If you think of an ultra-classic, almost conservative but also emblematic watch of Patek Philippe (and don’t mention the Nautilus… today we’re talking high-end watchmaking), it would certainly take the shape of a Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Born in 1941 with the reference 1518, this combination of complications is clearly a hallmark of the brand and the current version of this watch, the 5270, is one of the most traditional models made by Patek… Well, it was, until this year. Because now, with the new 5270P-014, gone are the days of the restrained silver or dark blue dials. Now, it’s time for the 4th generation of Patek’s perpetual calendar chronograph and it’s not the conservative watch you’ve come to expect anymore. It’s bold, it’s colourful, it has a new dial layout, and in fact, it’s almost as if this new deep green gradient and lacquered dial was part of an entirely new watch.
The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 5270, a watch born in 2011, is the worthy successor of the reference 1518, the reference 2499, the reference 3970 and the reference 5970 – one of the most desirable lineages of the entire watch industry, to be honest. As we’ve explained in this in-depth article, there have been until now 3 generations of 5270. The first generation was launched in 2011 with a white gold case and a silver brushed dial and black-oxidized gold markers/hands. It featured a rather simple outer scale, with minutes and a precision seconds track (no tachymeter but a discordant 1/5th of a second scale). The second generation was introduced in 2013. It came first in white gold with a silver opaline dial, and in 2014 it will be joined by a white gold version with a brushed blue dial. Hands and markers were back to classic white gold and the brand added a tachymeter scale on the periphery of the dial… which resulted in an oddity, the so-called “chin” (a strange depression on the external track at 6 o’clock, that goes around the date subdial) and a still that 1/5th of a second track (with a 4hz movement…).
In 2015, Patek Philippe introduced the 3rd generation reference 5270, with a dial now free of the “chin” and with a better defined (yet still quite busy) track on the periphery, still with tachymeter but now with a partially cut scale at 6 o’clock. Better but not ideal. It will be released in multiple editions; 5270G-018 white gold with silvery opaline dial, 5270G-019 white gold with blue sunburst dial, 5270R-001 rose gold with silvery opaline dial being all launched in 2015. Three years later, we’ll have two new models, the stunning salmon/platinum 5270P-001 and the rose gold on bracelet 5270/1R-001 with a black dial. In 2020, Patek will launch the 5270J-001 in yellow gold with silvery opaline dial. As you can see, most are traditional combinations of colours and materials.
Meet the 4th Generation of patek 5270
While the basics haven’t been touched – understand case, proportions and, of course, the superb hand-wound chronograph movement – the 4th generation of Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph changes some details of the dial, like its predecessors. And in fact, it’s almost as if the brand was coming back to the initial recipe of the 1st generation, with a clean dial without a tachymeter scale. But if you look closely at the new green 5270P, you’ll see that there are yet some more updates.
The most important thing, taking apart the brilliant colour, is the outer scale. Indeed, on this 5270P-014 it comes back to a simple combination of minutes and precision second track (once again, there are 5 divisions per second, which doesn’t match the 4Hz frequency). This also means that there is no chin, depression or cutout in the track at 6 o’clock, as it sits lower than the date sub-dial. And that might seem like a detail, but visually, it’s a very important one in terms of balance.
More updates are to be seen on the dial of this new 5270P. The sub-dials for the small seconds and 30-minute counter, for instance, rely on so-called railroad tracks, something that was already used in the second and third generations, however, the internal design has been cleaned to the max here. In the same vein, the font of all the sub-dials is now much more modern and sans-serif, giving a more contemporary and far cleaner vibe to the dial.
Finally, the hands and applied markers have been changed too. All 5270 watches were, until now, equipped with leaf-shaped hands for the hours and minutes. The new green 5270P-014 features stylized faceted hands for the time and classic baton hands in white for the subsidiary indications. Finally, the applied markers follow the style of the hands, being faceted with a diamond-shaped tip.
What doesn’t change is the display, which couldn’t be more traditional for a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. The division of the indications is still the same, with a chronograph composed of a central seconds hand and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. The perpetual calendar relies on two windows for the day and the month, a date by hand at 6 o’clock with the moon phase in the middle and two circular apertures framing it, with a day-night indicator and leap year.
A striking green gradient dial
Times are changing. As Rebecca explained in her article on the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time 5326G, the brand isn’t the conservative high-end watchmaker we’ve come to expect in the past. If the production of the watches is still top-notch, the design language, the philosophy of the watches and the actual clientele have evolved drastically. Thierry Stern is breathing new life into the brand’s collections. He is speaking to a younger generation of collectors who actually wear their watches, and not anymore paired with a fine tailored-made suit of grey flannel, but with jeans and sneakers. And this evolution of the 5270 is clearly in tune with the tastes of a new generation of Patek Philippe clients who want something less conservative, more striking, more fun actually. And you know what… I kind of like it!
The main object of the crime (for some) or desirable element (for others) in this new Patek Philippe 5270P-014 is this absolutely stunning and fascinating dark green, gradient, glossy dial paired with pure-white scales and tracks that highly contrast with the background. It’s bold, it’s fresh, it completely changes the 5270, a watch that has been on the restrained side for more than 10 years (relatively speaking of course, but you get the idea). This dial is vibrant, colourful, and playful. It catches the light and attention like never before in this model. And clearly, that was a fine idea to come back to the simpler and cleaner layout of the 1st generation, as the combination of this colour with the complex tracks of previous editions would have been extremely loud. Here, it certainly isn’t the quietest dial around but it feels balanced.
I’m sure this polarizing dial will be hated by some long-time collectors. It marks a rupture with the previous editions of this watch, no doubt. It’s also a sign of evolution for the brand. Thierry Stern is now behind the wheel and he wants to make clear that the current and future collections are not your traditional daddy-like Patek anymore. This doesn’t remove anything from the overall refinement of the watch, or its exquisite execution – this dial is, without a doubt, superbly crafted – but it simply is a different approach. And altogether, it almost feels like this 5270P-014 could come with a new reference number. The only thing I’m not entirely sure about is the glossy black alligator strap, which feels a bit outdated and overdone in this already striking context. But, after all, it’s just a strap and that can be changed easily. And of course, there’s this discordant seconds track (again!)
That being said, the fundamentals of the 5270 are intact. As such, it retains its typical Patek case – made of 950 platinum – with its concave bezel, its slender and elongated stepped lugs and a 41mm diameter. The height, knowing the complexity of the movement, is also fairly controlled at 12.4mm. Sapphire crystals are found on both sides but note that the watch is delivered with an additional solid caseback. And being a platinum Patek, it features a small diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock.
Mechanically, the Calibre CH 29‑535 PS Q is still part of the show. This hand-wound chronograph has a traditional architecture, with a column wheel and a horizontal clutch. It also features a QP module on top. Operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, it can – with the chronograph disengaged – store between 55 to 65 hours of power reserve. The Gyromax balance is paired with a hairspring with a Breguet terminal curve. It comprises no fewer than 456 immaculately finished parts. It is covered by the Patek Philippe Seal, meaning high standards and strict quality control exerted in the manufacturing of every single component of the watch with rigorous standards of form, function, and accuracy.
Availability & Price
Availability is a question with a complex answer these days. While, on paper, the Patek Philippe 5270P-014 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Green Dial is now available for orders, this is clearly not a watch you’ll easily get. Consider this a dream/grail watch, something that its EUR 189,500 price tag won’t contradict.
For more details, please visit patek.com.