The Patek Philippe Ref. 5170J hand-wound chronograph watch was revealed almost a year ago at the Baselworld 2010 show, but it is still one of the most attractive timepieces in the Swiss brand’s model range. Featuring undeniably classic design, the wristwatch successfully combines high readability of its silver dial with extremely high comfort of its slim yellow gold case.
The watch is animated by the CH 29-535 PS hand-wound chronograph caliber: probably one of the best mechanisms that you can get in this price range. You see, Patek Philippe is in the business of making ultra-luxury timekeepers literally for generations and they don’t need to develop “revolutionary” movements featuring unproven design ideas. All they need to do is to build calibers that are good at keeping time and also look so good, they make your eyes water with tears of joy. And that’s what they actually do.
Sporting classic column wheel and horizontal clutch architecture, the movement was first introduced in 2009 together with the elegant Patek Philippe Ladies First Chronograph watch (Ref. 7071R).
While its forerunner, the CH 27-70 PS movement, was based on a Lemania ebauche, this one is a completely original job that sports six patented solutions, those including
– Optimized tooth profile;
– Precision adjustment of wheel mesh at the column wheel;
– Optimized synchronization of the clutch and brake levers;
– Slotted minute-counter cam; and
– Self-setting hammers pivoted between jewel bearings.
Together, these new ideas not only make the chronograph function more precise, but also make the parts last a lot longer making sure that you indeed will be able to pass this gorgeous chronograph to your grandson in a perfect working condition.
Being 29.6 mm in diameter and 5.35 mm in height, the movement allowed for a quite slim 39 mm case with total thickness of only 10.90 millimeters.
Its typical rectangular chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock, as well as a very convenient knurled winding crown, are stylistically united with the silvery opaline dial.
As you can see on the pictures, the latter comes decorated with applied hour markers, 18-carat yellow gold applied Roman numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock.
The baton-shaped hour and minute hands, as well as the subsidiary seconds hand at 9 o’clock, are also made of yellow gold.
The vintage-styled dial also sports a logarithmic pulsimeter scale calibrated to 15 heartbeats like a traditional doctor’s watch and a railway track minute scale with traditional Breguet numerals.
The watch is sold on a matt brown hand-stitched alligator skin with rectangular scales, fold-over clasp in 18K yellow gold.
Build quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 2/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Ref. 5170J hand-wound chronograph watch specification
Price: $66,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber CH 29-535 PS, manual-wound, diameter: 29.6 mm, height: 5.35 mm, chronograph, Breguet balance spring, 269 components, in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Power reserve: 65 hours
Case material: Yellow gold
Bezel material: Yellow gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 39.00 mm
Lug width: 21.00 mm
Case height: 10.90 mm
Dial: Silvery white
Numerals: Arabic (at 6 and 12 o’clock,) applied, yellow gold
Hour markers: Applied, yellow gold
Hands: Yellow gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap with gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire