Patek Philippe sits at the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking for good reason: they have consistently made some of the world's most beautiful, complicated timepieces for the better part of two centuries, and these days, they're doing so via the development of their own movements.
Following the debut of the Calatrava ref. 6007A-001 in June in celebration of the opening of their new manufacture, Patek is releasing three new grand complications within their 2020 collection (two of which we're going to be focusing on today).
A split-seconds chronograph allows the simultaneous timing of two distinct events. Patek first developed such a watch in 1923, and introduced the 5370P-011 with in-house calibre CHR 29-535 PS in 2015 with a platinum case and black enamel dial. For 2020, the watch has been updated with a blue grand feu enamel dial with glossy finish produced on an 18K gold dial plate. Featuring white gold applied Breguet numerals and leaf hands and an outer tachymeter track, the 5370P-011 recalls classic 20th-century Patek references in an elegant design language that belies the ultra-complicated movement within. The calibre CHR 29-535 PS features two standard chronograph pushers and the rattrapante (split-seconds) pushers within the watch's crown at 3 o'clock. A manually wound movement, it makes use of two column wheels and a vertical clutch for smooth operation.
The 5370P-011 is housed in a 41mm platinum case with concave bezel, a transparent sapphire crystal case back and 30m of water resistance. It's fitted with a blue alligator watch strap with a platinum fold-over clasp and retails for $263,093.
Also new for 2020 is the reference 5270J-001 perpetual calendar chronograph, a modern interpretation of a timepiece first delivered in 1941 during the throes of the Second World War. Initially produced in platinum with a golden opaline dial and a rose-gold version with a gold “goutte”-style bracelet in 2018, the new reference is now cased in a yellow gold with a concave bezel and two-tier lugs.
Perpetual calendars are absurdly complicated machines, as they account for the differences in length between not only different months, but also between years (i.e., they account for leap years). Patek's perpetuals are amongst the most coveted in the world, and a glance at the new 5270J-001 shows why: it displays a wealth of information on its opaline dial without giving the feeling of overcrowding. And if the calendar function weren't enough, the watch also incorporates a chronograph, much like its historical forebear, the ref. 1518.
Featuring yellow gold leaf-shaped hands, a moon phase window, day, date and month indicators and a leap year indicator, the watch is powered by Patek's first in-house perpetual calendar/chronograph movement, the caliber CH 29-535 PS Q, which was developed in 2011. This manually wound movement features a horizontal clutch and column wheel as well as an absurdly thin calendar mechanism (1.65mm and 182 parts). It ships with a sapphire case back to allow the wearer to view the movement, though a solid gold case back is also included. Accompanied by a matte chocolate brown alligator strap with yellow gold clasp, the 5270J-001 retails for $168,970.