Insider: Patek Philippe ref. 5270G White Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Hands-on with a Grail for Most Watch Collectors.

The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5270 was originally launched at Baselworld 2011 to replace the iconic Patek reference 5970. Some of the main differences between the ref. 5970 and the ref. 5270 include a bigger case measuring now 41 mm vs. 39 mm on the ref. 5970 and an in-house movement powering the ref. 5270 instead of the Lemania 2310-based CH27 calibre in the ref. 5970. Additionally, there are some other changes on the dial of the ref. 5270G-018 when compared to its predecessor.

The Patek Philippe ref. 5270G-018 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 Patek collectors. The Patek Philippe ref. 5270 is available in 18K white gold —with silvery opaline dial or blue sunburst dial— and in 18K rose gold with silvery opaline dial as we featured it here. A fourth watch, is available in platinum with 58 baguette diamonds on the case and lugs and with a black lacquered dial under reference 5271P-001 and a fifth watch in a 50-piece limited edition was sold at Wempe in Münich back in 2013.

The silvery opaline dial on the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5270G-018 features the day and the month in two side-by-side apertures at 12 o'clock, a date indicator with an integrated moon phase display at 6 o'clock, a running seconds subdial at 9 o'clock and a 30-minute chrono-register at 3 o'clock. For more than 70 years, this has been the classic layout of Patek Philippe's perpetual calendars with chronograph mechanisms first launched in 1941. Nonetheless, there are a few nuances between this watch and its predecessors. The running seconds subdial and the 30-minute chrono-register are positioned beneath the horizontal centerline that is drawn by the central hands pinion, and two small, round apertures between the date and the subsidiary dials accommodate the day/night indication —with dark blue and white— on the left and the leap-year indication on the right —with numbers from one thru four.

The Case

The 41 mm case in 18K white gold, features the stepped lugs in a very prominent way and the chronograph pushers are in the traditional rectangular shape with rounded finish. The case featuresa highly polished finish and only the top and bottom of the pushers feature a nice satin-brushed finish.

To maintain the case band design intact and unmolested, Patek Philippe decided to include the correctors for the perpetual calendar well hidden in between the lugs. Kudos to Patek for thinking of this in order to make the case band perfectly flawless.

The Movement

Powering this grail, is the manual wound Patek Philippe chronograph calibre with 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 beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Thanks to a group of six patent-pending inventions, this calibre is decidedly the most advanced of all traditional chronograph movements. This amazing chronograph with column wheel control and a horizontal clutch was entirely developed and crafted in-house. It is also the perfect choice for driving the perpetual calendar, one of the most popular Patek Philippe complications. The Patek Philippe ref. 5270G-018 comes with an interchangeable solid case back and a sapphire-crystal case back.

The Strap

The Patek Philippe ref. 5270G-018 is fitted with an elegant hand-stitched matte black alligator strap with square scales and the traditional fold-over clasp with Calatrava cross.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, this grail of a timepiece makes you feel like a million bucks. The watch wears true to its size and simply perfect. When it comes to grail watches, the Patek Philippe ref. 5270G ticks all the boxes. Not to mention that this Grand Complication that combines a perpetual calendar and a chronograph is not only a huge horological feat, but also a perfect way of putting together an extremely functional timepiece. There are watches and then there's the Patek Philippe ref. 5270.

Sticker Price $164,000 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.