Patek Philippe has added to its family of perpetual calendars with a distinctly vintage-inspired look
By Chris Hall
It seems that no-one is immune from the desire to search the past for design cues. With reference 5320, Patek Philippe is – after a fashion – picking up where it left off with the controversial Calatrava pilot’s watch of two years ago, drawing from the same palette to create a perpetual calendar very unlike any other in recent memory.
The 5320 is a spiritual successor to some famous and much-loved Patek Philippe perpetual calendar designs – the 3448 and 3450 in particular – with the day and month in two small windows at 12 o’clock and the date in a ring around the moonphase at 6 o’clock. It’s one of the simplest perpetual calendar designs in history, and one of the best.
To that you can add a discreet leap year indicator and night-day indicator at either side of the moonphase. But these are the basics, familiar to Patek fans. What is new and interesting about the 5320 is the pipette-style hands and rich cream lacquered dial and the generous use of luminova. That’s right – lume on a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar.
The applied Arabic numerals (gold, lume-filled) are also of interest – on previous perpetual calendars following this layout, restrained baton markers are the norm. The look, Patek tells us, is derived from a specific reference in the archives, circa 1950s. And the case too has a story, harking back to another 1950s watch, which is where we get those elegant triple-stepped lugs and stepped bezel.
Inside is the calibre 324 SQ automatic – a new refinement on the 324 automatic. With 327 components it boasts a 45-hour power reserve, is equipped with Patek Philippe’s Gyromax Balance and Spiromax balance spring, and is of course finished to the brand’s usual high standards.
We will update this story with a UK price as soon as one is announced.