Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs are one of the most sought after and collectible timepieces. Famous pieces such as the Ref. 1518 and 2499′s commanding $1 million and above, it’s pretty easy to see why enthusiasts are so eager to seek Patek’s perpetual calendar chronographs. The 5270 succeeded from where the 5970  left of, and they were some huge shoes to fill. The first release (that’s important) of the 5270G is one of my grails, as a watch aficionado, you can never really have one grail. Today we’ll look at why this is such a special watch, and we’ll touch upon other grails in later posts.

In 1941, Patek Philippe released the 1518, fast forward 70 years and they released the 5270. Of course the 5270 is made for the modern man, but it still retains so much of the classic feel that Patek is renowned for. Compared to its father, the 5970, the 5270 is slightly larger at 41mm and has a bigger wrist presence due to the dial actually being bigger than its predecessor. The leap year indicator has moved out to its own very small window at the 4.30 mark, while the continuously moving day and night indicator sits opposite at the 7.30 mark. This was a positive change from the 5970 where these indicators were mixed into the small subdials. However, Patek purists shook their heads in disapproval of the 5270, holding the 5970 up high as the perfect perpetual calendar chronograph.

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 Black oxydised gold hands and markers are a winner

Now I should reiterate my fondess for the first release of the 5270G, the 5270G.001. That is, the one with the silver dial that almost looks brushed, and without the “Jay Leno” double-chin tachymeter scale which is the 5270G.013. As you can see below, one of the heavy criticisms of the 5270G.013 that was released a couple years later, is the way the tachymeter scale has a dipped chin. I would agree that this does make the dial look odd but also if the chronograph hand happens to stop there, it makes it quite hard to read exactly where it has stopped at. Hence I much prefer the original release. What also makes 5270G special to me is the black oxydised gold hands and hour markers which really complements the silver dial.

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The original and the best, fell in love with the brushed dial

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The infamous double chin, a.k.a the “Jay Leno” dipped scale at the 6 hour marker

A solid caseback is included. You’d never actually fit this on unless you wanted to custom engrave it, as you’d want to show off the beautiful in-house CH 29-535 PS caliber. This movement was a new movement mated to the 5270 at its launch in 2011. The movement has increased efficiency and robustness compared to its predecessor, the chronograph operation is also a lot more smoother and fluid. The movement came with six new patents for the improvements made. This includes the 1.65mm high calendar module that took Patek two years to perfect.

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Gorgeous movement

All in all, Patek used its innovations in its in-house movements and combined this with improvements it felt were needed to the Lemania based 27-70 CH caliber. The movement is decorated in typical Patek fashion; satin finishes, straight grained surfaces, chamfered and polished convex edges. All done by hand of course. Every single tooth on the wheels are polished by hand.

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Decorated in true Patek Philippe style

In 2013, Patek released a 50-piece limited edition version in Munich known as the KunstWerkUhr 5270G.015 that had subtle blue details on the indexes, numbers and hands to go alongside their other 5270G’s, the 5270G.013 and the 5270G.014 blue dial. Each of these 2014 revisions not only came with the “Jay Leno” chin but also slightly revised subdial tracks, a tachymeter scale, some cosmetic changes in the size of the fonts, white gold hands and a concentric circle guilloche pattern in the subdials. All of which I can without. Sometimes less is more, sometimes the original is the best.

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The limited edition KunstWerkUhr 5270G.015 with its blue accents

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The Ref 5270G 014 blue dial which is liked by man.

Surprisingly, the 5271P was introducted with another variant on the dial, this time without the infamous “double chin”. In this platinum cased black dial example, the tachymeter and seconds track were separated.

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The 5271P that was put on a diet and adorned with baguette diamonds

The 5270G.001 was produced only for 2 years before it was revised with a slightly different dial and colour combinations. Although not as popular as the 5970 or other predecessors, the 5270G.1 still is an in-house perpetual calendar chronograph that is very well proportioned, and as a result, I suspect will be a watch whose value will grow over time. My birthday is coming up, anyone want to gift my $160,000 grail to me?

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Recent Patek 5270G sales history courtesy of LuxPrice-Index, a fall in prices? Perfect!