If there’s one combination of complications that Patek has been famed for, it certainly is the chronograph perpetual calendar – something the brand inaugurated with the iconic reference 1518. Following this tradition, the brand has been playing with various watches around the topic, and the king of them all has to be the reference 5204, a watch that packs a traditional hand-wound chronograph, with an additional rattrapante function and a perpetual calendar on top of it… Quite a watch, obviously. This watch, the Patek Philippe 5204R Split-Seconds Chronograph Perpetual Calendar, already in the collection with two other references, is now released in a new combination of rose gold with a slate grey dial.
Under this new 5204R-011 is a mighty, complex watch that sits on top of the range of the hand-wound chronographs by Patek Philippe. To put it simply, it packs everything the brand has under its sleeve, meaning a split-seconds or rattrapante function and the best of calendars, the perpetual. And it does it in a classic, restained and compact case that measures a very wearable 40mm diameter and 14.3mm height. Once again, and like the two other versions that are still available in the collection, the watch is made of 18k rose gold, with classic stepped lugs and a thin concave bezel – as a reminder, it has been available since 2016 in two rose gold versions, one with a silvered opaline dial and chocolate brown alligator strap (5204R-001), the other with an opaline ebony black dial and rose gold Goutte (droplet) bracelet (5204/1R).
New to this specific reference is the dial, which is presented in a sleek slate grey colour, a tone that we don’t see often at Patek. Other than this new dial colour, the Split-Seconds Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5204R-011 remains basically the same watch as before. The display is complex and classic, with a tri-counter layout. The day and month are displayed in two in-line apertures at 12 o’clock. The date hand at 6 o’clock incorporates the moon-phase aperture. Small seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter appear on two subdials at 9 and 3 o’clock. Two small round apertures display the leap-year cycle between 4 and 5 o’clock and the day/night indication between 7 and 8 o’clock – functions enabling accurate adjustment of the calendar. Whether by day or night, reading the time is facilitated by the applied hour-markers and Dauphine-type hands in rose gold, all with luminescent coating.
Inside the case, with interchangeable sapphire crystal and solid casebacks, is an impressive movement, the in-house Calibre CHR 29-535 PS Q – sharing the same base can be found in the 5170, the 5270 or the 5370. Here, the hand-wound base receives a split-seconds function and on top, a perpetual calendar module. The view through the caseback is superlative… A mix of classical architecture (manual winding, column wheel, split-seconds) with modern technologies (wheels with patented tooth profiles, self-adjusting hammers or a modern 4hz frequency), it bears the Patek Philippe Seal, and stores up to 65h of power reserve. All corrections are done by small recessed pushers.
The new Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5204R-011 is worn on a shiny slate grey calf leather strap with an embossed alligator pattern (what a surprising choice… might have to do with regulations on exotic skins) and a rose gold fold-over clasp. It is priced at EUR 269,600. More details at patek.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.