Patek Philippe 5207 Grand Complication

Patek Philippe’s famously sober designs are at once a reflection of Geneva’s Calvinist culture and an expression of self-confidence on the part of a company that is known for mechanical expertise. This expertise, which is embodied in the accuracy of Patek Philippe’s tourbillons, the sonority of its minute repeaters, and the reliability of its perpetual calendars, can be fully appreciated in a new timepiece, the Patek Philippe 5207 Grand Complication (212.218.1240, www.patek.com). The watch features the base movement from the firm’s 3939 minute repeater/tourbillon, but the perpetual-calendar module is a completely new development that makes two improvements to the complication. The month, day, date, and leap year are shown in apertures rather than in the confusing array of subdials common to many models. And unlike conventional indicators that can take hours to register a new date, these change instantaneously at midnight. True to longstanding tradition, the somewhat minimal exterior belies the sophistication and rarity of the movement inside. But given the current cautious financial climate, this particular style seems increasingly appropriate.