The Patek Philippe 5139 Perpetual Calendar is an exceedingly elegant timepiece. Introduced in 2008, the watch borrowed some key design elements from the reference 3520 Calatrava with it’s straight welded lugs and Clou de Paris—or hobnail—patterned bezel. It’s a functional and refined design that has everything you want in a traditional formal wristwatch. But while many are familiar with the 5139 reference, this specific variant, the 5139G-012 in white gold with its deep blue dial, is a pièce unique. A 1 of 1 complicated Patek Philippe. This is what watch nerd dreams are made of.
Commissioned by Michael Ovitz, a well-known investor, art collector, and philanthropist, this uniquely blue dial variant is gorgeous. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other dial variants I’ve seen for this reference, but there’s just something about a blue dial. Especially against the white gold case and with the matching factory alligator leather strap. Chef’s kiss.
Measuring 38mm in diameter by 8.5mm thick, the watch easily passes the dress cuff test and is very wearable. The case is perfectly round and has a flat stepped structure, which along with the straight lugs, makes for a very clean and simple design. This restrained asthetic makes the Clou de Paris patterned bezel stand out all that much more and gives the watch just the right amount of formal pizzaz. The bezel is undoubtedly the defining feature of the case, and it drives home the formality of the watch. Without it, I think this design would be more daily driver than dressy.
As mentioned, the dial is a unique and gorgeous shade of blue, but it’s also laid out exceptionally well. There is a lot of information being displayed, but it’s well balanced to the point that it’s almost perfectly symmetrical. The three o’clock subdial displays the month and leap year, the six o’clock contains the date and moon phase, and the nine o’clock shows you the day and displays a 24 hr/ampm indicator—which is useful as you don’t want to set the perpetual calendar during nighttime hours. A deceptively complicated dial, to say the least, there are so many little details like the subtle recession to the subdials and the classically styled white gold numerals that add interest to it. In particular, one element that stands out is the commissioner’s “MOS” monogram inside the six o’clock subdial. Like most watch enthusiasts, I’m a sucker for those little details. I love the styling of the monogram and the unique element it brings to the dial.
Powering the watch is the in-house caliber 240 Q. Patek Phillipe’s workhorse perpetual calendar movement is complete with a shock absorber, Gyromax balance, Spiromax balance spring, and a 22k gold micro-rotor. Super efficient even with the micro-rotor, you get a 48-hour power reserve. It’s a thoroughly modern movement, utilizing some of the fantastic innovations from Patek’s advanced research watch models. On top of that, it carries the Patek Philippe Seal and just plain beautiful to look at.
Ignore the fact that this watch is a pièce unique and just take it at face value, and I still say it’s the best looking 5139 out there. The rich blue hues work so well with this simple and elegant timepiece, and I think this particular shade of blue adds the perfect amount of personality without ruining it. It’s still just as versatile and refined as the black or silver dial variants but with just a touch of fun. Then when you consider the pièce unique aspect of the watch you realize this is a once in a lifetime watch opportunity.