By What Makes Me Tick
Vintage and modern watch collectors and enthusiasts rarely agree on what is interesting or not but three words tend to leave them systematically starry eyed: “Patek”, “Philippe” and “chronograph”. Add to that “split-seconds” or “perpetual calendar” and you bring grown men to tears. Patek Philippe has mastered these complications like none other and today offers a wide and diverse selection in each category.
Ref 5170: Launched in 2010 this reference houses Patek Philippe’s first in-house manual wind chronograph caliber CH 29-535 featuring a column-wheel with horizontal clutch, a 65 hour power reserve and a instantaneous jumping chronograph minute hand. It currently exists only in a 39.4mm white metal case: either in white gold with opaline dial, Breguet numerals and pulsometer scale or the latest version presented in 2015 in platinum with a lovely black dial, Breguet numerals and a dial devoid of the pulsometer scale giving it a cleaner look.
Considered as one of the most challenging and delicate complications to master in the art of watchmaking due to low tolerances. Patek Philippe offers three different models of this complication, with two separate calibres.
Ref. 5959: Launched in 2005, the reference 5959 with its 33mm platinum officer case (with a hinged case back), white enamel dial and Arabic numerals is inspired by Patek Philippe chronographs from the 1920s. The caliber CHR 27-525PS housed within is amazingly slim with a thickness of only 5.25mm making it one of the world’s thinnest split second chronograph movements. In addition this mono-pusher chronograph uses a 60-minute register instead of the conventional 30 minutes.
Ref. 5950: Using the same movement as in the smaller ref. 5959, this cushion-shaped masterpiece has contemporary dimensions of 37mm wide and 44.6mm long. Making it even more desirable is the steel case, historically a rare metal for complicated watches.
Ref. 5370: Using caliber CHR 29-535 PS, a larger and more modern movement than the one used in the 5959 and 5950, yet with the same attention to construction and finish, the ref. 5370 is a potent mix of the brand’s present with its in-house movement, and its prestigious past, with a design reminiscent of Patek Philippe’s chronographs from the 1940s. This is only available in a 41 mm platinum case with a superb black enamel dial with white gold numerals.
Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar
Ref. 5270: The quintessential complication associated with Patek Philippe. The very first serial production perpetual calendar chronograph, the reference 1518, was made by Patek Philippe in the 1940s and they have continued this complication ever since. Vintage or modern, Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs are among the most coveted and collectible of all wristwatches and the latest offering, with the modern day Reference 5270 no exception.
This reference exists in a 41 mm white or rose gold case with silver dial. The white gold model is also available with a superb sunburst cobalt blue dial as well.
Housing the in-house manual-winding caliber 29-535 PS Q (“Q” for quantième meaning date in French), this timepiece indicates day and month via windows placed on the top part of the dial, the date and moon phase are placed at 6 o’clock. A day and night indicator (useful when setting the calendar mechanism as the date should not be changed between 10 PM and 2 AM at the risk of damaging the movement) is placed on the right of the moon phase and the leap year indication is placed on an aperture on the right side of the moon phase.
What Makes Me Tick – Switzerland
A bit like the celebrated cartoon character Obelix who fell into the magic potion as a baby, What Makes Me Tick has been a watch nerd since his birth. In fact his parents were worried at the beginning, as his heart didn’t beat…it ticked! With a firm opinion on everything he has a penchant for vintage watches and independent makers. On his free time (which he seems to have a lot of) he manages his Facebook www.facebook.com/whatmakesmetick and Instagram @whatmakesmetick.