The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5040 shares a lot of history with the more popular 3940 due to the fact that it has the same movement and complication as the latter. As some of you may know, the 3940 is one of my favorite watches of all time and the 5040 isn’t far behind. To read a more in-depth description of the 240Q movement in general and the significance it had on Patek Philippe’s history, read the written description for the 3940 I listed here.
Released in 1992, the Patek Philippe 5040 came after the 3940 and featured a pebble-shaped tonneau case. While most would opt for the more traditional round case, this shape sits amazingly well on the wrist and the profile and lugs work proportionately well.
This example is an early white gold version, with its age denoted by the fact that the hallmarks are stamped on the side of the case as supposed to the back. The G suffix of the reference denotes white gold and it is significantly rarer and more desirable than the yellow gold version. It has a deep black dial with Arabic numerals and three sub-dials laid out in white. The moon phase is also uniquely white as supposed to gold which features on the other models.
Each sub-dial provides two sets of information, with the 3 o’clock sub-dial showing the leap year indicator and the day of the week, the 6 o’clock sub-dial showing the moon phase and the day of the month, and finally the 9 o’clock sub-dial showing the 24-hour clock and the month. The sub-dials are systemized within concentric circles and in an obvious hierarchy, with the day, month and date on the outer track of the sub-dial, with the less important leap year indicator, moon phase and 24-hour clock inside it.
Powered by the legendary 240Q movement, it is an instantaneous perpetual calendar, taking into account the days of each month, including February and the leap year.
While the 3940 is surely underrated, the 5040 is even more so and a great value proposition for those looking to enter the Patek Philippe Grand Complication club. It is a fantastically elegant piece and one of Patek’s all-time classics.