The Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph was the first watch I wrote about when I joined Bexsonn a couple of years back. It was a rose gold, white dialled piece and I went into the details of the movement and the importance of the perpetual calendar chronograph in Patek Philippe’s history.
This year at Baselworld, Patek unveiled the newest iteration of their flagship piece, the Ref. 5270P-001. Yes, P for platinum, something they haven’t done yet on the 5270 (not including the diamond studded 5271 of course). As platinum is the king of metals and coveted by Patek collectors, it seems like this is a real push by Patek to get more people on board the 5270. Almost all the new details suggests this might be the case, and let’s see whether they’ve managed to achieve that.
The first and most noticeable change occurs on the dial, where Patek Philippe has introduced what they call a ‘golden opaline’ dial. To us though, it has colloquially become known as a salmon dial. Atop the dial are applied black gold Arabic numerals and matching hands alongside the standard 2 aperture, 3 sub dial layout of the perpetual calendar chronograph. I must say, that Patek’s choice of font for their Arabic numerals is perhaps my favourite out of any manufacturers out there. Its subtle, but the proportionality and relationship with the watch dial is just super and beats any Breguet numeral in my opinion. They’ve used them in on other models like the 5070 and 5004, and it works just as good here. I also much prefer it to the index markers used on the previous 5270.
Same with the previous execution, the 5270P is powered by the calibre 29-535 PS Q, Patek Philippe’s first in-house perpetual calendar chronograph movement. This replaced the previously Lemania based 27-70 Q which was used in the 5970 and was meant to be a step up by Patek, finally integrating all movements in-house.
Interestingly though, the 5970 (the previous generation perpetual calendar chronographs) have risen in prices because it is seen as the last of the Lemania based movements and collectors seemingly have a romantic inclination towards this idea whereas the 5270 doesn’t share the love and can be bought relatively easily from a Patek Philippe boutique.
Patek’s choice to use a salmon dial on what is a ‘production’ piece is also worth discussing as the manufacture has previously reserved this colour for special order pieces or extremely limited editions. Does this signal a dilution by Patek Philippe in an attempt to lure in more sales? Purely a hypothetical question but certainly worth discussing relative to the state of the modern watch industry.
With that question out-of-the-way though, no doubt this is seriously a beautiful piece. The salmon tone is spot on and the contrast created between the Platinum case and the black gold numerals and hands really make this a watch that stands out. I do think that any perpetual calendar chronograph from Patek Philippe will always be a collectible watch and a sound investment. It may go through dips and turns where the interest may wane, but the history of the manufacture producing these watches is just so deep and strong, with the name Patek Philippe and the term perpetual calendar chronograph so heavily entwined, that I doubt it will ever change.
The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5270P is priced at £143,230. For more information, visit the Patek Philippe website.