In 1856, Patek Philippe produced its first chronograph in 1856 in the form of a pocket watch. The Genevan manufacture’s long history with regard to the timing complication reached a new zenith in 2005, when it began producing its on in-house chronograph movements. Following steady drops of new collections throughout the year, the brand now presents a trio of updates on existing chronographs accompanied by a perpetual calendar, an annual calendar, or a world-time function.
Combining a split seconds calendar and a perpetual calendar, Ref. 5204 has been available in two rose gold versions since 2016. One features a silvered opaline dial (Ref. 5204R-001) and the other, a black opaline dial (Ref. 5204/1R). Also featuring a case in 40mm pink gold with a concave bezel and two-tier lugs, the latest version comes with a sunburst slate-grey dial and strap in a matching hue. Both the applied hour-markers and Dauphine hands in rose gold are lumed.
Visible through a sapphire exhibition caseback, the calibre CHR 29-535 PS Q powers the Ref. 5204R-011. The manual-winding movement boasts seven patents, including six for the chronograph and one for the split-seconds mechanism.
Now, here’s an unusual one. The latest version of Patek’s Ref. 5901 is housed in steel — not something you see very often from the brand, especially outside its sports models. Combining a flyback chronograph with an annual calendar, this 42mm model was first launched in platinum (blue dial) in 2015, and then in rose gold (brown dial) in 2019.
A dial in a vibrant sunburst olive green sets the stage for indications such as the day/date/month apertures that are arranged in an arc. Again visible through a sapphire caseback, the automatic calibre CH 28-520 QA 24H combines a column wheel with a disc-type vertical clutch instead of a toothed-wheel horizontal clutch. According to Patek Philippe, this feature virtually eliminates wear and tear, and allows the chronograph hand to be used as a permanently running seconds hand.
Again demonstrating that green remains the colour du jour in horology, the hue takes on a stunning form with a hand-guilloche centre in the latest edition of the popular Ref. 5930. To match the dial, the 24 cities of the world-time display and the 30-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock have also been rendered in green.
The 39.5mm timepiece is housed in a platinum case that has been fully polished by hand. It’s handsomely matched by wing-type lugs that were common to mid-century world-time watches. Of course, it also has that other secret signature that characterise all platinum Patek watches: a diamond set in the case at 6 o’clock.
Powered by the automatic calibre CH 28-520 HU, the watch also features a flyback chronograph. As mentioned previously, it pairs a column wheel with a disc-type vertical clutch that minimises wear and tear, allowing the seconds hand to be used as a permanent running seconds hand. A good idea indeed, considering how many chronograph owners seem to not actually use the complication.