In all the Baselworld hoopla over Patek Philippe’s new weekly calendar, and colorful new references in the sporty Nautilus and Aquanaut collections, it may have been easy to overlook another significant 2019 release for the Swiss maison: Ref. 5172G, a new white-gold chronograph with blue dial and strap that replaces — and is, in fact, a slightly updated version of — the now discontinued Ref. 5170.
The updated elements of the Ref. 5712 include the new, fully polished finish on the white gold case, which measures 41 mm in diameter and 11.45 mm thick, a tad larger than its predecessor; the rounded, guilloché-endowed chronograph pushers; the newly designed three-tiered lugs; and, on the dial, new applied Arabic numerals and baton-style hands with pointed tips. Both hands and numerals are made of white gold like the case, and all now feature luminous coating. Over the dial is a curved, vintage-inspired box-type sapphire crystal.
The varnished, midnight blue dial is bordered on its edge by a white, transfer-printed, minutes counter and a tachymeter scale, and uses a sandblasted central chronograph hand to tally up 30 elapsed minutes on the subdial at 3 o’clock, while the running seconds tick away on the other subdial at 9 o’clock. Both subdials are outlined by a white railway-track scale.
Behind the watch’s sapphire exhibition caseback is the movement, Patek Philippe’s manufacture Caliber CH 29-535 PS, a manually winding integrated chronograph movement that memorably debuted in 2009 in a ladies’ model, the Ref. 7071, before its first outing in this watch’s predecessor, the men’s Ref. 5170J. The movement, which superseded the Lemania-based calibers that Patek Philippe had been using in its chronographs prior to its introduction, boasts traditional architecture, including a column wheel and horizontal clutch, along with six patented inventions that include optimized tooth profiles for the wheels and self-adjusting reset hammers. It beats at 28,800 vph and amasses a minimum 65-hour power reserve with the chronograph disengaged. Like all of Patek’s in-house movements, it features the lavish finishing necessary to earn the Patek Philippe seal, with decorative highlights including Geneva stripes and chamfered, polished edges on the bridges and plates.
The watch’s hand-stitched calfskin strap is in a shade of navy blue that matches the dial and features a fold-over clasp made of white gold. The price is $73,712.