Salmon are impressive fish, facing a substantial amount of danger throughout their lives. This “danger” applies primarily to the fact that they are on the menu for a broad variety of animals along the food chain. After all, salmon aren’t just nutritional (not to mention delicious) for humans alone.
Whether salmon qualifies as a delicacy is something that all gourmet food fans have their own opinion on. The fish frequently sells at a discount price, the level of quality varies hugely, and its enjoyment is pretty ordinary and fairly unexciting – just like the sight of salmon-coloured fashion statements. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that the dials of the Reference 5270P and 5372P are not described as “salmon-coloured” in official Patek Philippe jargon. Rather, their respective descriptions are “golden opaline” (Ref. 5270P) and “rose gold” (Ref. 5372P).
While the rest of the watch world occupies itself with the “salmon” dial trend – which Patek has pushed quite significantly with references similar to these two – both of these references can be seen as something very different. They represent the highest class of in-house watchmaking within the Stern family’s already highly exclusive range. A chronograph, plus perpetual calendar, plus a platinum case equals Patek Philippe watchmaking in the finest rose-red form imaginable. In fact, the pieces appear to be in a class of their own – but are they? Taking a closer look should reveal the answer.
The Reference 5270P
Firstly, the enthusiastic reception of the new models is nothing unusual for Patek Philippe. Even if we’re “only” seeing a new case material and different dial colours for an already known reference, this is considered a topic well worth discussing amongst collectors and enthusiasts. However, the level of euphoria surrounding the golden opaline, manual winding chronograph with perpetual calendar from 2018 is something unique, even by Patek standards.
The watch was largely heeded as “One of the highlights of Baselworld at the time!”, “Probably the most beautiful Patek Philippe in recent history!”, and “A game changer for the Ref. 5270!”.
The appeal of the 5270P
Many different things come together in this watch. For a long time, dials in rose-gold opalescent hues were reserved for the likes of limited editions, important clients, and their most special pieces. Think Eric Clapton’s Reference 3970, the Grandmaster Chime for the Only Watch auction, or the few examples of the 5070 produced for the Watch Art Grand Exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 2015. At Patek in particular, the colour comes with associations of absolute exclusivity. To use it in this form for a series model – even a platinum Grand Complication – is extraordinary.
By taking this step, Patek Philippe is therefore drawing an extra dose of attention to the Reference 5270. As a chronograph with perpetual calendar with a classic design (horizontal clutch, column wheel and manual winding), it is certainly a very typical complication combination, deeply rooted in the brand’s history. Yet, in the pre-“golden opaline” era, it was not as coveted as the manufacture grandees would certainly have wished.
Still, it is the first perpetual calendar chrono with a manufacture movement, the calibre CH29 535-PS Q. Nevertheless, many collectors consider the references 3970 (in production from 1986 to 2004) and 5970 (in production from 2004 to 2011) to be rarer. Furthermore, collectors see the dials with their arrangement of sub-indices to be more balanced. Therefore, collectors often regard these watches from past times to be more desirable overall.
The 5270P, however, is changing that perception quite a lot. For the first time, the dial uses Arabic numerals as well as indices. These blackened numerals, in combination with the gold opaline dial, result in a spectacular symbiosis of tradition and modernity.
Furthermore, the watch’s aesthetic doesn’t try to create a faux-vintage feel. Rather, it looks like the prototype of a Patek Philippe design code for the 21st century in the very best sense. With its 41 mm diameter and 12.4 mm height, the model is also larger than its predecessors. Nevertheless, it still wears beautifully on narrower wrists.
Reference 5270P: The question of price
Ever since its launch, the watch has been very much an object of desire, earning a place in the collections of many great Patek Philippe aficionados. In fact, Sylvester Stallone owns one, demonstrating another important attraction of the model on Instagram. In terms of value (the current retail price is 177,520 euros) and horological finesse, it is clearly a “dress watch” – however, it evidently wears just as well with a more relaxed look such as a lumberjack shirt.
With its many assets, the golden opaline 5270P-001 clearly stands out from the other available Reference 5270 models, which include a yellow-gold version with a silver dial, a yellow-gold version with a black dial and precious metal bracelet, and a platinum version with a black dial and baguette-diamond bezel. One can also assume that it is therefore also likely the most commercially successful model. Chrono24, for example, currently has around 35 offers for this model – more than for the other references.
Given that each concessionaire receives an average of two pieces per year, this suggests an annual production of 800 models. This can be considered a bestseller at this price level. Nevertheless, the watch is rare and of high collector value, not least because a new chronograph with perpetual calendar will likely replace it at some point in the not too far future. Additionally, if you look at the latest chronograph design (Reference 5172G), we can assume that its successor might (again) have round pushers instead of rectangular ones.
Even if you decide not to succumb to speculation, one thing remains impossible to deny. The 5270P-001 is certainly the most iconic version of a reference that, with its special manufacture movement, represents an vital piece of Patek Philippe history.
Could you ask for any more than a mono-pusher split-seconds chronograph with perpetual calendar? Equipped with a rose (champagne?!) gold dial with vertical satin finishing? This piece of craftsmanship, with a diameter of just 38.3 mm, also comes very close to the ideals of a bygone era in terms of its size. With a price of 517,871 Swiss francs, this is a piece for the most passionate, wealthy Patek collectors of all.
Following its initial introduction in 2017, this model also comes in blue. Working around the dial, a moonphase lies at 12 o’clock, the month and seconds are at 3 o’clock, the date is at 6 o’clock, and the 60-minute counter is at 9 o’clock. These sub-indices are the subject of heated debate amongst collectors. As excellent as their readability is, many consider them to be one or two times too large.
Anyone who knows the history of Patek will agree, as smaller sub-indices would, of course, be more classic. However, if you look at the watch in the here and now, the chosen proportions are certainly contemporary. The clear, blackened numerals in particular give the model (like the 5270P) a modern feel, which evidently doesn’t want to stay true to the past forever by obsessively following the popularity of eternal Patek fan favourites such as Breguet numerals.
Powering the watch is the manual winding CHR 27-525 PS Q. Previously, this movement was only for the cushion-shaped Reference 5951. Consisting of over 400 components, the calibre is considered a spectacular development by Patek watchmakers. It is so complex that each individual movement is assembled by just one watchmaker, across many hours. Any kind of “assembly line production” would be impossible.
The movement, with its Gyromax balance, is characterised by its delicate proportions. While the basic calibre is already considered the slimmest split seconds chronograph movement to have a column wheel regulating it, it grows slightly with the perpetual calendar function to a still-slim 7.3 mm. This fits into the 12.93 mm high platinum case with ease.
Reference 5372P-010: The question of price
A price of well over half a million Swiss francs is a statement even within the world of Patek Philippe. However, the justification for its price lies within the costs of developing the movement. Since the calibre, with its costly conception, is only created in small numbers, the selling price per piece has to rise accordingly. It is more delicate than, for example, the movement in the Reference 5204R. Furthermore, the additional technical effort required for the monopusher function naturally also has its price. This is (at least to some extent) the rational explanation.
At the same time, however, one should note that the Reference 5204R (split-seconds chronograph with perpetual calendar) costs 267,300 euros, and that the Reference 5370P (split-seconds chronograph) – costs 236,700 euros. So, for the price of one 5372P, you could buy two highly prized split-seconds chronograph alternatives at once. Furthermore, for half a million Swiss francs, you could also put together a pretty impressive personal collection. For example, the 5212A, the 5712/1A, the 5172G, the 5270P as well as the 6102P. But, of course, everyone has to choose their dream alternatives for themselves.
In the watch world – and at Patek Philippe in particular – it’s never just about price. It’s also about the highly individual value of a timepiece. In the case of the 5372, this aspect can hardly even be classified. It is one of the most outstanding watches to come out of a legendary manufacture. You have to ask yourself: What am I willing to invest in such a timepiece? What views do I have when looking at such a collector’s item? What do I feel when I think of this watch? No matter what your answers to these questions might be, it’s chronographs like this that contribute to the legend of Patek Philippe.
Watches for a rosy future
From Audemars Piguet and Grönefeld to A. Lange & Söhne, many manufactures are taking a liking to golden-opaline, rose-champagne coloured dials. Patek Philippe, however, probably has the greatest history in this field. Producing such dial colour shades in series -– at least by the company’s standards – is therefore not only enterprising, but also compels its steadily growing clientele to look back at the company’s history – a crucial part of brand image in the watchmaking industry.
The 5270P and the 5372P are therefore ambassadors for the entire horology house. They shine with such unabashed elegance that any talk of “salmon” seems almost inappropriate. After all, these two references shine in colours that are both unparalleled and incomparable.
|MODEL||Grandes Complications Split-Seconds Monopusher Chronograph Perpetual Calendar
Grandes Complications Chronograph Perpetual Calendar
Diameter: 38.3 mm
Height: 12.93 mm
Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 12.4 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||30 m (3 bar)
Rose gold, vertical satin finishing, old applied Breguet numerals, 18K gold dial plate.
Golden opaline, blackened gold applied numerals.
|STRAP/BRACELET||Shiny chocolate-brown alligator strap with square scales, fold-over clasp.
CHR 27‑525 PS Q
CH 29‑535 PS Q
With the chronograph disengaged: min. 38 hours – max. 48 hours.
With the chronograph disengaged: min. 55 hours – max. 65 hours.
3 Hz (21,600 vph)
4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Split-seconds monopusher chronograph, 60-minute counter, perpetual calendar, moonphase, day, month, leap year and day/night indication, date by hand, hours, minutes, small seconds.
Perpetual calendar, chronograph with central chronograph hand and instantaneous 30-minute counter, moonphase, day, month, leap year and day/night display in apertures, date by hand, hours, minutes, seconds.