In addition to the new high jewellery Nautilus, ladies minute repeater and a beautifully engraved Ellipse, Patek Philippe dropped another pair of minute repeaters, the classic and restrained 5374G and the absolutely showboating 5304/301R. There is no doubting the quality of these two new references, but it’s a startling reminder of just how different two perpetual minute repeaters can be — even if they come from the same brand. Let’s dive in.
First up, the 5374. Not only is this 42mm white gold number a minute repeater — it’s also a perpetual calendar. The deep blue grand feu enamel dial is a wonderful expression of Patek Philippe’s restrained classicism, with applied Breguet-style numerals and a traditional perpetual layout with a moonphase at six. On top of that, the case is everything you want it to be with a refined concave bezel and recessed satin-finished flanks. The calibre is the R 27 Q, powered by an off-centre gold guilloché mini-rotor and featuring cathedral gongs for the minute repeater. This particular restrained design was initially released in 2016, but back then it was dressed in platinum and black enamel. In white gold and blue this watch is still absolutely charming (or is that chiming?)
If the 5374 is Patek Philippe quietly celebrating its craft and achievements, the 5304/301R is the brand pushing the boat out in style. At 43mm across, it’s a large watch. And, thanks to a bezel, case and clasp set with 80 baguette diamonds (6.22 carats for those watching the weight), it’s hard to miss. On top of the rocks, there’s some absolutely incredible casework, with the rose gold case sides featuring white gold ‘leaf’ case inserts.
Then there’s the dial. The transparent dial shows off caliber 27 PS QR LU in no uncertain terms. The retrograde perpetual calendar complication is a miracle of both engineering and transparency. A particularly nice touch is the black lacquered skeletonised leaf-shaped hands, which are both legible and a nice tie into the casework motif. The ability to see a minute repeater at work on the wrist is quite a treat.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G
Movement: Self-winding R 27 Q, minute repeater with cathedral gongs, perpetual calendar with moon phases.
Case and dial: White gold, 42mm by 12.2mm, not water-resistant. Blue grand feu enamel dial. with applied Breguet numerals and leaf hands.
Strap: Shiny dusk blue alligator with foldover clasp.
Patek Philippe ref. 5304/301R
Movement: Self-winding 27 PS QR LU, minute repeater with classic gongs, perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand, day, month and leap year in apertures, moon phases and small seconds.
Case and dial: Rose gold with decorative white gold inserts, 43mm by 13.3mm, not water resistant. Set with 58 baguette diamonds. Sapphire dial.
Strap: Shiny black alligator with fold-over clasp set with 22 baguette diamonds.