Patek Philippe’s Complicated TrioBy Ross Povey
Few brands have the collective watch industry on the edge of its seat, eagerly awaiting news of releases, like Patek Philippe does. As the embargo hour clicks one second past the allotted time, the world begins clicking refresh and the fun begins. It was no different this year at Watches and Wonders, and Patek fans were treated to some stunning new pieces and new riffs on solid classics. Let’s take a look at three that really set the web on fire.
5205R Annual Calendar Moon Phases
First introduced in 2010 in white gold, the 5205 has the classic calendar window layout at 10, 12 and two o’clock to display day, date and month, respectively. The 2022 model is in rose gold and features an on-trend olive green dial. One has to hold the watch to fully appreciate the beauty of this dial, as I was fortunate enough to do this morning. The dial has what Patek refers to as, a sunburst motif that gradates to black at the edge. Like a “where did time go” great movie or a fun evening with your best friends, you hardly notice the passing of hue as the green morphs into black, but it does.
The rose gold case measures 40mm and has an elegantly concave bezel, which contributes significantly to the flowing lines of the watch. The lugs are skeletonized and, as one would expect, the case finishing is sublime. Turn the watch over and the caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/206 can be seen through the sapphire caseback. The movement is an annual calendar, which means that it only needs to be adjusted once a year at the end of February, as all the other months the caliber can distinguish between those that have 30 and 31 days. The watch is also an instantaneous annual calendar, in that the date change occurs exactly at midnight, thus you can be sure it is accurate.
The 5205 also has some exquisite action in the lower half of the dial in the form of a 24-hour indicator, which is actually very useful when setting the calendar up, as well as a moon phase window. Patek introduced the Annual Calendar quite recently in 1996. The brand recognized that there was a large gap between a date watch that needed resetting each month and the high-horology of a perpetual calendar, and the annual calendar was the perfect stepping stone betwixt the two.
5270P Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
For a full breakdown of the history of the iconic Patek 5270, I’d advise you to take a look at Wei Koh’s write-up here. This year, Patek has introduced a new green dial for its platinum perpetual calendar. Green really seems to be having its moment in watch design currently and perhaps no interpretation is more beautiful than this. Much like the aforementioned 5205R, the photos (whilst utterly wonderful) don’t do the dial justice — it’s another watch that comes alive on your hand.
The dial features multi-layered lacquer that gives the watch true depth and has a more obvious gradient finish that is black at the outer edge. Holding the two watches together, this and the olive dialed 5205R, I could actually see the olive color in the gradient… but I digress! Interestingly, much like the early series 5270s, this new dial does not have a tachymeter scale for the chronograph.
The signature diamond is in place between the lower lugs to signify that the watch is platinum, and the 5270 styling cues that we all know and love are all present and correct. The dial has the day and month in the upper half, and in the lower half the circular date, moon phase, leap year indicator and day/night indicator. The 30-minute chronograph counter on the right side is instantaneous and there is a running seconds subdial on the left.
5231G World Time
The new Patek white gold world-time watch features a dial made under the Rare Handcrafts banner. Ever since the invention of the world-time mechanism by Louis Cottier in the 1930s, Patek Philippe has adorned its world-time watches with maps in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel. These are extremely collectible and always feature as highlight lots when they appear at auction. For 2022, Patek Philippe pays tribute to Southeast Asia and to Oceania on the dial. The dial is stunning, especially when you hold it in the light — the artisan nature of the work is simply incredible.
To set local time, one simply presses the pusher at 10 o’clock until the red indicator at 12 o’clock points at the relevant city. The hour hand jumps accordingly, making international time setting quick and simple for the globetrotter. The discombobulating effect of travel is minimized even further by the 24-hour day/night indicator ring. Patek reintroduced the complication for the modern era in 2000 with the launch of the 5110 and this reference number is reserved for watches with the cloisonné enamel dials. The white gold case measures 38.5mm and has a sapphire caseback which gives a view of the caliber 240 HU movement.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref: 5205R
Movement: Self-winding caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/206; minimum 35 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; day, date and month in apertures; moon phases, 24-hour indication
Case: 40mm; rose gold; water-resistant to 30m
Dial: Olive green with black gradient rim
Bracelet: Two-tone green alligator leather with prong buckle
Price: CHF 47,000
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref: 5270P
Movement: Manual-winding caliber CH 29-535 PS Q; minimum 55 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, day, month, leap year and day/night display in apertures, date, moon phases
Case: 41mm; platinum; water-resistant to 30m
Dial: Lacquered green with black gradient rim
Bracelet: Shiny black alligator leather with fold-over clasp
Price: CHF 179,000
Patek Philippe World Time Ref: 5231G
Movement: Self-winding caliber 240 HU; 48 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, 24-hour and day/night indication for the 24 time zones
Case: 38.5mm; white gold; water-resistant to 30m
Dial: Grand Feu cloisonné enamel center: Oceania and South-East Asia
Bracelet: Matte navy blue alligator leather with fold-over clasp
Price: CHF 75,000