In everything we do, there are always definitive markers when we know we’ve achieved something or crossed a line. It could be arbitrary or iconic but whatever it is, it is always a well delineated level that present a certain significance. Whether it is graduating from university or crossing into the C-Suite, these are milestones we place and take pride in. For watch collecting, it is hard to argue that for many, one of those said levels is the Patek Philippe Minute Repeater.
With trends that come and go and with sport models like the Nautilus and Richard Mille’s hogging all of the attention currently, the Patek Philippe Minute Repeater has always been one constant for the most ardent and accomplished collector.
With the context being set, Patek Philippe quietly but ceremoniously released the Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5374G in a new configuration at its annual Rare Handcrafts Exhibition in Geneva this year.
First released in 2016 in a platinum case and a black dial, the 2020 version presents a less austere aesthetic, cased in white gold and with an oceanic blue grand feu enamel dial. This tone of blue has been used by Patek more frequently lately and it is a great tone that deviates slightly from the trendier darker blues we have become used to.
Sized at 42mm, I do think that it is slightly larger than what I’d prefer, with the movement at the back being much smaller than the case. That being said, there are fantastic aspects to the watch including applied white gold Breguet markers and a fantastically subtle case that has been constructed both ergonomically and proportionately well. The bezel is concaved while the side of the case is recessed to both place the minute repeating slider and to slim the case up a bit. I do think these characteristics help to lessen the hefty 42mm size.
Despite the sizing, the rest of the watch remains faithfully classical with nothing outlandish- as it should be. Revolution over evolution is always a tenet for great and iconic design and for Patek Philippe, this 5374G is no different.
While any minute repeater is considered something of a feat, as someone who has heard his fair share, not all repeaters are created equal. Many are in fact- too soft, too fast or with a tone that is not very pleasing. With the cal. R 27 Q, this is not the case, as it comes equipped with cathedral gongs that are double-length and circle the calibre twice, resulting in a louder and more pleasant tone.
While a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater remains a pipe-dream for many of us, that is beside the point. Much like how as we placed posters of Lamborghinis and Ferraris on our walls as kids, the Patek Philippe Minute Repeater should be seen as such. Who knows, one day perhaps.
The Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar ref. 5374G-010 is price on request. For more information visit patek.com