Venerable Swiss marque Patek Philippe is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of mechanical chronograph design. The brand’s chronograph offerings stretch all the way back to 1856, with split-seconds wrist chronographs appearing in the catalog as early as 1923. Despite this history of innovation, Patek Philippe has never offered a wrist-mounted chronograph capable of measuring 1/10-second intervals — until now. Released in a surprise announcement after the close of Watches and Wonders 2022, this new model brings one of the sportiest designs ever to the Calatrava platform and incorporates no less than seven patented innovations into its complex new in-house movement. The new Patek Philippe Ref. 5740P is an impressive blend of ornate movement work with a clean and eminently wearable design and stands as an attractive symbol of the brand’s enduring chronograph-building prowess.
While most exotic-complication designs tend to become large and unwieldy on the wrist, one of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P’s core principles is easy wearability. As such, the 950 platinum case measures in at a modest 41mm-wide and 13.68mm-thick. The Ref. 5470P’s overall silhouette follows the classic Calatrava pattern, but Patek Philippe gives this familiar design a far more modern and athletic character in images through subtle alterations and unique visual cues. The flowing case sides and slim downturned lugs are given a recessed cutout treatment here, both removing visual weight from the case design and presenting a contrasting brushed segment to break up the mostly polished case form on the wrist. Circular polished cabochons on the lug tips restore some visual weight to these elements, helping to give the light and dressy design a greater sense of solidity in images. The concave polished bezel also helps to give this simple platform a sense of depth, creating a highlight around the dial without the added visual mass of a traditional rounded smooth bezel. It’s the lone rectangular pusher at 2 o’clock, however, that hints at this watch’s sporting capability. Monopusher designs are something of a rarity in the current chronograph landscape, and Patek Philippe highlights this traditional form with characteristic understated elegance by introducing contrasting vertically brushed sides flanked by smooth chamfers and a brightly polished outer face. Along the 6 o’clock side of the case, the brand includes its traditional diamond cabochon, marking this unassuming case as a platinum model with cleanly executed fanfare in images. Although this case is certainly sporty for a Calatrava-based design, its minuscule 30-meter water resistance rating should steer this model clear of strenuous activity.
Like the case, the dial of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P tweaks the Calatrava’s visual themes for a more modern and sporty effect, but here the brand also smoothly integrates a unique take on the chronograph complication. The rich matte navy blue lacquer of the main dial surface provides a clean backdrop for the overall design and interacts well with the bold red highlights in images. The overall layout is a racier take on classic Calatrava elements, with lumed 18K white gold leaf hands alongside applied white gold Breguet numerals and a striking inlaid white gold minutes track. The outer seconds scale works as a cross between a traditional chemin-de-fer track and a checkerboard scale, with markings alternating between an inner and outer ring every five seconds, split by demarcations in blazing red. Patek Philippe sits the Ref. 5470P’s recessed subdials slightly below the centerline of the dial and provides both the 9 o’clock running seconds display and the 3 o’clock chronograph minutes subdial with a classical mix of light azurage finishing, printed white railroad scales, and polished white gold leaf hands in images. When the chronograph is not in use, this dial appears more or less like an exceptionally sporting riff on classical Patek Philippe chronograph themes, but once the monopusher is engaged this design reveals its hidden complexity. The Ref. 5470P uses not one, but two central chronograph seconds hands mounted one underneath the other. This arrangement is not totally unheard of, particularly in rattrapante designs, but Patek Philippe’s execution should make these paired hands a unique spectacle on the wrist. The lower chronograph seconds hand in rhodium-plated stainless steel operates as normal, making a circuit of the dial once per minute. The upper chronograph seconds hand, made from pure Silinvar silicon and painted in red (using a PVD primer and lacquer paint process Patek Philippe has patented specifically for this model), instead travels around the dial once every 12 seconds to make the chronograph’s 1/10-second recording capability easily legible at a glance. This unusually fast sweeping red hand should make for an eye-catching display and an immediate conversation starter among enthusiasts.
Including the previously mentioned silicon painting system, the new manufacture Caliber CH 29-525 PS 1/10 hand-wound chronograph movement inside the Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P includes seven patented innovations. These range from a concentric chronograph seconds display to a notched mainspring barrel arbor, which allows for reduced mainspring hook tension during winding, along with a narrower barrel arbor and tighter mainspring coils for increased power storage. Other patented components include a two-level anti-backlash chronograph seconds driving wheel featuring both flexible and rigid spokes, which prevents hand vibrations, stuttering, or backlash by exerting elastic force on the clutch wheel. Two more patents are related to novel shock-protection solutions. The first is a shock absorber hook which holds the clutch rocker in place during an impact, preventing any disruption or inaccuracy in the chronograph sweep, while the second is a pendulum shock absorber that uses the acceleration forces of an impact itself to compensate for the shock across the movement, mitigating the chance of components being jarred out of place by force. Lastly, the Caliber CH 29-525 PS 1/10 uses a patented multi-layer metal coating to facilitate the joining of metallic and non-metallic base materials in order the braze the pipe of the silicon chronograph seconds hand.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P’s Caliber CH 29-525 movement also uses Patek Philippe’s unique full-Silinvar silicon escapement system, including silicon parts for the balance (along with gold inlays), balance spring, escape lever, and escape wheel. Aesthetically, the Caliber CH 29-525 embraces the complexity of a manually wound chronograph layout with an intricate web of slender bridges in a mix of brushed finishes, polished anglage, Côtes de Genève, and brightly polished sinks, with prominent complex elements like the octopus wheel rising above the intricate symphony of mechanical parts in images. Performance-wise, this horizontal clutch monopusher chronograph movement offers a solid 48-hour power reserve at a smooth 36,000 bph beat rate. Patek Philippe pairs the Ref. 5470P with a fabric-effect calfskin leather strap in navy blue, featuring bright red contrast stitching to complete the sporty look.
With a host of unique horological innovations and a dramatic sporting look that manages to maintain (relatively) compact proportions, the new Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P continues the brand’s legacy of chronograph excellence in striking fashion. The Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P stands at 380,000 CHF. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.