Rare Bird: Patek Philippe ref. 5500 'Pagoda' Limited Edition. Only 2,000 Pieces Made in Four Precious Metals.

In 1997 Patek Philippe moved all its production facilities under one roof into a new building in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. The inauguration of the workshops in 1997 was celebrated with a collection of new limited edition “Pagoda” watches. The Pagoda ref. 5500 was produced in a limited edition of 1,100 pieces in 18K yellow gold —gold dial—, 500 in 18K rose gold —silvered dial—, 250 in 18K white gold —salmon dial—, and 150 in platinum —black dial. These four fascinating watches are fitted with a very unique rectangular case with its case band shaped like a 'Pagoda' —when seen from the side— and dials featuring Roman numerals and subsidiary seconds at 6 o'clock. This is a rare reference that one hardly comes across often. The Patek Philippe 'Pagoda' ref. 5500 not only has a very unique shape, but it also bears a special case back engraving with the commemorative year —1997— and the word 'Pagoda'.

This time, we were able to access three out of the four different examples of the Patek Philippe Pagoda ref. 5500 to do our shoot; however, the 18K white gold example fitted with a salmon dial was missing. If you own one of these missing examples please contact us to update this article. Something else very peculiar about this particular reference is that the watch was presented in a very interesting presentation box and equipped with an alligator strap with a pin buckle shaped like the top of a 'Pagoda'.

Fitted with one of the most unique cases we have seen across Patek Philippe timepieces and somewhat similar to the iconic ref. 5100 featured here, this watch was sold accompanied by a silver commemorative coin featuring the iconic sculpture located at the Patek Philippe manufacture in Geneva inaugurated in 1997 on the front and some verbiage alluding to the inauguration of the new manufacture by Henri and Philippe Stern.

The rare Patek Philippe ref. 5500 'Pagoda' is powered by the manual wound Patek Philippe calibre 215 composed of 130 parts, 18 jewels, 5 bridges, Gyromax balance and which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph to provide a power reserve of 44 hours. This exceptional timepiece not only commemorated the new facilities in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva but is also a sought-after reference that marked a very important milestone in the history of Patek Philippe and the horological world.

If you happen to come across one of this rare timepieces, pay attention to its capricious lines and admire the horological prodigy that its iconic design and calibre represent. If you are looking for a timeless elegant watch that it's even rare among Patekaholics, the ref. 5500 'Pagoda' fits the bill.

Approximate Sticker Price at Auction $28,000-32,000 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.