flag of Switzerland
Apr 16 • 15:55

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar - 3940G vs 5140G

This article aims to describe two mythical references of the Patek Philippe manufacture, which have greatly contributed to the legend of the House associated with the Calatrava Cross.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar - 3940G vs 5140G

Even if we will not compare side by side every element of the two references, we will give you the key differentiating aspects and our general feelings, potentially to guide you in your future acquisition.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940 & 5140
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940 & 5140

The purpose of this article does not intend to focus on the several evolution of reference 3940. Long story short, this model was introduced in 1985, a counter intuitive response from Patek Philippe to the quartz crisis which was produced until 2006. Different variations have been observed during the 20 years plus of production which have been split in 3 main series with specific dials, typography, movements, hallmarks location etc.

Our friends at 41Watch just wrote an “In depth” article focused on the 3940 second serie and if you want to go deeper on this specific matter, have a look on John Reardon’s site.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940GPatek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940GPatek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G

Regarding the reference 5140, it was naturally launched right after the 3940 in 2006 as an evolution responding to new market trends.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140G Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140G
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140GPatek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140G
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140GPatek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140G

At that time, the 5140 was only available in white gold. The yellow gold version was introduced one year later and it was not until 2010 that the reference was made in rose gold and platinum. White and yellow gold featured an opaline dial, rose gold was fitted with a brown dial, and platinum with a stunning blue dial.

It's only in 2014 that the opaline dial was offered on the pink gold version in addition to a black dial with diamonds hour marker in a platinum case.

Strangely, the charcoal grey dial with a platinum case was launched two years later, in 2016, concurrently with the introduction of the successor 5327. Nevertheless, this one stayed in production until 2018, making it the only 5140 produced at this period and the rarest configuration.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140 Timeline
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5140 Timeline

The 5140 was a response to the market demand for bigger cases and a transition to Patek Philippe modern designs. I understand and share the nostalgia for the 3940’s smaller size but some customers requested a dial with bigger writings for a better legibility.

Let’s dig into the main differences between 3940 vs 5140 :

Variations of cases 3940 vs 5140:

The 3940 model features a 36mm round case with a concave bezel. If the 5140 model has the same case shape, it measures 37.2mm with a convex bezel which creates subtle and different reflections. Both are very well proportioned and fit very well on the wrist.

Patek Philippe 3940GPatek Philippe 3940G
Patek Philippe 5140G Patek Philippe 5140G

Variations of dials 3940 vs 5140:

As said previously, different dials variations have been observed throughout the production of the 3940. All have in common a smaller font which gives a vintage feeling particularly appealing but in early times, typography with serif was more vintage and the last series is more modern with non-serif typography.

On the other side, the 5140 features modern Patek Philippe aspects and a whole contemporary spirit. The “Patek Philippe Geneve” lettering is bigger and taller, same as subdials typography in order to enhance legibility but this was done at the expense of the purity of the dial and the sub-counters which became more complex and arguably messy.

3940G dial3940G dial
5140G dial5140G dial

Difference between movements :

Even if small updates have been made alongside production of the 3940, the watch is powered by the automatic ultra-slim 240-Q base caliber that dates back to the 1970s with an off-center, 22K gold micro-rotor. This base caliber remains housed in modern perpetual lines such as the 5140.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar - 3940G vs 5140G
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940 5140 - Buy Patek Philippe4.JPG

A slightly re-worked caliber 240/114 was used from third series 3940 until 2009, the time when the Patek Philippe seal hallmark was introduced in replacement of the Geneva seal hallmark. Saying that, white gold 5140G and even more yellow gold 5140J with Geneva Seal hallmark are the rarest amongst the collection.

Patek Philippe 3940 "Geneva seal" hallmarkPatek Philippe 3940 "Geneva seal" hallmark

Difference between buckles :

Regarding 3940 models, from 1997 onwards, all models came with a deployant buckle although this has not been officially confirmed. 5140 models naturally followed the same trend but the buckle and Calatrava Cross sign have been slightly enlarged.

Patek Philippe 3940 & 5140 bucklePatek Philippe 3940 & 5140 buckle
Patek Philippe 3940 & 5140 bucklePatek Philippe 3940 & 5140 buckle

Between 3940G & 5140G, which one should you choose?

Though very similar in many aspects, some differences over the diameter, dial, and legibility have to be naturally taken into consideration. These two very iconic and beautiful watches are sophisticated masterpieces appropriate for a daily wear.

We don't intend to influence your choice but we hope to have guided you and given you some food for thoughts.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar - 3940G vs 5140G
Patek Philippe 3940 & 5140

Feel free to contact us if you would like to share more insights.

Both watches are now sold: 3940G and 5140G

loader

41 Watch Geneva @copyright 2024 - Legal mentions