Jewels & Time 2020: A New Take On The Patek Philippe Ref 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph
The world is forever in want of more Patek Philippe watches, and this year, horophiles are rewarded with three grand complications by the master of such complex creations. Case in point: the Ref 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph. Though a follow-up to the Ref 5370P from 2015, it is deserving of attention for this new rattrapante watch lives up to the standards of its extremely well-received predecessor in every way, but brings fresh appeal to the reference by way of a blue enamel dial. So, while it is sure to be yet another hit, what else makes it the notable collector’s piece it is?
Here are four other things you ought to know about this horological beauty.
1/4 On the face
On the dial are 18K white gold Breguet numerals, elegantly paired with leaf-shaped hands in the same precious material. Of note is the “email” marking at 6 o’clock, which actually is French for “enamel” and has nothing to do with your inbox.
2/4 Grand Feu enamel dial
Deceptively simple in its appearance, Grand Feu enamelling is actually a highly challenging decorative technique. It takes immense skill and patience to achieve that perfectly smooth, even and glossy dial finish that is the result of numerous applications of enamel and multiple firings in the kiln.
(Related: Introducing The First Patek Philippe Watch In 2020: A Rare Calatrava In Stainless Steel)
3/4 Inner beauty
Inside the 41mm case is the manually wound calibre CHR 29-535 PS—the same one found in the previous black-dial version of the Ref 5370P—which holds six patents for chronograph innovations, plus one for the rattrapante mechanism.
4/4 Seeing Double
In 1923, Patek Philippe unveiled its first rattrapante (split-seconds chronograph) and has since been recognised as a purveyor of this highly complex complication. A rattrapante chronograph allows one to measure two-time intervals by way of an additional chronograph seconds hand. Here, the two pushers on the side activate and stop the chronograph, while the rattrapante pusher that activates the additional seconds hand is integrated into the crown.
Editor says: Not that watch enthusiasts need a reminder on the superlative watchmaking skills the Patek Philippe team boasts, but this variant of the iconic split-seconds chronograph shows that the watchmaker doesn't do line extensions. Instead of, say, changing the case to a rose gold version, it invests time and effort into developing a Grand Feu enamel dial in a particular shade of blue. Never mind that it's more time-consuming and tedious to create such a dial. Patek will do so because it's Patek—and rightly so, too.
(Related: Rolex, Patek Philippe Ditch Baselworld To Create New Watch Fair)