl’s readers about this model?

– Patek Philippe 5970 is a highly influential model for the brand. It’s a complex watch featuring a perpetual calendar and a chronograph. It’s the fifth in the series, if you include Ref. 5020, which deviated with its special TV-shaped case. 5970 was launched in 2004, making it the only one with a modern size of 40 mm. It is considered the most interesting and wearable perpetual calendar chronograph from Patek Philippe. The current model, 5270, is 41 mm and features Patek Philippe’s first in-house caliber for a perpetual calendar chronograph.

Patek Philippe’s white gold perpetual calendar chronograph.

5970 is available in several metals: white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.

You mention Ref. 5020 as an aside, what does the history look like leading up to 5970?

– Before Patek Philippe Ref. 5970, several groundbreaking models were released. First, we had Ref. 1518 from 1941, the first perpetual calendar chronograph in serial production. Its successor, Ref. 2499, was introduced in 1951 and is known for its long production run and timeless design. This model is highly revered among collectors and is seen by many as the quintessential Patek Philippe. Then came Ref. 3970 in 1986 as a modern interpretation of these classics, with a smaller 36 mm case. Another interesting model is Ref. 5020 from the 1990s, unique with its TV-screen-shaped case and rarity among collectors. Each model has contributed to Patek Philippe’s legacy and stands as a precursor to Ref. 5970.

How important is 5970 for Patek Philippe?

– 5970 holds a special place in Patek Philippe’s collection, serving as a testament to the brand’s rich heritage and expertise in crafting complex timepieces. For Thierry Stern, the current president of Patek Philippe, the development of the 5970 marked a significant milestone. Tasked by his father, Philippe Stern, with creating a new perpetual calendar watch to succeed the Ref. 3970, Thierry Stern focused on modernizing both the case size and design. His aim was to achieve a more contemporary look while ensuring improved legibility. This involved dial modifications to enhance readability with a performance-oriented tachymeter scale. Thierry Stern not only met but exceeded these challenges, giving birth to a modern classic that solidified his role within the family business. In an interview, he expressed his pride in the result. It’s one of Thierry’s favorite and most-worn watches.

Can the 5970 be used as a daily watch?

– Yes, the 5970 is reliable and discreet enough to be worn daily. It has a modern aesthetic and is well-balanced in size and design, making it an ideal watch for everyday wear. I know several collectors who use the watch frequently. Interestingly, this giant of a watch flies under the radar with its leather strap, especially in terms of security.

Perpetual Calendar, Chronograph, Moon Phase, 24-hour Display, Day and Month Indicators, and Leap Year Indicator.

What is your experience with the 5970, and how is it to wear?

– The 40 mm case makes the 5970 comfortable and easy to wear every day. It’s a versatile size that suits many wrists, and Patek Philippe has really found the perfect balance with this model. It feels fantastic to wear it, being both elegant and noticeable.

Which metal do you prefer for the 5970?

– Personally, I lean towards platinum because of its weight and exclusivity. Yellow and rose gold also provide a warm tone that is equally attractive. Each metal has its unique charm, so the final choice really comes down to personal preference.

In this article, we highlight the white gold variant of the model, what are your thoughts on this variant?

– The white gold version of the 5970 is truly fresh and elegant. Its legibility is excellent, with high contrast that makes it easy to read the time. Compared to the black dial of the platinum version, which can be harder to read in dim light, white gold offers a clear and distinct time display.

The dial features a pulsation complication, known as a “doctor’s dial”, which is a very unusual and collectible interpretation of the 5970.

Patek Philippe 5970 in rose gold with a black dial is a very rare and sought-after variant.

Patek Philippe produced the 5970 from 2004 until around 2011.

Why should one choose a Patek Philippe 5970?

– The 5970 introduced a modern size, making it one of the most wearable and aesthetically appealing models in its category. This gives it a contemporary feel while maintaining the classic elegance typical of Patek Philippe. I believe that most owners see the 5970 as a central piece in their collection – such is the importance of the model in the world of collectors.

Allow me to briefly deviate with a question about why Patek Philippe stopped producing its stainless steel sports model, ref. 5711?

– Patek Philippe does not want to be a trend follower or creator. Stopping the 5711, the stainless steel model of the Nautilus, was a respectable move on their part. However, it was interesting that they ended the 5711 series with a highly hyped model in collaboration with Tiffany & Co, despite wanting to stay out of the sports watch trend. This shows that even though the Stern family has a vision, they can be influenced by external factors.

How do you view the 5970 in this context, is it what they want to identify with?

– Absolutely, Patek Philippe is focusing on more complex and sophisticated watches. Considering that Nautilus and Aquanaut are often simpler, I see the company gradually moving away from these models. They want to highlight their expertise in complicated movements. With the recent trend of celebrities choosing more classic models, it will be interesting to see if this is a passing trend or a sign of deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship.

Patek Philippe’s 5970 in white gold is worn elegantly and provides a modern feel.

Modified Lemania 2310, manual chronograph movement with perpetual calendar.

The 5970 is equipped with a Lemania movement, can you elaborate on that?

– The 5970 is a fascinating model that marks a transitional era for Patek Philippe. It symbolizes a time when they moved from using external movements, like the Lemania-based 2310, to developing their own in-house movements. A clear example of this is the 5970’s successor, Ref. 5270, which introduced Patek Philippe’s first in-house perpetual calendar chronograph movement. What really sets the 5970 apart is its movement, which is not only a classic, but also highly regarded for its combination of traditional watchmaking, impressive precision, and reliability. This combination has made the 5970 one of the most sought-after watches among collectors, and a key model representing a significant part of Patek Philippe’s history and heritage.

What tips would you give to Bezl’s readers who are considering purchasing a Patek Philippe?

– The most important thing is to do thorough research. Patek Philippe’s models vary greatly in design and price. If you are uncertain, I recommend consulting an expert. I can guide you through the process to find a watch that suits your preferences and budget. If you are new to Patek Philippe, consider the Elipse model for its elegance and value. My personal favorite is the 5170p with a diamond-set dial, a true beauty.

Thank you, Louis, for your time and for sharing your expertise on this model.

The watch’s case, measuring 40 mm, provides a unique balance despite its 13,5 mm profile.


Having personally worn the Patek Philippe 5970 on several occasions, I can attest to the extraordinary experience of wearing this watch. Its proportions are nothing short of fantastic, making it clear why this model has earned its place as one of the greatest in the luxury watch industry. My personal favorite among the various metals is white gold, which boasts an exceptional sheen. This version is remarkably versatile, pairing seamlessly with everything from jeans and a t-shirt to a full suit.

The Patek Philippe 5970 represents a timeless fusion of tradition and innovation with its 40 mm size, a dimension introduced in 2004 that quickly became an icon in the luxury watch industry. Many enthusiasts believe that this model carries a special sophistication and balance that is rarely seen in newer models.

Despite its moderately large case, the 5970 makes an impressive impression on the wrist. Every aspect of this watch is a work of art. From the precise finish to the fine details on its dial, each element demonstrates extraordinary craftsmanship. The dial, available in various finishes, complements the watch’s appearance and contributes to its unique character. And in terms of functionality, the 5970 is equally impressive, thanks to its advanced and heavily modified Lemania 2310 movement, which once again confirms Patek Philippe’s leading position in watchmaking.

Visit House Of Time to explore their selection of luxury watches. Or visit their newly renovated store in Waterloo, Belgium.

Adress: 29 Drève Richelle, 
1410 Waterloo, Belgium

Phone/WhatsApp: +32478930210

Follow House Of Time on Instagram by clicking here.

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