At Watches and Wonders 2022, Patek Philippe rounded out the event with a bold new innovation and refreshed models across its range of complicated watches.
At Patek Philippe, performance has always come in the form of continuous innovations, whether it’s the high precision of its movements across the board, or the purity in tone of its sounding complications. These nuances in quality are usually represented in the Patek Philippe Seal, the brand’s certification of technical and aesthetic excellence on the movement.
The brand’s latest technical enhancement is delivered in the Ref. 5470P-001, a brand new monopusher chronograph accurate to 1/10th of a second released at Watches and Wonders 2022. To achieve this, the Manufacture enhanced the already impressive CH 29-535 PS in-house chronograph, and gave it a speed bump up to 5Hz. But along with the improved movement are several other upgrades that demonstrates how Patek Philippe now wants the public to enjoy the benefits of its innovations. While past Advanced Research benefits have focused on movement design enhancements that work in the background, the Ref. 5470P-001 allows users to watch the sped-up chronograph at work.
The Ref. 5470P-001’S Seconds Hands
Taking the CH 29-535 PS 1/10 movement to 5Hz and retaining a 2-day power reserve is very impressive (the original CH 29-535 PS had a 65-hour power reserve with a disengaged chronograph). But Patek Philippe has also applied its OscillomaxⓇ regulating organ to its in-house chronograph for the first time.
The PulsomaxⓇ escapement with GyromaxⓇ balance and SpiromaxⓇ balance spring provide highly efficient and precise timekeeping, and thanks to the SilinvarⓇ material, are highly durable even when running at higher movement speeds without needing lubrication.
To display the elapsed seconds precisely, they devised a patented mechanism that joins the horizontal clutch with a second chronograph seconds wheel. The primary central chronograph seconds hand in white gold goes around the display in 60 seconds. Meanwhile, a second fractional chronograph seconds hand, made in SilinvarⓇ (another first for the brand) and painted with red lacquer makes one dial revolution in 12 seconds. This allowed the brand to use the same railroad track to read the time to 0.1 seconds, without adding to the dial and over-complicating the design of the watch.
As a result, the watch closely resembles the now-discontinued Ref. 5170 and rattrapante chronograph Ref. 5370. The Ref. 5470P -001 bears italicised applied Breguet numerals, feuille hands and dual counters on the dial. The key difference is the minute/seconds track, which is designed such that the red markers are in alternation with the white ones. The dial bears a blue varnish instead of enamel, with circular graining on the small seconds and elapsed minute counters.
A Rose Gold Dial For The Ref. 5172
The Ref. 5172G is the successor to the Ref. 5170G and was first introduced in 2019. It heralded a new design style for Patek Philippe’s chronographs, with syringe hands and Sans Serif hour markers with luminous indications, a rarity on Patek’s high complications. Powered by the CH 29-535 PS movement, running on a column wheel with horizontal clutch, it’s an example of the brand’s efficiency in design and sophisticated aesthetics.
The Ref. 5172 is a great balance between classic and modern Patek Philippe. The stepped lugs, pump pushers and BASE-1000 tachymeter as well as the classic chronograph movement are traditional details found in such chronographs, while the charcoal gray gold applied numerals with luminous paint and opaline rose gold dial are more modern. The new dial variation is similar to the Ref. 5320G-011’s introduction this year as well.
The Fully Gemset Ref. 5374/300P
When it comes to high watchmaking, the crafts that define Patek Philippe are just as original as the movements it houses. A great example is the new execution of the Ref. 5374/300P that it has released this year. This minute repeater and perpetual calendar grand complication was previously presented in white gold with a Grand Feu enamel dial. With this latest release, it’s taken ‘bling’ to a new level.
The gemsetting starts with the concave bezel, which for the first time features a double row of baguette diamonds fixed with an invisible setting. The gems on the case middle and minute repeater’s sliding pusher are set similarly. Also new is the row of baguette diamonds taking the place of the minute track on the dial flange, interrupted by 13 sapphire bars that act as hour markers. The lugs are similarly stacked.
The grand total is 228 baguette-cut diamonds totalling 11.62 carats with 13 baguette-cut sapphires totalling 0.72 carats. On the case back, the self-winding R 27 Q movement with micro-rotor can be seen along with the cathedral gongs, hammers and governor controlling the timing of each chime. The blue lacquered dial with black gradient rim feels incredibly understated despite its complexity, presenting a perpetual calendar with day/night indication and moon phase display on three subdials.
The Global Ambassadors
In 2019, Patek Philippe introduced the brand’s successor to the Ref. 5131 series. The Ref. 5231G was the first of the new range, which presents its iconic world time complication on an enamel dial display depicting astylised map of Europe, Africa and the Americas. This year, the Ref. 5231 is presented in a new case material — white gold — with a new enamel dial.
The Ref. 5231G-001 will likely be highly coveted in this part of the world, because the dial presents an enamel painting of Southeast Asia and Oceania in cloisonné enamel. As you may be familiar, cloisonné enamelling is created by using fine gold wires to create the outlines of these scenes, before filling them with enamel and firing it up in a kiln. This requires multiple rounds of firing to get the exact design and colour of each dial. The dials are absolutely stunning, and are encircled by a 24-hour and city ring that is controlled by a pusher at 10 o’clock.
Along with the Ref. 5231G-001, another world time model is premiering in a platinum case — the Ref. 5230P-001. This Patek Philippe model is being released for the first time in platinum, paired with a blue calfskin leather strap. The new design brings this larger sized model closer in style to its diamond-set Ref. 7130 sibling. The watch bears a vivid blue dial with a hand-guillochéd display in a Clous de Paris pattern, and the city and 24-hour ring are also in a matching blue shade.