Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G: Right at the beginning of 2015 we (I) wrote an article on the Patek Philippe 5170G and how it is a chronograph in a long line of, well, Patek chronographs. This is a timepiece that has very strong lineage and has been part of Patek’s line up for many years. I did stress it was nothing new but then again Patek never really do audacious things – well, at least up until this year that was. Just in case you were not aware of Patek Philippe’s new Pilot timepiece you can read that full article here. As strange as it may sound, of all the chronograph timepieces from Patek’s latest range the 5170 still remains one of my favourite timepieces, plus I find it hard to resist a traditional column wheel chronograph.
As mentioned before the 5170 is nothing new, it has been around for a while now but with this dial update, the 5170G looks like a whole different timepiece altogether, not to mention that it looks rather similar to another Patek that stole the headlines during BaselWorld 2015 too: the 5370 (which we will get to). Like all previous iterations of the 5170, it uses Patek’s in-house manually wound chronograph movement the calibre CH 29-535 PS, which is considered to be one of the finest traditional chronograph movements in the world today. Unlike its predecessor the 5070, which used the calibre CH 27-70 PS that was largely based on a Lemania movement but as mentioned previously, Patek completely reworked it; creating a beautiful chronograph movement nonetheless.
Like I’ve mentioned before, the CHR 29-535 took more than five years to develop and also spawned other calibres, such as the CHR 27-525 PS that we mentioned before here. The calibre CH 29-535 PS makes use of a column wheel and horizontal clutch architecture and a number of Patek innovations, making it super-efficient and precise. Innovations such as; the vibration-free chronograph hand movement that improves efficiency and reduction of mechanical wear, or the elaborate construction which assures that the small hand jumps within a fraction of a second, enhancing precision and legibility. Not only is the CH 29-535 PS precise but it is beautifully finished in faithful Patek fashion. The old-style bridges have been chamfered, polished, and decorated with Geneva striping that can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back.
The 18-carat white-gold case of the 5170G measures a classic 39mm and its sleek shape follows the traditional Patek Calatrava design. The lugs extend from the case band with a slight curve that aids comfort. The chronograph is operated with rectangular shape pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock, this has been a typical attribute of Patek Philippe wrist chronographs for over 7 decades. The crown is also an important element, it’s knurled for convenient winding with two fingers but small enough not to jab the wrist when the hand is bent back.
Beneath the sapphire-glass is the stark black dial, which differs greatly from the 5170J and the silver dial 5170G. Like the silver dial 5170G it makes use of applied Breguet numerals, though these appear to have been ever so slightly enlarged. Patek have done away with the Pulsations scale but have retained the railway track minute scale, which features slightly compressed Breguet numerals and now sits right on the periphery of the dial. The engine-turned seconds sub dial at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock are recessed in the main dial and sit just below the horizontal centre axis, which balances out the dial nicely and these seem to have been enlarged too. Another subtle but noticeable change too are the hands, this black dial 5170G makes use of leaf style-hands, as opposed to pencil style-hands from the silver dial version.
The Patek Philippe chronograph reference 5170G is, in my opinion, a classic contemporary timepiece that I’m sure will be remembered as THE traditional chronograph wristwatch of the 21st century. Still, it would be nice to see this chronograph in stainless steel and who knows that still may happen?
The Patek Philippe Chronograph ref. 5170G Black Dial is priced at £53,320. For more information visit the official Patek Philippe website.