Combining Two Complications
1518 is the mother of all perpetual calendar chronographs at the Maison of Patek Philippe. When introduced in 1942, it was the world’s first hand-wound mass-produced watch that combined both the chronograph and perpetual calendar. Since then, Patek Philippe has been the brand to beat in this discipline. Today’s product line includes reference 5270, which carries on the heritage of the legendary reference 1518. The stunning pictures by William Van Puyenbroeck (for @wachrookiee) show the Patek Philippe 5270P, which is my favorite reference of the current 5720 series. Platinum is the choice for the case, accompanied by an eye-catching salmon dial and a hand-stitched, shiny chocolate brown alligator strap.
In-house Movement & Accuracy
Perpetual calendar chronographs belong to Patek’s Grand Complication watches and holds a significant role in the brand’s history. Collectors all over the world appreciate the series as some of Patek’s Holy Grails belong to it. It all started with reference 1518, the fountain of chronograph watches with a perpetual calendar. Reference 1518 was followed by the references 2499, 3970, 5970, and finally, in 2011, the first 5270 made its debut on the watch scene.
In contrast to past references, the movement (29-535) of the Patek Philippe 5270 series comes from the company’s design and manufacturing department. Previously, the family-owned company had cooperated with Valjoux (references 1518 and 2499) and Nouvelle Lémania (references 3970 and 5970) for the movements. The new in-house caliber consists of 456 parts and beats at 4Hz or 28,800 oscillations per hour. When fully wound, it provides a power reserve of up to 65 hours. A beautiful sapphire-crystal case back allows you to have a look inside the watch, where you find the 456 parts and 33 jewels of the exceptional caliber working perfectly together.
Rare Salmon Dial
In this case, we see the Patek Philipp 5270P, which comes with a scarce salmon dial. It’s not surprising that Mr. Stern chose the salmon shade for its most precious metal (platinum) of the 5270 series. The color has always been very popular among collectors and still enjoys high appreciation from watch connoisseurs. While a few years ago, the watch was readily available at boutiques, but global demand increased for the platinum 5270 in recent months leading to a current waiting time of up to six months.
Closer Look At The Dial
The salmon dial on the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph reference 5270P features the day and the month in two side-by-side windows at 12 o’clock. My personal highlight is the date indicator with an integrated moon phase display at 6 o’clock. The subdial on the 3 o’clock position hosts the 30-minute time display, while the subdial at 9 o’clock is responsible for the running seconds (also called small seconds).
Furthermore, the two small holes next to the moon phase are immediately noticeable, one on each side. On the right side, there is a day/night display, which is why the hole appears either in white or in blue on some pictures. On the left side is the leap year indicator, displaying the numbers from one to four.
I’ve been a big fan of the folding clasp with Calatrava cross since day one. In my opinion, this is a must-have for almost all Patek Philippe dress watches, and I am happy to see it at most models. In the particular timepiece in the picture, the stylish folding clasp comes in platinum to match the case of the 5270P.
Another detail that is worth mentioning is the hidden correctors for the perpetual calendar. Patek Philippe decided to place them well covered in between the lugs. This proves how Patek addresses perfection with small details like this to obtain a flawless-looking case.
Comparison To Reference 5970
Still, many collectors prefer the predecessor of the 5270 series, called reference 5970. The main differences between the two references are the larger case of the 5270, measuring 41 mm instead of 39mm for reference 5970, and the aforementioned new in-house movement (caliber 29-535).
Another visual difference is the position of the subdials of the chronograph function. On the older reference 5970, the subdials were aligned on the axis between the 3 and 9 o’clock indexes. Reference 5270 instead hosts the subdials a little below the axis between “3” and “9”. Many people don’t recognize such tiny changes, but as so often for watch collectors, it’s the small details that matter. I like the new dial layout as it allows the day/month windows to appear bigger; thus, they are easier to read.
Availability & Price
The Patek Philippe 5270P stands for everything the Stern family places value on and ticks all boxes of a Holy Grail timepiece. A perpetual calendar with chronograph function, delivered in a platinum case with a rare salmon dial. And, of course, manufactured under the highest standards of Swiss watchmaking. That’s what makes a collector’s heart beat faster. And that’s why the timepiece comes with a price tag that is not meant for everyone. To be precise, it comes with a retail price of 174’000 CHF. Although popularity increased in recent months market price remains around 10’000 CHF below the retail one at around 165’000 CHF. Whoever has the chance to get his hands on these beauties, don’t miss it! The watch is a future must-have in watch collecting.
Official retail price is at 174’000 CHF, but the current market price is around 165’000 CHF.
No official limitation
Diameter: 41 mm; height 12.4 mm
When to wear:
I think the watch is Patek Philippe’s best dress watch for daily use. The platinum case is hard to scratch, and the heavy-weight timepiece wears comfortable on the wrist.
What we love about the watch:
Without any doubt, it’s the shade of the salmon dial — a well-chosen color by Patek Philippe that fits perfectly with the chocolate brown alligator strap.
Photography: Willem Van Puyenbroeck @imwvp for @watchrookiee