Editor’s note: This Hands-on Review of the Patek Philippe 5905/1A has been photographed with the assistance of J Farren-Price Sydney. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
What is it
We have just gone hands-on with two calendar complication watches, the Patek Philippe 5212A and the Breguet Classique 7337. May as well make this a trio: the Patek Philippe 5905/1A is perhaps one of the best executions of the colour green and legibility on a calendar complication from any brand, courtesy the beauty of the almost oversized aperture displays that are both symmetric and restrained. The duality of larger-than-life personality with subdued refinement is what best describes the Patek Philippe 5905/1A.
Announced on 14 October 2021, the Patek Philippe 5905/1A in the ‘precious material’ of steel retails for 86’959 AUD — though last I checked, the grey market prices on Chrono24 were between 119’126 AUD to 272’165 AUD — so prepare to pay more. It follows the platinum model ref. 5905P-001 (with a blue dial) from 2015 and the rose gold model ref. 5905R-001 (with a brown dial) from 2019.
Continues the brand’s legacy, having patented the annual calendar complication back in 1996 with the reference 5035.
The Patek Philippe 5905/1A also continues the brand’s push for green dials this year, most notably seen in the Nautilus.
J Farren-Price Sydney, 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299)
Who is the Patek Philippe 5905/1A For
Courtesy the combination of the colour green, the material of steel, the branding of Patek, the rarity of Nautilus or Aquanaut, and the somewhat obscure connection to the ‘Conor McGregor Ireland Weir & Sons edition’ from 2020, the Patek Philippe 5905 will be most sought after by those who wish to tick off any of the above boxes. If supply and demand wasn’t at play, I would say that the Patek Philippe 5905/1A is an elegant yet sporty watch for anyone — with relevant (at RRP) financial means — who would love to own a complication by the brand that ‘invented’ it in the first place.
Basic Specs of the Patek Philippe 5905/1A
The Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 features the Caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H which is an automatic-winding mechanical movement developed and manufactured in-house measuring 33mm x 7.68mm. The movement comprises 402 components, 37 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), and provides a min. 45 and max. 55-hour power-reserve.
It is equipped with a traditional column wheel with a vertical disk-type clutch rather than a toothed-wheel horizontal clutch. Under the hood one can also find the use of a Gyromax balance, a Spiromax balance spring, and the presence of a stereotypically finished Patek unidirectional winding 21K gold central rotor. If you are someone like me who usually can not wear watches without a running second’s hand, it’s also comforting to note that use of the vertical disk-type clutch allows for the timer’s seconds hand to also function as a smooth ‘running’ seconds hand. And if we are talking about personal likes and dislikes, then some of you may not appreciate the lack of a hacking feature.
Patek Philippe 5905/1A – The Hands-on Experience
When we think of bracelets, usually more common tool watches from brands such as Rolex and Omega first come to mind. Unless we are talking about the integrated bracelet game. Then it’s models like Nautilus and Royal Oak. But somehow, the first thing you notice on the Patek Philippe 5905/1A is the mammoth bracelet; it’s big, bold and brash, defying norms to showcase its extrovert personality. The Aquanaut Reference 5167/1A inspired three-link integrated bracelet also happens to be very comfortable to wear and as one would expect, very nicely finished with a mixture of satin brushed center links and polished outer surfaces playing hide and seek with light. It’s voluminous no doubt, but lends that commanding presence to the watch package.
The next thing one notices is the visual integration of an annual calendar, a 60-minute flyback chronograph and a sector-style dial on a mesmerising green dial. The Patek Philippe 5905/1A is one of those watches that definitely make you sit up and take notice; think of the Patek Philippe 5905/1A as having the horological presence of the cinematic equivalent of someone like John Wayne; when both enter a room, people will take notice.
And given I personally root for big date apertures, the symmetrically balanced apertures in the Patek Philippe 5905 for day, date and month from 10 to 2 appeal. The central date aperture and the overall dial composition also reminds me of some of the Ulysse Nardin San Marco watches from the turn of the century, particularly the ref. 343-22.
I like the contrast between the sunburst main dial and the fine azurage treatment of the sub-dial; observe carefully, and the sector-style dial is divided up neatly, with each section drawing attention to the required areas. I also like the use of facetted appliqué indices, that capture the light and shine beautifully, aiding its legibility.
They also remind me of the Blancpain Leman series watches with Roman numerals, a set of watches that in this review’s opinion are on the best cognition of sporty with elegance with legibility.
Another small detail I appreciate is the use of rectangular pushers rather than pump-style pushers that complement the design of the three apertures at the top of the dial.
Generally date disc wheels not matching the dial colour can appear jarring, but in the case of the Patek Philippe 5905/1A, the use of the generic white colour helps tie-in the various elements on the dial quite nicely: the date wheel, the branding at 12, the ‘Swiss Made’ lettering at 6, the hand in the counter at 6, the numerals at 6, the ‘day’ part of the discreet day/night indicator on the 60-minute chronograph sub-dial at 6, and the peripheral track are all in white. It’s like a beautiful olive green forest — that ranges from a lighter chirpier teal to a darker brooding green under certain lighting conditions — forms the basis of some snow to peek through the crevices, gently reminding us of the beauty of nature through contrast.
As for the wearing experience, on my 16.25cm wrist, the Patek Philippe 5905/1A’s dimensions of 42mm diameter (with 45mm reading with the crown), 14.13mm case thickness, the 50.4mm lug-to-lug spacing along with 22mm lug interhorn spacing and the 53mm bracelet endlink-to-endlink distance all point to the same thing: it’s a bit big for those with slim wrists. Unlike the Patek Philippe 5212A that fits beautifully on slim wrists courtesy the reading of 40mm x 10.79mm x 48mm, the Patek Philippe 5905/1A with its voluptuous bracelet and bold dial is designed for those with larger wrists.
Owing to the fairly curved lugs — which by the way from the side profile look quite smashing courtesy the cut-out style scalloped grooves — the Patek Philippe 5905/1A still doesn’t feel over-hanging on my wrist or anything, but in person, feels like it belongs on someone more well fed.
That’s All Folks!
The Patek Philippe 5905/1A is one of those timepieces that you don’t think you need in your collection until you strap it on. The oversized sub-dial at 6 throws a tone of asperity yet the oversized apertures on the top of the dial reel in the harshness by inducing a very elegant aesthetic. Like I said earlier, there is a duality to the timepiece; the Patek Philippe 5905/1A is filled with elements that both contrast and complement each other.
With its overdose of sunburst olive green color and clean ultra-clean display, the Patek Philippe 5905/1A with a flyback chronograph and Annual Calendar is one watch that many others aspire to be. And oh, did I mention it’s in steel?
To find out more about the Patek Philippe 5905/1A and other PP timepieces, please head to their website here, or visit their authorised retailer J Farren-Price Sydney at 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299). All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.