Besides the vintage-styled 2012 Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 5940J-001), as well as a number of other interesting timekeepers, the legendary Swiss-based brand has also grabbed an opportunity to present a decisively modern hand-wound Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 5204) during the last Baselworld 2012 trade show. Although not using a single block of carbon or a piece of ceramic, the new chronograph makes Star Trek gadgets look hopelessly outdated.
Powered by their new, yet deliberately archaic-looking Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q hand-wound movement, the Ref. 5204 offers a wide spectrum of functions, those including a split-seconds chronograph, as well as a full-fledged perpetual calendar with day/night and leap year indicators.
Surprisingly, the whole assembly is packed inside a relatively small body. Crafted from mirror-polished platinum, the timepiece’s case is only 40 millimeters in diameter: just a hair larger than your average “dress watch.” Also, it doesn’t look frighteningly thick, although the movement with all of its add-on modules is around 7.75 mm high. The lugs are not particularly long either, so it looks like even persons with relatively thin wrists will be comfortable wearing this beautiful device.
The dial is similar to that of the Ref. 5270 that was revealed last year, also in Basel, with the exception of an extra chronograph seconds hand and a new pair of hours and minutes hand that looks more at home on this dial.
Since Patek Philip with its hundreds of years of experience knows a thing or two about usability, the dial doesn’t look like it is overloaded with data. On the contrary, all counters, indicators, and apertures are logically grouped in clusters and are easily readable, even when you see the watch for the very first time and your eyes are ready to pop from excitement.
Well, it looks like yet another highly desirable piece from PP.
It is reported that the Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 5204) will soon go on sale, although its price is still to be announced*. But, you know what? I don’t want to know how much it will cost.
Oh, I guess, you can bail out some of smaller European countries for the price of just one.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The 5204 will be offered at $295,000 USD. Yes, the price is stunning but it is something to be expected if you take into account the cost of material its body is crafted from and the amount of skilled labor put into making each of this “Grand Complication” mechanisms that power this little monster.
Photos: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 5204) specification
Price: $295,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q, 32 mm x 7.75 mm, 12 bridges, 496 parts, in-house, Patek Philippe Seal, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 34
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Decorated by hand, Patek Philippe seal, diagonal Geneva stripes, beveled bridges, polished screw heads, circular graining on the main plate
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph
Power reserve: 65 hours (max)
Size: 40.00 mm
Dial: Silver-toned, opalescent
Hour markers: Applied, 18-karat white gold
Hands: Blackened, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-stitched, matt black alligator leather strap with square scales, platinum folding clasp
Back: Interchangeable; Sapphire crystal case-back and Solid case-back