Launched at Basel in 2004 and available from 2005, the Ref.5970 replaced the smaller diameter ref.3970 and reverted the case style to a square chronograph pusher with sculpted shoulder more reminiscent of the first series ref.2499. The 5970 was initially launched only in white gold with the rose gold version available the following year, however both metals were discontinued in 2007 after only a short production period with the release of the platinum and diamond version, ref.5971. At Basel in 2008 Patek Philippe released the much anticipated yellow gold 5970 then promptly discontinued the model after only 1 year with the release of the platinum version in 2009, the platinum version also being discontinued within a similar time period.
The Patek Philippe ref.5970 was perhaps the most successful of recent models, having been released as the demand for complications from the company rose and ceased prior to any production increases to meet demand, there was a constant waiting list for the reference throughout production with models selling at a premium on the open market. With Philippe Stern stepping-down as president of the company in 2009, the same year the final, platinum version was launched, the model could be considered as his legacy to the success of Patek Philippe.
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