The Patek Philippe Ref. 5370P has returned in a new glossy blue, and it is a sumptuous stunner.
If Patek Philippe’s manual-wind chronographs are said to be in demand by watch lovers, then their rattrapantes, or split-seconds chronographs, are worth entering a Hunger Games battle for. This year’s bevy of Patek Philippe releases has been a range of stunners, and the latest we’re examining is the Ref. 5370P-011, the manual-wind split-seconds chronograph with a Grand Feu blue enamel dial.
We’ve already covered the Ref. 5270J and the Ref. 5303R and both are beautiful and unique in their own ways. But the 2020 Ref. 5370P is special for one reason: it is the first enamel dial from the brand this year, though.
During the Watch Art Grand Exhibition 2019, we spoke with Sandrine Stern, the Creative Director at the brand. She highlighted the importance of PP6 for the brand’s artistic creations, in particular with enamelling which they were increasingly developing in-house. Not only is Patek Philippe helping to preserve these arts, they are also helping to pass them on to a new generation of craftspersons through Patek’s watchmaking school.
The blue enamel of the 5370P looks to be the first Grand Feu enamel dial of the year. And although this glossy blue enamel is probably the same colour mix as past dials the brand has created, it feels new and fresh, like the colour of the deep sea. It’s apt that the Pantone Colour of the Year is Classic Blue, and if there was a Patek blue we can define as Classic Blue, this dial would be it.
From the first Patek Philippe Rattrapante…
The first Patek Philippe split-seconds chronograph wristwatch emerged in 1923 (No. 128 824). The Officer’s watch, as it was known, is stunning at 33.1mm with a white enamel dial and two counters, one of which is a small seconds display. A pusher on the crown controlled the operation of the chronograph, with a pusher for the split-seconds positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock on the case. The dial bears black Breguet numerals and blued Breguet hands.
Faithful to this first creation, Patek Philippe has kept the design of the watch very much alive, with the monopusher design appearing in the famed Ref. 5959P with the CHR 27-525 PS, Patek’s first in-house chronograph that was not only the slimmest rattrapante around, but also the most compact.
The Ref. 5950P followed 5 years later, appearing in a cushion case and a monopusher operation, powered by the same calibre as the Ref. 5959P. While we’re not mentioning the many other split-seconds models with perpetual calendars that Patek has, and continues to create, in 2015, we were scheduled for a new release and right on time, the Ref. 5370P came along.
The calibre, based on the incredible CH 29-535 PS, already featured 6 patents for the chronograph. The CHR 29-535 PS added new patents for the split-seconds isolator’s design on the heart cam, eliminating the dreaded split-seconds lag.
The Ref. 5370P was first released in platinum with a black enamel dial, and like its Ref. 5270 brother, bears a BASE-1000 tachymeter scale on the minute track. A small seconds counter at 9 o’clock and 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock, makes the watch a monochromatic stunner. On the back, the horizontally coupled split-seconds chronograph is fully exposed for you to gaze at dreamily.
Of course, unlike the Ref. 5959, it bears the curved integrated lugs of a more modern profile, with a classic display of Patek elegance. The heart of the watch may be an old-school beauty, but its appearance is for the 21st century collector.
To the Latest
The brand new Ref. 5370P follows this balance of old and new perfectly once more. View it from the front and that inviting blue speaks modern style, while its aesthetic will remind you of early 20th century elegance.
Turn it to the side, and the rigorous balance of sharp lines with soft, angled curves will make you think of mid-century modern construction, no doubt. But flip it around to the back and the perfectly assembled, immaculately finished movement will have you lost for words. Even in a static photo, it has the power to make you sigh in envy.
While only a few pieces of this watch will leave the manufacture’s premises into the hands of collectors, there’s no doubt that this is a watch worth waiting for. The Ref. 5370P is a comfort, to know that no matter what, we can still count on Patek Philippe for incredible watchmaking.
Written by Darren Ho
Discover other 2020’s novelty pieces from Patek Philippe:
Why the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 is Special, Even Among Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronographs
Why the Reference 5303 is a Bold Step Forward for Patek Philippe