Mechanical manually wound movement. Caliber CH 29‑535 PS. Chronograph. Central chronograph hand. Instantaneous 30-minute counter. Small seconds.
Rose-gilt opaline, charcoal gray gold applied numerals with luminescent coating. Tachymeter scale.
White gold. Sapphire-crystal case back. Water-resistant to 30m. Diameter: 41 mm. Height: 11.45 mm.
BRACELET / STRAP
Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny chocolate brown. Fold-over clasp.
At Baselworld 2019, Patek Philippe will discontinue its lovely but slightly reflective 5170P chronograph and replace it with this new 5172G model. It runs the same movement as its predecessor, but Patek Philippe opted to increase the case size from 39mm to 41mm. In addition, new elements such as circular chronograph pushers, syringe hands (with luminous!) and calfskin straps give this watch a unique personality.
Patek Philippe makes some of the most impressive chronographs in the world, and this is one of the main pieces in their collection, using the caliber CH 29-535 PS movement. As our David Bredan puts it, the movement “has no room for different tastes or debates”. Patek Philippe is clearly aware of this, as the movement is not touched here at all.
The new white gold case is 41mm wide and 11.45mm thick, while it is smaller and thinner at 39.4mm wide and 10.9mm thick. I’m not currently in the market for a $75,000 chronograph, but I think the upcoming case size is too small for my tastes. But beyond the case size, Patek Philippe also replaced the integrated chronograph pusher with a round pusher, which is arguably more needed by current enthusiasts.
In fact, Patek Philippe copy uses the term “subtle vintage charm” on its website when discussing the watch. Together with the new pushers, the “box” sapphire crystal, new syringe-shaped hands and updated Arabic numeral hour indicators work together to create this “charm” and it is very successful. It’s worth celebrating, however, that the pursuit of this retro glamour didn’t come at the expense of neglecting more lumens, as the hands and hour markers appear to have adequate coating.
It can be overlooked, but I can’t fully understand the decision to pair a calfskin strap with a somewhat old-fashioned and old-fashioned alligator strap. The texture of the calfskin is less distracting, allowing the colour to take centre stage, pairing perfectly with the white gold case and folding clasp.
Updating old and established product lines can be a risky business, especially for a brand with a cult following like copy Patek Philippe. Here, though, Patek Philippe seems to have made a smart choice using their years of industry experience. Improved functionality, a larger diameter, and some subtle aesthetic changes make this one of the most coveted pieces at this fledgling show.