October 16, 2021
by David Bredan
Three new and new-ish complicated chronograph watches have just debuted from Patek Philippe. They are reference 5905/1A-001 with a flyback chronograph and annual calendar, reference 5930P-001, which is a world time flyback chronograph, and the absolute heavy-hitter is reference 5204R-011 with a split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar. Let’s dive in.
Priced at $309,893, the Patek Philippe 5204R-011 Split-seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar watch is the latest variation on the 5204 reference, a stunning watch that impresses with its great many displays and apertures and hands and just as many pushers and corrector buttons around the periphery of the case. The pushers and buttons and crown are your way to interact with the Patek Philippe CHR 29-535 PS Q manufacture caliber, a hand-wound movement that can be traced back to the 5370, 5270, and 5170.
Despite its remarkable complexity, it operates at a modern 4 Hertz frequency and combines that with a power reserve rated to fall between 55 and 65 hours — the observed power reserve will likely depend on how much the chronograph is used and whether the movement has to “push” a greater variety of perpetual calendar displays at the end of the day. It displays the date, day, leap year, and month in a perpetual manner (meaning that the next time this calendar will require adjusting is in 2100) along with day-night and subsidiary seconds displays and a column-wheel operated split-seconds chronograph. Aaaahh. And all that from 496 beautifully finished components. Total case thickness is 14.3 millimeters.
Those keeping track of Patek Philippe’s Grand Complications range — eyeing with a new acquisition, perhaps — might have noticed that the new 5204R-011 is the only piece in this top-tier segment of Patek Philippe watches to offer a slate gray dial. Slate gray should work brilliantly with the rose gold hands and hour markers, not to mention the case and the brown calf strap. It’s a robust look that won’t go out of style anytime soon — or ever. And if you really want to out-class everyone in a truly masochistic way, you can just have your 5204R-011 delivered with an optional solid caseback in place of the transparent one.
Priced at $100,538, the Patek Philippe 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph combines a radiant platinum case with an equally vibrant emerald green dial and vintage-inspired silver city ring. A very green watch, including its green alligator strap and green cities list, it is an interesting study in the use of contrast and color. With a case diameter of 39.5mm, the 5930P-001 is not a small watch, by any means — but then again it needs all that space for the thick city ring and its corresponding 24-hour disc which together make up the handy world time display.
Sandwiched between a sapphire crystal caseback and the green guilloché dial of the Patek Philippe 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph is caliber 28-520 HU, which merges the world time display with a flyback chronograph, running at 4 Hertz frequency through a power reserve of 50-55 hours. The total case thickness is 12.86mm, which is complemented by rather strong-looking, tall lugs slightly inspired by some 1940s creations of the brand, such as reference 2523 — although those were a lot more angular, both iterations are rather pronounced. In between the lugs is a single diamond, as is customary for platinum cases by Patek Philippe.
Priced at $59,140, the Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 Flyback Chronograph and Annual Calendar watch represents a more modern and rather more laid-back aesthetic. It’s the first time the 5905 is presented in steel and on a steel bracelet — but it’s not the first steel annual calendar chronograph from the brand; that was the spectacular 5960/1A (hands-on here).
The 42mm-wide steel case features a concave edge and large rectangular pushers, the front displays sword-style hands and an intricately (perhaps a tad over-done) labeled subdial — all these attributes together help link this piece with Patek Philippe heavyweights like the reference 5208, adding coherence and lineage to the brand’s offerings… even if the 5208P costs about 16 times more than the 5905/1A. Naturally, there is a green dial, to boot, the same shade found on the largely unattainable Nautilus 5711/1A-014.
The Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 Flyback Chronograph and Annual Calendar is powered by the CH 28‑520 QA 24H manufacture caliber that offers this advanced functionality at a cost: First, the cased-up watch measures 14.13mm-thick, which is considerable heft for an all-steel watch and, second, it still relies on three “hidden” corrector pushers set into the left side of the case to adjust the annual calendar’s displays. These pushers, however, limit water resistance to just 30 meters — and so, while the Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 is rendered in trendy steel (and beautifully finished), it doesn’t quite offer the robustness and peace of mind as luxury steel sports watches are perhaps expected to. Small caveats matched to an un-small price.
These three spectacular new Patek Philippe chronograph watches with complications are available immediately — but not without limitations in supply. You can learn more at the brand’s website.