The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270 was originally launched at Baselworld 2011 as a new complicated wristwatch with a rich 70-year heritage of tradition and innovation. This year at Baselworld 2015, Patek presented a new iteration of the ref. 5270 in 18K rose gold. Unfortunately, this exceptional timepiece didn't get as much attention as the new Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time ref. 5524G-001 featured here. Nevertheless, the new Patek Philippe ref. 5270R-001 is without a doubt the quintessential Perpetual Calendar Chronograph —in a perfectly sized case measuring 41 mm in diameter— and one of the most coveted references among Patekaholics. The Patek Philippe ref. 5270 available up until now only in 18K white gold —or platinum with diamonds under reference 5271—, combines the functionality of a perpetual calendar with the new classic chronograph caliber that is crafted entirely in-house. Almost seventy five years ago, in 1941, Patek Philippe added chronographs with perpetual calendars to its range of regularly produced timepieces.
The silvery opaline dial on the ref. 5270R-001 follows one of the most venerable traditions of this type of watch: The day and the month in apertures at 12 o'clock, an analog date with an integrated moon-phase display at 6 o'clock, the seconds subdial at 9 o'clock, and the 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock. For seven decades, this has been the classic layout of Patek Philippe's perpetual calendars with chronograph mechanisms. Nonetheless, there are a few characteristics that distinguish it from all of its predecessors. The seconds subdial and the 30-minute counter are positioned beneath the horizontal centerline, and two small, round apertures between the analog date and the subsidiary dials accommodate the day/night indication on the left and the leap-year indication on the right. This chronograph with column wheel control and a horizontal clutch that ticks under the classic Patek Philippe dial was entirely developed and crafted in-house.
Powering this beauty is the manual wound chronograph caliber with a perpetual calendar CH 29-535 PS Q, a movement that incorporates more innovative optimization features than any other traditional chronograph mechanism. This exceptional calibre is composed of 456 parts and 33 jewels, to provide a power reserve of 65 hours when fully wound while oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vph.
Some of the key takeaways of this calibre include the fact that the engagement and disengagement action takes place in the traditional manner with the driving, clutch, and chronograph wheels, but instead of the conventional triangular teeth, these wheels have newly calculated and patented toothing profiles that reduce wear, boost efficiency, and prevent tooth tip collisions. Moreover, the engagement of the wheels is not adjusted with customary eccentrics but instead with the slightly eccentric shape of the polished column-wheel cap that very precisely defines the position of the clutch lever at its outermost point. Further optimization features include self-setting hammers pivoted between jewel bearings, the synchronization of the brake lever with the clutch lever, and the slotted minute-counter cam that prevents the excessively abrupt deceleration of the wheel in response to a reset command. Thanks to this group of six patent-pending inventions, this calibre is decidedly the most advanced of all traditional chronograph movements. It is also the perfect choice for driving the perpetual calendar, one of the most popular Patek Philippe complications. The Patek Philippe ref. 5270R-001 comes with an interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back.
The new Patek Philippe ref. 5270R-001 is fitted with an elegant hand-stitched matte dark brown alligator strap with square scales and fold-over clasp. On the wrist, this exceptional timepiece makes you feel small when compared to the grandeur and countless hours that went into the development and execution of such an amazing manual wound calibre. The watch wears just perfectly, and it really doesn't get any better when you have this piece on the wrist or on your hand.
Sticker Price $164,000 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.