The primary weekend of November 2016 was an enormous one for me: along with attending the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and assembly up with myriad buddies there (see Year-End Auctions 2016: I Came, I Saw, I Learned, I Bought) I collected not one, not two, however three spectacular watches.
I’ve already written about my motivations for looking down the A. Lange & Söhne Pour le Mérite Tourbillon (see Why I Bought It: A. Lange & Söhne Pour le Mérite Tourbillon) and can return later to the third a part of this trifecta, a classic Patek Phillipe Reference 1526 in pink gold.
The watch I left dwelling sure to carry again, nevertheless, was one which I had been ready patiently for since January 2016: the split-seconds chronograph Reference 5370P from Patek Philippe.
Why I purchased it
I don’t suppose there’s any doubt that in my pal Terry’s taxonomy of watch accumulating, the Reference 5370 is an “funding” piece: one that may be a longtime keeper and function a foundational watch within the portfolio.
I first turned conscious of the Reference 5370P once I noticed photos of it in on-line banner advertisements across the time of Baselworld 2015 and I used to be instantly smitten.
Whereas Philadelphia service provider John Wanamaker’s well-known line “Half the cash I spend on promoting is wasted; the difficulty is I don’t know which half” could also be as true as ever, no matter Patek Philippe spent on that individual placement had its supposed impact.
After I had a possibility to satisfy a number of members of Patek Philippe’s household enterprise throughout our go to to Geneva in late 2015 (see You Are There: Attending The Only Watch Auction 2015 With Patek Philippe), I made it clear that if I have been to have entry to solely one among Patek Philippe’s excessive complication items, it could be the 5370; after additional discussions I obtained the excellent news in January of 2016 that I might count on to take supply late within the 12 months.
Taking supply of a Patek Philippe Reference 5370P
I’ve been lucky to be in most of the most heavenly spots within the watch world, and the first-floor non-public seating space inside Patek Philippe’s Geneva Salon needs to be close to the highest of the listing.
It’s now a little bit of a convention with our group to make a pilgrimage there on each journey we take to Geneva. If one of many members of the group is taking supply of a watch, he has the particular honor of sitting in “the chair” the place I’m pictured seated under grinning like a idiot after going by way of an introductory briefing and strap-fitting session with in-house watchmaker Marina.
The presentation ceremony itself is well worth the worth of admission: all the pieces from unboxing the folio containing the papers to filling out the Certificates of Origin with the brand new proprietor’s particulars is finished with model.
And the presence of one among my closest buddies, a famous Patek Philippe collector, to share the event and report it in pictures was one thing I wouldn’t have executed with out!
Why I find it irresistible
The expertise of receiving this piece was fantastic, however what concerning the watch itself?
Fortunately, I can say that after a number of months of possession I’m even happier with the 5370P than I believed I’d be for a lot of causes.
That dial: the dial itself is fired black enamel, very troublesome to execute and completely beautiful when seen on the wrist. I’ve now photographed my watch a number of occasions at excessive magnification and have but to discover a flaw in Patek Philippe’s enamel work. As a result of traits of fired enamel the deep, shiny look of the dial ought to by no means change.
These markers: the utilized Breguet numerals, fantastically made, are complemented properly by small dots at four and eight o’clock, protecting the look of the dial in steadiness.
The markers themselves are white gold quite than platinum, and I fairly like the best way that the slight colour and texture variations between the markers, palms, and case carry visible curiosity to the watch and maintain it from showing sterile.
In some gentle, the numerals tackle virtually a pinkish hue, and it’s all the time enjoyable to take a look at the dial aspect simply to see what it seems like in a specific set of circumstances.
That case: the case design of the Reference 5370 makes clear reference to Patek Philippe’s traditional Reference 1436 split-seconds chronograph in all the pieces from the form of the lugs to the marginally concave contour of the bezel – and it really works splendidly.
As a macro photographer, I typically discover that it’s troublesome to the case of a given watch in fascinating methods. With the 5370P, there aren’t any such challenges as the combo of varieties and textures present a seemingly limitless set of photographic selections.
One notably pretty characteristic is the usage of pressed-in white gold cabochons on the tip of every lug to offer a visible hyperlink to the protruding rounded spring bar ends seen on the classic Reference 1436.
That motion: this can be the newest level in any of my “Why I Purchased It” articles that I’ve gotten round to speaking concerning the motion! And on this case, it’s a corker: Caliber CHR 29-535 PS.
It is a motion that appears nice in pictures, however even higher “within the steel” at its precise dimension. For my part, Patek Philippe has executed a splendid job utilizing quite a lot of shapes, textures, and finishes to offer a feast for the eyes.
I’m additionally a fan of this watch as a single-minded split-seconds chronograph quite than, as an example, a extra sophisticated perpetual splitter like Patek Philippe’s personal Reference 5204.
I additionally like the best way that a number of the design selections made with the motion have an effect on the looks of the watch, together with the rattrapante actuator positioned on the axis of the winding crown and the subdials positioned barely under the centerline of the dial.
To my eyes, the ending high quality seems fairly good even underneath excessive magnification.
We had a possibility two years in the past to go to Patek Philippe’s separate high-complication division the place the 5370P and different super-complicated Patek Philippe watches are made, and the eye to element in that manually-intensive atelier is obvious within the completed product.
Caliber CHR 29-535 additionally comprises various intelligent (and patented) technical enhancements, together with adjustments to the centering mechanism for the rattrapante hand to make sure that the 2 chronograph second palms seem completely aligned when returned to zero.
That is maybe not earth shattering, however for me a great instance of Patek Philippe’s considerate and steady enchancment inside a philosophy of classical watchmaking.
In follow, I discover that the chronograph features of the 5370 work flawlessly, with no leaping at launch or seen jittering throughout operation, and the rattrapante mechanism is satisfyingly crisp to function and the rattrapante hand swings fantastically again into place when actuated.
Additionally of word, the chronograph minute indication jumps instantaneously at every 60-second interval (an enormous deal for me) and, pretty unusually for Patek Philippe, the motion hacks when the crown is pulled out, permitting for simple synchronization with a reference time sign.
Nicely, it’s nonetheless true, at the very least for my part that the right watch has not but been made! Just a few ideas on the 5370P:
- I’d like to see some sharp inside angles within the motion with apparent indicators of loving hand-finishing. Whereas the ending of the motion is sort of good, it lacks that final little bit of pop that a number of the high independents present.
- As talked about above, the chronograph features work properly and really feel good. However I’d be even happier if the drive required to actuate the underside “return to zero” pusher have been stiffer and extra in line with the oomph wanted to function the opposite chronograph buttons.
- Lastly, there’s “that bump!” Have a look above on the contour of the chronograph clutch lever, particularly the spot left of the middle of the image the place the lever curves across the jewel in its chaton.
Whereas that slight bulge could also be vital for structural integrity, and the lever extension that departs upward from there’s a part of one of many purposeful improvements of this motion, I want that Patek Philippe had discovered a extra elegant answer.
Is a Patek Philippe Reference 5370P best for you?
I purchased it, however within the occasion that you’ve the chance so as to add this piece to your assortment, must you? I can shout an enthusiastic “sure” if:
- Like me, you discover the aesthetics of this watch attractive.
- You might be wanting to personal, and maintain, an instance of a limited-production Patek Philippe excessive complication that in time might grow to be a traditional of the likes of Reference 1436 and even the monumental Reference 1518.
- The wonder and coherence of the watch makes spending the premium that it instructions over arguably extra technically succesful watches such because the A. Lange & Söhne Double Break up worthwhile to you.
- You need the expertise of proudly owning a high-end Patek Philippe timepiece and all that it entails.
Alternatively, chances are you’ll need to direct your attentions elsewhere if:
- One other excessive complication similar to a chiming watch has received your coronary heart in the identical manner that the cut up seconds captivated mine.
- You demand totally hand-finished actions with ample shows of sharp inside angles.
- The 41 mm case dimension is simply too massive to your wrist.
- You favor to personal and put on quite a lot of extra reasonably priced watches quite than concentrating on a smaller variety of extra substantial items.
For extra info, please go to www.patek.com/en/mens-watches/grand-complications/5370P-001.
Fast Info Patek Philippe Reference 5370P
Case: platinum with pressed-in white gold cabochons on lugs and brand-characteristic diamond (signifying platinum) at 6 o’clock; interchangeable sapphire crystal case again and full platinum strong case again; 41 mm
Dial: gold with fired black enamel, utilized Breguet numerals and markers and printed white scales together with tachymeter
Motion: manually wound Caliber CHR 29-535 PS; 28,800 vph/4Hz; 55-65 hours’ energy reserve with chronograph disengaged
Features: hours, minutes, seconds; 30-minute instantaneously leaping chronograph with rattrapante
Manufacturing years: 2015-present
* This text was first revealed on February 18, 2017 at Why I Bought It: Patek Philippe Reference 5370P.