New for 2011 is the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref 5270. The Perpetual Calendar Chronograph has now been an important part of the brand's portfolio for seventy years, and many discerning connoisseurs agree that it is one of the most collectable watches - ever. So although Patek Philippe do not normally shout about new releases, preferring a more discreet word-of-mouth hush, naturally this new addition unveiled at BaselWorld 2011 deserved a bit of a fuss, albeit an understated and very well behaved kind of fuss.
In 2009 Patek Philippe unveiled the CH 29-535 PS, a new in-house chronograph calibre featuring a classical column wheel and clutch mechanism with re-designed chronograph wheels providing reduced friction. The brand described the calibre as "the most advanced of all traditional chronograph movements" - few in the industry challenged this statement. The Ref 5270 uses this calibre with the addition of 182 parts and two years of development for the Perpetual Calendar module. This manually wound mechanical movement provides the power for eleven on the dial indications, yet it has a power reserve of 65 hours. This is micro engineering at its finest.
Patek Philippe do not "tweak" their dial designs, they refine them. For the Ref 5270 this means slightly lower subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock and the addition of a perfectly placed day/night indicator on the left and a numerical leap year indicator on the right. The black oxidized white gold markers and hands are in perfect contrast with the silvery opalescent dial. The 18 carat white gold case of the piece measures 41mm and is supplied with both a sapphire crystal caseback and potentially personalised solid caseback. Water resistance is to 30m .................as if you'd dare let even a droplet of water come anywhere near it.