The Patek Philippe 5070 is definitely one piece you should think of when you think about building a collection of luxury dress chronographs made by some of the best watchmakers in the world, along with the A.Lange Sohne Datograph, a few from a horological perspective , Vacheron Constantin, maybe even the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Chronographe.
All of these belong to the top dress chronographs made by the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.
However, the Patek Philippe 5070P we’re focusing on in this article today is one of the best chronographs on the market when we consider the brand’s history, watchmaking and contemporary style as a dress watch.
As often as we encounter rare and exclusive watches, we rarely encounter modern dress watches that can rival the 5070P. It is difficult to predict which watches will continue to be historic and horological. Having said that, it seems to me that some of the watches made in the last two decades have changed the industry standard and marked their status as collectible models.
A Brief History of the Patek Philippe 5070
Inspired by the unique split-seconds chronograph Ref 1463 made in the 1940s, Patek Philippe launched the 5070 collection as the first collection with a case size larger than 40 mm. It was originally produced in gold in 1998, before other precious metals were introduced, such as the platinum version we have today.
A gold version with a black dial was initially released, followed by white and rose gold versions. In 2008, we saw the birth of the platinum 5070 in a beautiful blue dial to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 5070s. Patek Philippe shows us their take on a contemporary manual chronograph and takes us back in time with a vintage chronograph in the replica Patek Philippe heritage.
Back in time
Back in the 1940s, the “Tasti Tondi” Ref. 1463 was Patek Philippe’s first waterproof chronograph, a major milestone.
The nickname “Tasti Tondi” is derived from the round putter (unlike the 5070), which has a grip on the pressable surface.
It instantly became legendary and is still highly sought after by Patek Philippe connoisseurs. It was discontinued in 1965 after 25 years in production.
Patek Philippe waited until 1998 to resume production of hand-wound chronographs, with the introduction of the ref. 5070 before entering the Watch Hall of Fame.
Manual chronograph reproductions weren’t the only headlines in 1998. In the past, it was uncommon for dress watches to measure up to 42mm. In fact, in today’s market, 42mm is still considered relatively huge for a dress watch.
Despite its size in this prestigious category, the proportions of the case are perfect, like all other pieces from the iconic house.
Produced from 2008 to 2009, the final version, the 5070P, is by far the rarest and most sought-after version due to its short production cycle and the fact that it is a commemorative model.
It makes perfect sense to use platinum as it is one of the most expensive and exclusive precious metals in watches. While exact production figures are not available, the estimated number of 5070Ps on the market is between 200 and 250 due to the short production cycle. Gold estimates are between 750 and 1000, and white and rose gold estimates are between 1250 and 1500.
At the end of the day, the real joy of owning a watch comes from wearing it, aside from its historical significance and rarity.
The 5070P features a heavy platinum case with a slightly shaded blue gradient dial. This iteration features white signatures and markers, making them really pop from the darker dials. The hands and indices are also made of platinum. Like 99% platinum Patek Philippe, the case near 6 o’clock is set with a small diamond.
Case and Dial
One of the biggest highlights of the 5070 is the size and proportions.
Larger cases have been quite common and popular since the early 2000s. In 1998, however, a 42mm case, especially one produced by Patek Philippe, was a novelty to many.
Despite the larger case size, it doesn’t wear as much as the 42mm. To cope with this larger diameter, Patek Philippe managed to thin the case down to just 11.6mm thick. In the second half of this article, I’ll describe how they managed to fit the movement into a slim case.
The perfect ratio of watch diameter to thickness makes the 5070 an elegant dress watch. In my opinion, the decision to use square buttons and a well-proportioned crown size is one of the most defining characteristics of this watch.
The word coherence was my first impression of the 5070P. Square buttons, well-proportioned crown, multi-layered bezel and slim lugs enhance the 5070P’s presence.
The layout of the dial is consistent across all its iterations, produced in all precious metals, featuring an external seconds track for the chronograph, with a 1/5 second scale and a tachymeter scale within the minutes track.
The two large subdials at 3 o’clock represent the 30 minutes and the small seconds at 9 o’clock, both perfectly aligned with the center of the dial, creating perfect symmetry. This is in line with the design elements of a Patek Philippe textbook – an elegant, minimalist and stylish dial that complements the leaf-shaped platinum hands.
As usual, Patek Philippe cheap perfectly displayed their technical flair to reduce the visual impact of the centered chronograph, with a tachymeter scale after the seconds hand.
The only finicky thing about this watch is that the sundial overlaps the hour markers on the dial, which can get lost from the overall look. However, that’s not the first thing you’ll notice and annoy with thanks to the symmetrical sub-dials and hues.
We can’t go on talking about Patek Philippe without a deep understanding of the movement.
As the last Patek Philippe chronograph ever to feature a Lemania movement, the 5070 immediately entered collectors’ lists. This marked the end of all Lemania Patek Philippe eras and an important moment in Patek Philippe’s history.
The CH 27-70 continued for the 3970’s successor, the larger 40mm diameter 5970 designed by Thierry Stern.
Showcasing the movement is a caseback with a sapphire crystal, allowing the owner to gaze at the mechanical marvel CH 27-70, a Lemania-based manual calibre 2310 that beats 18,000 vibrations per hour and provides 58 hours of power Storage. (Fun fact: the Lemania 2310 is also the base movement for the iconic Omega 321, a testament to the heritage and quality of this movement.)
It consists of 24 jewels, a shock absorber and a linear lever escapement.
The finish lives up to Patek Philippe’s reputation for watches in this segment, with some delightful handcraft, Cotes De Genève. The movement is beautifully crafted, with beautifully chamfered corners at every angle. luxury swiss watch
Trained horological technicians have redesigned the teeth of the gear train to allow for smoother energy transfer in the movement and to maintain constant mechanical precision, a new ratio between the center wheel and the barrel helps The reliability and accuracy of the movement.
The movement features a large monometallic Gyromax balance wheel with a high moment of inertia for timekeeping stability.
So how did Patek Philippe perfectly integrate the small movement into the large 5070 case?
Patek Philippe opted for beveled multi-layer screws on the caseback, which are larger at the bottom and narrower at the top.
In this way, the visual impression does not make the movement look “small”, filling the case in a coherent manner.
Reference: CH 27-70
Base: Lemania 2310
Movement: Manual winding
Power Reserve: 60
Chronograph: Chronograph, Column Wheel
Hands: hours, minutes, small seconds
Many people compare the 5070 to the 5170 when looking for a Patek Philippe chronograph. In my opinion, the two watches are very different. Patek Philippe has left behind a number of iconic watches in his history that are testament to their technical sophistication and aesthetic taste.
The 5070 and 5170 come from two different areas in the chronograph family, in two very different times, and I don’t think they should be objected to. At the end of the day, when deciding between the two, it comes down to personal preference. If you are an avid Patek Philippe collector, both should be your first choice.
Since we’re specifically touching the 5070 today, we’ll dive into the 5170 another day. As for the 5070P, I am impressed with the platinum case and the blue dial is amazing. As most Patek Philippe would expect, this timepiece is of the highest quality.
The swiss Patek Philippe 5070P isn’t offered very often, and when it does, it’s more often offered at auction and aggressively contested. Given the opportunity, you will have the opportunity to buy something that will make important history from the most prominent watch brands in the world.