Patek Philippe New Grand Complications 2020
Patek Philippe never stops enchanting watch enthusiasts, by introducing the 2020 new Grand Complications, a class of ultra-complicated timepieces the Swiss manufacture is historically renowned for since its foundation in 1839. The brand's expertise in mastering the most significant complications began with the reveal of a quarter-minute repeater followed by several complicated watches up to the so-called "super complications" crafted either as a pocket watch with alarm and astronomical indications or wristwatch, whose forerunner was the 1925 perpetual calendar. The pinnacle of Patek's decades of innovation and craftsmanship came in 2014 when the brand introduced the Grandmaster Chime. Showcasing 20 different functions, it is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch ever conceived.
Patek Philippe has some of the most extensive collections of ultra-complicated timepieces. They combine Minute Repeater, perpetual calendar, astronomical display, and tourbillon, crafted to meet the strict criteria set by the prestigious Geneva-based Maison, including size optimization, to guarantee sophistication and ease of use too. Among the most "common" and recently released complications, we can't forget mentioning the Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740-1G and the 5320G Perpetual Calendar instead. Let's take a look at the three new Patek Philippe Grand Complications 2020.
Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.5303R-001
The Minute Repeater is the mechanical complication par excellence, and Patek Philippe has set itself as a benchmark since the first Minute Repeater pocket watch appeared, in 1845. This complication is a brand's hallmark, with several Minute Repeater timepieces introduced along the way, like the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon or the glorious Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime featuring five ringtones, two of which are world's first in their class. This specific collection is exhaustive, yet Patek adds a Minute Repeater whose striking mechanism is visible through the dial's side.
First revealed in 2019, as a world premiere crafted in just 12 pieces, during the Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019, the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 5303 joins the Patek Philippe's catalog as a standard model. It sets itself apart from the competition thanks to a no dial layout that allows you to admire the Minute Repeater mechanism, including hammers and gongs, and the Tourbillon cage. The movement design, the R TO 27 PS caliber ensuring 48 hours of maximum power reserve, is impressive given the contrast between moving parts and rose gold plate, whose hollowed and carved out elements mimic a skeletonized movement.
Detailing is top-notch; the main plate has Côtes de Genève décoration, the curved inner surfaces have pèrlage decoration instead, and the hammers showcase exquisite circular satin finish. The black lacquered gold hands and black hour circle with minute markers printed in white and golden powdered dots contrast the rose gold plate. The case is 42mm across, and 12,13mm thick, and offers an uncommon esthetic take thanks to a large rounded and polished bezel, while white gold engravings featuring a "leaf-motif" decoration embellish the case side and lugs. The Minute Repeater gold sliding lever, placed on the left-hand side of the case, showcases the same decoration. The same is for the large white gold ring surrounding the movement, visible through the transparent case back.
Sadly, we cannot enjoy listening to the chime, the hallmark of any Patek Philippe minute repeater, whose tone is tested and approved by President Thierry Stern himself. The Patek Philippe Tourbillon Minute Repeater Ref. 5303 retails for 600,000 Swiss Francs.
Patek Philippe Rattrapante Chronograph Ref.5370P-011
The second chapter is the Rattrapante Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011, coming with a new blue Grand Feu enamel dial. Reissued from a 1923 historical model, the Ref. 5370 initially debuted in 2015 as a 41mm platinum wristwatch with black enamel dial. With this new option, Patek Philippe joins the longstanding Grand Feu enamel dials making tradition, whose specific process allows the brightness and color to remain unchanged.
Beauty comes with high readability, ensured by the slim hands coated with luminescent material, and the white gold Breguet-style numerals. The case is in platinum and polished. The bezel is concave, whereas the case side is hollowed out and satin-finished. The strap comes in a shiny night blue alligator with matching folding clasp in platinum carrying the Patek logo.
The see-through case-back allows you to admire the CHR 29-535 PS 1 hand-winding manufacture caliber, boasting a 65-hour maximum power reserve, split-seconds chronograph function with double column wheel, horizontal clutch, 30 minutes counter, and small seconds.
Although the caliber looks "classic," it comes equipped with several cutting-edge technical solutions covered by a patent. Additionally, the watch comes with a solid platinum case back cover, to give the timepiece a more traditional look and allow customization through dedicated engravings. The Patek Philippe Rattrapante Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 retails for 242,662 Euros.
Patek Philippe Chronograph with perpetual calendar Ref.5270J-001
Last but not least, Patek has released the Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5270J-001. Paying tribute to the never-forgotten Patek Philippe Ref.1518 presented in 1941, the chronograph with perpetual calendar Ref. 5270 debuted in 2018 with a platinum case and gold opaline dial, and in rose gold with matching "Goutte" styled gold bracelet. The watch's style is timeless. Nonetheless, Patek enlarges the collection with the classiest option available, a yellow gold variant with dark brown alligator strap.
The 41mm round case is polished, showcases a large rounded bezel, and godron-styled lugs. Two rectangular push-piece buttons surround the grooved crown with embossed Patek logo. The silver-opaline dial features applied baton markers and yellow gold polished leaf hands (the chronograph central hand is sandblasted instead). On the outer ring, there's a tachymeter scale and "chemin de fer" minute ring. The perpetual calendar functions are displayed between a register at six, including date and moon phases, with the day of the week and month housed in a double window at twelve. Finally, two tiny round openings provide day or night, and leap year cycles display, respectively.
The caliber CH 29-535 PS Q was the first chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar entirely developed and manufactured by Patek Philippe when it first appeared in 2011. It offers column wheel, horizontal clutch, and manual winding, paired to a stunningly compact calendar mechanism, measuring 1,65mm in thickness and comprising 182 parts. The Chronograph, alone, includes six patented innovations.
The movement is visible through the transparent case back. However, the watch is delivered with an interchangeable yellow gold case back, too; I guess to recreate a more "vintage" feel other than allowing full customization. The Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Ref.5270J-001 retails for 155,848 Euros. For additional information, please visit the official Patek Philippe website: www.patek.com.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Patek Philippe)
Francesco Falcone @Horbiter®