The Timeless Beauty of the Patek Philippe Ellipse

Launched in 1968, the Golden Ellipse is one of Patek Philippe’s most iconic models. To mark its 50th anniversary, the brand has released two timepieces that pay tribute to a sleek design with balanced proportions based on the Golden Ratio.

Most dress watches stick to circular shapes, and those that don’t are either short-lived fashion-led objects or transcendent icons like the Golden Ellipse. Hodinkee takes a closer look at this understated hero.


The Patek Philippe Ellipse is a high-end watch made by the Swiss manufacturer, Patek Philippe. It features a delicate, oval-shaped case crafted from precious metals such as gold or platinum and paired with a minimalist dial that showcases slim baton hour markers and hands. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal for added durability and longevity. This timeless design makes the Patek Philippe Ellipse an elegant timepiece that is perfect for any occasion.

The Ellipse was first introduced in 1968. It was a bold departure from the traditional watch shapes that Patek Philippe had used in its watches. However, the company knew that they needed to change in order to compete with the upcoming quartz revolution. In addition, the company wanted to create a watch that was both unisex and could be easily recognizable as a Patek Philippe.

In order to accomplish this, the company created a model that was both innovative and beautiful. The new watch was designed with the golden ratio in mind, a mathematical proportion that has been used for centuries to achieve a sense of balance and harmony. The Ellipse’s unique design is a tribute to the company’s dedication to excellence and craftsmanship.

While the Ellipse is a beautiful and sophisticated timepiece, it also boasts incredible accuracy. It is powered by the Caliber 240 movement, which has been revered for its reliability and precision. This movement is housed in a solid case back and is hidden from view by the elegant case. This watch is a must-have for any collector of high-end luxury watches.

The watch’s simple design and understated elegance makes it a true work of art. It is an excellent choice for men and women who want to make a statement with their style. The watch is available in a variety of gold and platinum colors, making it a versatile accessory for any wardrobe. The watch is also a good choice for people who prefer a more subtle look than a flamboyant watch.

The Patek Philippe Ellipse is one of the most popular models in the collection, and it’s easy to see why. Its sleek, elegant shape and exquisite craftsmanship make it a true masterpiece. The Patek Philippe Ellipse is the perfect gift for anyone who loves luxury watches. This beautiful timepiece will stand the test of time, so it’s sure to be a treasured possession for generations to come. This watch is a great way to show your loved ones how much you care about them. It will be a great addition to your jewelry collection and will look fantastic with any outfit. You can even wear it with a suit to add an extra touch of class.


In a world where circular watches dominate, it’s very rare that a watch breaks away from the mould. When it does, it either fails to find a niche in the market and ends up a short-lived fashion-led object or, as is the case with some of Patek Philippe’s long-lived shaped icons, it achieves transcendent status as a timepiece that stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

The Golden Ellipse is one such model. Its gently rounded rectangular form, conceived according to the golden ratio (a mathematical proportion that appears in architecture, art and nature), has been well-received since its launch in 1968 and has earned itself a place in the pantheon of the very best dress watches.

Unlike other dress watches of the period that were geared towards the burgeoning consumer taste for flamboyance, the Golden Ellipse has always been a watch that exudes understated elegance and sophistication. Its timeless shape and pared-back dials (blue and brown are two of the most popular variations) have found a ready audience with those who believe that simplicity, accuracy and elegance evoke far more class and grace than a more ostentatious display of technical prowess can.

As a result, the Golden Ellipse has never been a flashy watch and its case size (34.5 x 39.5 mm) is perfectly proportional to the rest of the watch. The new Grande-Taille version, launched in rose gold and fitted with an ebony black sunburst dial, is no exception and exemplifies this ethos. The elegant applied hour markers and slender hands are finished with gold dauphine finishes and have been meticulously designed to complement the case’s proportions. The rose gold ring surrounding the crown and the cabochon sapphire on the top of the movement bridge add to the refined aesthetic of the piece while the onyx gem set into the crown echoes the dial colour for a consistent and harmonious finish.

Of course, the watch wouldn’t be complete without a high-precision movement that carries out all the essential functions of a dress watch – including hours, minutes, date and moon phase indications as well as small seconds and power reserve display. This is the venerable caliber 240 that has been fine-tuned over the years and it features many optimizations such as a new Spiromax balance spring in Silinvar, a slimmer going train and a more efficient tooth profile of the escape wheel to ensure maximum precision and performance.


First seen in 1968 the Golden Ellipse is a dress watch with an undeniable beauty that is the perfect addition to any jewelry box. Inspired by the golden ratio – a mathematical aesthetic principle dating back centuries – the Golden Ellipse family is a testament to Patek Philippe’s mastery of design and engineering. The elliptical shape of the watch is visually striking and the slender hands and applied hour markers are perfectly proportioned to the curved case. The golden indices also reflect light beautifully for an alluring finish.

The watch was so successful that it led to a complete line of accessories and became a staple in the brand’s collections. The Golden Ellipse family includes cufflinks, key chains, letter openers and even zodiac pendant necklaces. This was the first time that Patek Philippe had a design that it could build an entire collection around. The enduring popularity of the Golden Ellipse is a testament to its timeless appeal and sophistication.

The slender case of the Golden Ellipse is also one of the thinnest in the industry at 5.9 millimeters. This makes it a sleek addition to any dress cuff and allows it to easily slip under the dress sleeve. It also boasts a classic brown leather bracelet with a pin buckle that is hand-tooled to perfection.

Like most high-end watchmakers, Patek Philippe makes most of its internal components in-house. This ensures quality control and precision in the production process. The Golden Ellipse’s movement is no exception as it boasts a high-precision automatic winding mechanism and a date aperture on the dial. It is a mechanical masterpiece that requires careful maintenance and regular oiling to keep it in top condition.

In addition to ensuring that its movements are of the highest standard, Patek Philippe also takes great care in choosing the materials used for their watches. The Golden Ellipse is no exception as it uses only the finest materials available to create a watch that is both durable and timeless. The use of these high-quality materials helps to reinforce the fact that a Patek Philippe is more than just a watch; it is a piece of jewelry that will last for generations to come.

Although the Golden Ellipse has been succeeded by other designs, such as the Nautilus, the slender elegance and classic beauty of this watch make it one of Patek’s most iconic models. With its clean lines and simple style, the Golden Ellipse is a dress-watch that will never go out of fashion. As the Nautilus becomes more and more difficult to find, we believe that collectors will look to the Golden Ellipse as a new alternative. The Golden Ellipse is the ideal dress watch for those who appreciate elegance, craftsmanship and tradition. With its beautiful ebony black sunburst dial, this is a truly special edition that is sure to please.

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