During the Baselworld 2011 trade show last week, the Swiss watch Manufacture has presented its new Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270 watch.
When it comes to dress watches, the industry’s “golden ratio” has always (well, not really always, but at least during the second half of the 20th century) hovered somewhere between 38 and 39 millimeters in diameter. However, fairly recently there appeared an accelerating trend of making “sportier” dressy chronographs with diameters going to previously barred areas of 43, 45 and sometimes even 48 millimeters in width.
Thankfully, Patek Philippe with its uncompromising adherence to traditions still more or less manages to resist the temptation of defecting to the Dark Side and still makes timekeepers that, while unarguably modern, are still deliciously classic (and, also, relatively compact.)
This new specimen, for example, is presented in a stately 18-carat white gold case that measures just 41 millimeters in diameter.
Of course, thanks to its prominent set of lugs, the watch doesn’t look too small occupying a healthy amount of space on a normal wrist. Still, being relatively thin at just over 12 millimeters, it makes a very comfortable accessory for a person who can afford this beautiful piece of luxury.
As far as the basic ergonomics goes, the timepiece is fairly easy to operate with its chronograph push-pieces and the winding/setting crown being of just the right size for an average set of fingers.
The watch is equipped with Patek Philippe‘s new CH 29-535 PS Q hand-wound movement.
Developed solely in-house, this wonderfully executed caliber displays not only usual hours, minutes, seconds and date, but also sports a chronograph and a full-fledged perpetual calendar with leap year and day/night indicator and a moon-phase display.
Despite its archaic look, this is in fact a modern movement that beats at a normal pace of 28,800 vibrations per hour and features a column-wheel chronograph design. Introduced less than two years ago back in 2009, this is actually one of the most advanced mass-produced mechanisms designed by Patek Philippe.
There is still not enough data to lay any claim regarding its long-term reliability, but so far the mechanism enjoys a reputation of a reliable and extremely accurate engine.
Esthetics-wise, it is also one of the best manually-wound calibers currently in production. Of course, you can find an even more entertaining piece of micro-machinery around here, but it will probably be a one-off that costs like an Italian sports car and, probably, as reliable and easy to service, if you know what I mean. This CH 29-535 PS Q, on the other hand, will give you a lot less trouble for a lot less money (although something tells me that persons who can afford such an outstanding piece of luxury do not really think this way.)
While there is a general consensus that a dress watch in this price range should feature lots of gold of different hues of rose or yellow (it can also be an even more expensive platinum alloy), with this 5270G model the Swiss brand takes a bit different approach.
The new Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270 watch looks especially attractive thanks its hands and hour markers done in black oxidized white gold. The choice of material not only greatly increases the timekeeper’s legibility, but also makes it look much sportier without compromising its elegance.
As for the dial layout, it seems rather standard with day/month indicator at 12 o’clock, a small seconds sub-dial at 9 hours, a circular date window sharing its space with a moonphase display at 6 hours, and a 30-minute chronograph sub-dial at 3 o’clock.
While a leap-year aperture, which is placed between 4 and 5 hours looks a bit superfluous here and is probably added just in order to increase the total count of complications, the day-night indicator mirroring it on the left side of the dial seems quite useful especially to those who often travels around the globe and frequently experiences a jet-lag.
Price & Availability
So far, Patek Philippe offers this new model on most markets for a recommended street price of $160,000, which is expensive, but not excessively so considering how well this brand retails it resale value.
Photos: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270 hand-wound watch specification
Price: $160,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Manual (hand-wound,) caliber CH 29-535 PS Q, 32.00 x 7.00 mm (diameter x height,) 456 components, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 33
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Beveled bridges, Geneva stripes, polished screw-heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, moonphase, day/night, leap year
Power reserve: 65 hours
Case material: White gold
Bezel material: White gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 12.30 mm
Dial: Silvered opaline
Hands: Black oxidized White gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Matt black, hand-stitched, square-scale alligator leather with 18K white gold folding clasp
Case back: Sapphire