While Patek Philippe’s reference 5270 is not one of the Swiss watchmaker’s most difficult-to-find models, its latest introduction of the 5270P in platinum with a golden opaline or “salmon dial” might be a game changer for this reference. It has generated enough talk to elicit hyperbole as strong as a modern holy grail to more conservative assessments, such as “the best of Baselworld 2018.” The 5270P ($187,110) perpetual calendar chronograph is not a piece for which a collector must submit an application in order to purchase—the process required by Patek Philippe to acquire top complications like split-second chronographs and minute repeaters, which are typically bought by collectors sight unseen. But as a grand complication, the timepiece will be produced in small numbers worldwide with only a handful of retailers receiving the timepiece in the U.S.
The 5270 forbears the 1518, the first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph—one of the most desirable production complicated watches of the 20th century and a true holy grail—as well as the 2499, the 3970, and the 5970. Released in white gold in 2011, followed by a rose-gold version in 2015, the 5270’s introduction in platinum, the ultimate metal, with the addition of a salmon dial has taken it to new heights. Its soft blackened gold Arabic numerals, from 10 to 2, add a contemporary touch to a traditional face and are encircled by a tachymeter scale on the circumference of the dial. The day and month indicators are located at 12 o’clock, with the analog date with moonphase indication at six o’clock. The design of the moonphase and date does away with the dip of the date numbers into the tachymeter track that previously created a “chin” in the circumference of the scale at six o’clock on the 5270G. The lower subdial still breaks into the scale, but the track has been eliminated beneath it. The dial also features the seconds at nine o’clock with a 30-minute counter at three o’clock. Just beneath these counters are leap year and day-night indicators.
But the beauty of this timepiece goes deeper than its eye-catching face. The 5270P features the caliber CH 29-535 PS Q—a movement that boasts six patented chronograph innovations and was developed entirely in-house at Patek Philippe. The expert craftsmanship of the dial can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, which can be interchanged with a platinum back provided with the watch.
The movement features 55 to 65 hours of power reserve. A chocolate-brown alligator strap perfectly accents the 5270P’s salmon dial and features a platinum fold-over clasp that wears beautifully on the wrist. While some may feel the size of a 5270 wears a bit too large at 41 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm in height, a face like this needs a little more room to show off.