PATEK PHILIPPE WHITE GOLD PERPETUAL RETROGRADE CALENDAR REF. 5320G
Every few years Patek Philippe releases a watch that surprises the market with the unexpected and that was certainly the case with the ref. 5320G when it was released in 2017. It was considered familiar yet completely different. For a detailed analysis from the week it was released, see this Hodinkee article by Ben Clymer. In the pantheon of Patek Philippe perpetual calendars, the ref. 5320G truly stands out as something different. It comes from a different, new lineage that we can expect will set the foundation for new developments in the future. Looking at Patek’s perpetuals, we see three distinct family trees. First the familiar ref. 5140 that is a direct descendant of the ref. 3940 utilizing the caliber 240 base. Second, the ref. 5496 with a caliber 324 base that is a direct descendent of the ref. 5050 with a perpetual retrograde calendar. And finally, the ref. 5320 also with a caliber 324 base, that borrows heavily from the traditions of the refs. 3448 and 3450 with apertures for the day and month. Yet the ref. 5320 is full of surprises and a close inspection reveals that this watch delivers a new technical and aesthetic design language that is familiar but innovative at the same time. The caliber 324 S SQ borrows the perpetual module used on the ref. 5270 and adds it to a modified caliber 324 giving this in-house perpetual workhorse self-winding capabilities for the first time. The case design borrows heavily from a vintage design from the 1940s, the ref. 2405, with its distinctive stepped three tier stepped lugs.
The sapphire glass of the ref. 5320 is architecturally part of the structure of the watch as we often see with vintage watches. Unlike the plastic crystals of the past, the ref. 5320 uses a convex sapphire glass that offers clear visibility of the dial as well as protection, giving the entire watch a thickness of 11 mm. The dial also surprises with an off white lacquered cream dial, applied numerals, and distinctive, pointed baton hands that are reminiscent of hands occasionally used in the 1950s. Superluminova lights the way on the hands and numerals. From a Collectability perspective, the ref. 5320 is a must have for the perpetual calendar collector, a watch that is a nod to the past, as well as a path to the future.
For more information on this watch, please see this fascinating Patek Philippe video.