As we wait for Baselworld 2020 releases, here’s the most grail worthy watch of 2019 – Patek Philippe Chronograph 5172G-001
There is just something about the current 2019 Patek Philippe Chronograph reference 5172G-001 that sets the heart racing. The ever-classic blue on white gold look is simply cool and luxurious at the same time. Patek Philippe has taken a sports complication and turned it into a dress watch wonder. This is simply one of those watches that once you put on your wrist, you will not desire to take it off.
Patek Philippe introduced us to the manually wound chronograph with caliber CH 29-535 PS movement in 2010 with the release of the first classic movement entirely developed and manufactured by Patek Philippe (ref. 5170).
Even though the new 2019 chronograph — that replaces 5170P-001 chronograph (in platinum) released in 2017 — in a fully polished white gold case (reference: 5172G-001) follows the same principles of design and movement of its now discontinued predecessors, it is a very different watch.
If you observe carefully, aesthetically, the present 5172 series stands out from the original 5170 series.
The original 5170J-001 from 2010 sported a yellow gold case, an ivory (almost white mixed with yellow) coloured dial, gold applied Roman hour marker numerals at 6 & 12’o clock, golden hour/minute hands, very different to 5172 internal sub-dials and external chronograph pushers, a different tachymeter scale, and also the dial text ‘GRADUE POUR 15 PULSATIONS’.
The new 2019 model features a new, redesigned look: a fully polished white-gold case that beautifully frames a striking blue varnished dial and introduces round guilloched pushers and unique three-tier lugs.
It features gold applied Arabic numeral hour markers (with luminescent coating) that were first introduced in 2013 with the reference 5170G-001 and continued through until 2018 with the reference 5170R-001 (introduced in 2016).
There is again a notable difference though: these hour markers are italicised giving them a more vintage appeal. The 2019 model sees them in a more contemporary and sporty look by not having them italicised.
Since this is a review of the current model, we can’t really delve in-depth into the features of the previous models, but would still like to mention as couple more notable distinctions that set the 5172G-001 apart.
Patek Philippe had introduced the text ‘Tachymetre’ on the dial of its 5170 chronographs for the first time in 2017, but has removed that from the present version. In-fact, it is amazing to note the subtle differences in the tachymetre reading scales on all 5170 versions.
But the present version is even different to its most recent predecessor despite having the similar blue dial.
Notable differences are:
- Positioning of ‘Swiss Made’ dial text
- Design of sub-dials,
- Hour/minute hands
- Hour markers
- The aforementioned tachymetre scale layout
- The pushers
- And even the strap material that is now calf leather
And while there was absolutely nothing wrong with the earlier incarnations, the latest 2019 chronograph is simply more sporty and contemporary, and simply manages to be one of the best dress chronographs we have seen.
That timeless charm
But just because the watch has contemporary features, doesn’t mean it no longer retains that elegant, timeless charm.
Patek Philippe always manages to balance the fine line between contemporary and old-school, and here it has managed to achieve this with the use of cambered sapphire-crystal ‘box’ glass extends across the bezel and the three-tiered lugs lending it with subtle vintage touches.
Then there is the manually wound movement part that again harps on the vintage feel.
There is something so divine about using a manually wound chronograph that’s hard to explain. The automatic ones are great for your typical sports and racing watches. A dress sports watch like this one, it needs to be felt in your hands everyday, and as you wind the watch you can appreciate the beauty of its design. Then you turn to the case-back to appreciate the craftsmanship of its makers by admiring the intricately detailed finissage (French for finishing) of bridges with chamfered and polished edges and Geneva striped decorations.
The dial is also sporting an all-new look with a blue varnished background, the textured look is almost reminiscent of a beautiful starry night, which when contrasted with white-gold applied Arabic numerals and matching hour/minute hands, makes this watch a must have for anyone lucky enough to find and afford one.
A standout feature of this dial is the extremely clear legibility which is not diminished even in the dark due to the excessive use of lume.
The Arabic numerals have luminescent coating and the white-gold — baton-style with pointed tips — hour and minute hands are also luminescent. The sandblasted central chronograph hand is very sleek and adds further to the legibility.
Even though there is the chronograph complication on the dial, it is not busy.
Perhaps the use of white — transfer-printed — minute counter with its tachymeter scale that blends with the the two railway-track scales encircling the small seconds and the chronograph’s 30-minute counter has something to do with it. This white on blue look is always good for detailing.
The 3D effect
The sub-dials are ever so slightly recessed and concentric circle patterned. Then the way lume is filled in in the hands and hour markers, it is also slightly recessed. The applied numerals are raised a fair bit as well, and the sapphire crystal on top is ‘box-glassed’. All these features bring to the watch a nice three-dimensional effect.
You can’t really review a Patek Philippe watch without talking about the movements used.
Inside the heart of the Patek Philippe Chronograph reference 5172G-001 beats the caliber CH 29-535 PS chronograph movement that is notable for combining traditional architecture — column wheel, horizontal clutch and manual winding — with six patented innovations.
The latter includes optimised tooth profiles, improved adjustment of gear penetration, and self-adjusting reset hammers.
The movement itself is 29.6 mm in diameter with its height being 5.35 mm, uses a Breguet balance spring and comprises of 270 parts and beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h) allowing for a very decent min 65 hour power reserve (when the chronograph is not in play).
It is worn on a hand-stitched calfskin strap in a shade of navy blue to match the dial, with a white-gold fold-over clasp.
Oh, did we mention that the detailing of the guilloched chronograph pushers — chronograph start at 2’o clock and stop chronograph reset at 4‘o clock — is just mesmerising?
The 2019 The 2019 Patek Philippe Chronograph reference 5172G-001 in a white gold case is indeed a very handsome dress plus sports watch release. It’s got a very typical Patek look to it, seeped within the brand’s centuries old architectural design language. It is classically built in a very dressy manner.
The size of 41mm and thickness of only 11.45mm makes it very comfortable to wear for both men and women, and for anyone even under 16.5cm wrist size.
This helps give this watch a true place in our Fusion Friday list. Even though it’s designed for men, it’s also our His+Her list given it’s beautiful dial design and dimensions. This in-fact has all the markings of a grail watch and ranks as high as it can get on our Grail-o-meter.
The latest Patek Philippe Chronograph is beautiful, intricate, legible, complicated & elegant: simply put, the watch is a masterclass in blending dressy with sporty.
If you simply peruse the technical specifications, please head here to our Sneak Peek review.
Alternatively you can also check out our cool Infographic on this watch here.
To find out more about this and other Patek watches, visit the Patek website here.