Handmade Art Meets Haute Horlogerie: Patek Philippe 5160G-001 Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar
In this modern age, there is no practical reason anyone needs a mechanical watch, so they are a form of expression, a status, and even collectible as a piece of art. The Patek Philippe 5160G-001 Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar is the epitome of all these aspects combined. It combines artistic expression, modern mechanical engineering, and a nod to watches of the past.
Patek Philippe was the first watchmaker to manufacture a perpetual calendar wristwatch. Introduced in 1925, it has a beautifully hand-engraved case. Patek Philippe will focus on highly complicated products such as perpetual calendars, so it has produced many changes going forward. In 1993, the brand launched the 5050 series perpetual calendar. This is Patek Philippe’s first perpetual calendar watch with retrograde indication. Next, the 5059 series was launched in 1998. The 5059 differs from the 5050 by using an officer-style case, large straight lugs, and a half-hunter caseback. Then in 2010, the 5160-001 was released, showcasing the perpetual calendar retrograde function in an officer-style case that is as perfectly hand-engraved as the original perpetual calendar from 1925. In 2016,
This timepiece is a true work of art, from the case to the dial and everything in between. The first thing anyone looking at this piece will notice is the richly decorated, hand-engraved 38mm white gold officer-style case. The engraving covers the half-hunter caseback in a style reminiscent of the engraving on highly decorated firearms such as Holland & Holland. The decorative straight lugs mounted on the 12mm thick case are designed to mimic the officer’s watches of the early 1900s, which were essentially pocket watches that were turned into wristwatches by welding the lugs to the case. Even the buckle, crown and screws securing the alligator strap are ornately decorated. Discount replica watches
The dial itself deserves attention as it elegantly displays all timepiece information in a unique manner. First, the retrograde date catches the eye and sets the dial apart. The date is indicated by a red-tipped hand pointing to the date and displayed in alternating Arabic numerals to save space. All hands originate from the center, and each hand is distinct from the others. The central seconds hand is white gold, while the rest are dark oxidized gold. The large spade hour hand points to painted black Roman numerals, and the longer, narrower double spade minute hand points to a painted blue Arabic numeral minute indicator with a black minute track. Below the hands is a creamy silver dial with a guilloché design that closely resembles the engraving on the case. A blue moon phase indicator near 6 o’clock helps balance the dial with the retrograde date. Finally, apertures engraved on the dial indicate the day of the week, leap year and month at 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock respectively.
At the heart of this timepiece is Patek Philippe’s own Caliber 324 S-QR self-winding movement. This movement is the successor of the 315 S-QR movement, with a higher frequency, beating at 28,800 vph and increasing the number of jewels to 31 jewels. Equipped with a 21k gold central oscillating weight that powers the movement for 45 hours, it is decorated with a circular stripped finish and engraved with the Calatrava cross in the centre. Beneath that, you can see the bridges, with Côtes de Genève stripes and the Patek Philippe seal in gold, contrasting with the rhodium-plated silver on the brass parts. It also uses Patek Philippe’s patented Gyromax balance wheel, making it even more precise. The movement is small and extremely complex, with a diameter of 28 mm and a thickness of just over 5 mm, containing 361 parts.
When comparing this Patek 5160 Retrograde Perpetual, one might think of the Patek 5050, such as this rare Patek Philippe 5050J-023 in yellow gold with a slate gray dial. While this 5160 is very rare with an estimated number of 20 pieces, this 5050J is probably even rarer with an estimated production of around 5 pieces. The 5050J has a more traditional case and some collectors may find it easier to wear it more often. The dial layout of both watches is similar, but the 5050J uses the older caliber 315 S-QR. The rose gold Arabic numerals maintain the unity of the font selection of the dial, which is in sharp contrast to the mixed font selection of 5160. Both similar and distinct, these two pieces will appeal to many collectors for a variety of reasons.
Collectors of timepieces like the Patek Philippe 5160G-001 are art lovers. Appreciate someone who takes the time to make something unique because of its human element. No two pieces will look exactly alike as each is carved by artisans. This also applies to collectors who value and seek out pieces of history. The timepiece is designed to look like those old officer style watches, with an engraving reminiscent of Patek Philippe’s first perpetual calendar. This watch can be added to a large watch collection, or it can even be kept at home with the vintage pocket watch collector. However, it is likely to become the collection of Patek Philippe aficionados as the pride of their collection.
The Patek Philippe 5160G-001 cannot be described as a pure dress watch. It combines art, history and haute horlogerie. Patek Philippe is often described as the pinnacle of watchmaking, and a piece like this could easily be considered an example of collectors arguing this point.