For Baselworld 2019, Patek Philippe is discontinuing their lovely, yet slightly reflective, 5170P chronograph and replacing it with this new 5172G model. It runs on the same movement as its predecessor, but Patek has chosen to increase the case size from 39mm to 41mm. Additionally, new touches like rounded chronograph pushers, syringe hands (with lume!), and a calfskin strap give this model a character of its own.
Patek Philippe makes some of the most impressive chronographs in the world, and this is one of the staple pieces in their lineup, using the caliber CH 29-535 PS movement. As our David Bredan said, it’s the kind of movement that leaves “no room for differing tastes or arguments.” Patek obviously recognizes this by not touching the movement at all here.
The new white gold case measures 41mm wide and 11.45mm thick, compared to the outoing smaller and thinner 39.4mm wide, 10.9mm thick case. I’m not currently in the market for a $75,000 chronograph but I would consider the outgoing case size to be too small for my tastes. But beyond case size, Patek replaced the integrated chronograph pushers with rounded pushers which are arguably more in demand by current enthusiasts.
In fact, Patek Philippe uses the phrase “subtle vintage allure” on their website when discussing this watch. Along with the new pushers, the “box” sapphire crystal, new syringe-shaped hands, and refreshed arabic numeral hour indicators all work together to create this “allure” and quite successfully so. Cause to celebrate, however, is that the pursuit of this vintage allure didn’t come at the expense of more lume-neglect as the hands and hour markers appear to have ample coating.
It can be overlooked, but I cannot appreciate enough the decision to go with a calfskin leather strap over the somewhat stodgy and old-fashioned croc strap. The less distracting grain of the calfskin gives center stage to the color, which pairs beautifully with the white gold case and fold-over buckle.
Updating an old and established line can be risky business, especially for a brand with a following as ardent as Patek Philippe’s. Here, though, it seems Patek have used their many years of industry experience to make savvy choices. Improved functionality, a dash more diameter, and some astute aesthetic alterations make this one of the most desirable pieces of this fledgling fair. The Patek Philippe 5172G Chronograph will retail for €66,320. Learn more at patek.com