BY JOVAN KRSTEVSKI
When we think of the watchmaking powerhouse Patek Philippe, we don’t usually think of a gem-set watch, as Patek Philippe is best known for its sports watch collections. However, that doesn’t mean that the brand isn’t capable of stepping into the game of highly-complicated gem-set watches, granted it’s far from their first foray, Patek Philippe is one of the cornerstones of this extravagant niche in watchmaking. Now in a year where it appears that gem sets are taking over as the new market trend, Patek Philippe has just released two new versions of its classic paired complication, the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5271/11P, which is encrusted with blue sapphires, and the Ref. 5271/12P, which is set with blood-red rubies.
The two models actually follow the evolutions found on the green 5270P presented earlier this year in March; they have dials with a graduated finish in matching colors. The dials feature a glossy lacquered finish to complement the dazzle of the case, and the lacquered gradient dials beautifully match the sapphires or rubies on the case. Patek Philippe artisans have set 58 baguette-cut gemstones on both the bezel and the lugs, with an additional 22 baguette-cut stones on the folding clasp; this makes the whole gem-setting a total of 4.11 carats across the entire watch.
In contrast with their predecessor the ref. 5271P, the new gem-set models do away with the tachymeter scale as well as the “chin” found on the older model, creating a cleaner, more balanced and modern look. Thus, a railroad-style outer track is found on the outer periphery of the dial. The dial is beautifully balanced and legible, and it is completed with hands in the vein of faceted dauphine hands.
Both the Ref. 5271/11P and Ref. 5271/12P are constructed in platinum cases, measuring 41 mm x 12.7 mm in size. The case offers a water resistance of 30 meters. Patek Philippe’s own house-made Cal. CH 29-535 PS Q movement powers both the new models. Patek Philippe’s first manual-wind chronograph movement features traditional construction with a column wheel and horizontal clutch. With a pulsation of 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz), it offers 55–65 hours of power reserve.
Patek Philippe models Ref. 5271/11P and Ref. 5271/12P are completed on alligator leather straps with folding clasps that are set with 22 baguette-cut rubies or sapphires. Available now at Patek Philippe boutiques and retailers, the prices are set at $348,930, which is fairly reasonable considering the number of gems and lapidary involved.
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