For a brand of such pedigree, Patek Philippe isn’t especially consistent when it comes to the design of their Gondolo series specifically or rectangular watches in general. The things that they share is an elongated body and, of course, a brilliantly executed mechanism: a Rolls-Royce of a mechanical movement that any wristwatch would be proud to be animated with. Among the three models of the series that are currently present on their corporate website, the 2013 Patek Philippe Gondolo 8 Days (Ref. 5200G) is the most exciting with its finely crafted Art Deco case and deliciously complicated, exquisitely finished movement.
Well, perhaps I was not giving Patek Philippe their due. This new Gondolo 8 Days looks like a nice evolution of the design that the company revealed back in 2009 when it started selling the gorgeous Patek Philippe 10 Day Tourbillon 5101R model that was as precious as it was complex.
Although the earlier model sported an even more elongated rose gold body that with its dimensions of 29.6 x 51.7 mm was a lot closer to the famous Golden Ratio, the new Patek Philippe Gondolo 8 Days (Ref. 5200) still looks great thanks to its nicely sculpted body with its integrated lugs and elegantly curved profile that gently embraces a normal wrist.
The dial with its vertically centered indicators and a set of applied, baton-shaped hour markers, too, looks like a brilliant example of industrial design.
I especially like the sub-dial at 6 hours. Although overloaded with functions (it somehow manages to house a small seconds display, a date pointer, and even an instant day indicator), the sub-dial is still amazingly easy to read since you can never mistake the sweeping seconds hand with the arrow-headed date hand that instantly jumps only once in 24 hours.
The lower sub-dial is beautifully mirrored with a circular power reserve gauge at 12 hours that comes especially handy for a watch that needs to be fully wound only once in eight days.
Frankly, I can’t find a single problem with this timekeeper, except, perhaps, its sky-high price. Yes, with MSRP of €44,800 this watch will surely be too expensive for a normal enthusiast, but if you can afford it, you should give it a try.
The watch was presented last month at Baselworld 2013 and will go on sale later this year at a recommended price of €44,000.
Photos: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Gondolo 8 Days (Ref. 5200) specification
Price: MSRP €44,800
Movement: Hand-wound, Caliber 28-20 REC 8J PS IRM C J, 235 parts, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 8 days (192 hours)
Movement decoration: Hand-finished
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, day of the week, power reserve indication
Case and Bezel: White gold, 18-karat
Crown: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 46.90 mm x 35.20 mm
Dial: Sunburst blue (Ref. 5200G 001) / Silver-toned white (Ref. 5200G 010)
Numerals: Arabic (calendar)
Hour markers: White gold / Black
Hands: White gold / Black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Blue (glossy) or Black (matt) alligator leather strap on 18-karat white gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating
Back: Sapphire crystal, concave, screw-down, anti-reflective coating