One of the high points of my visits to Baselworld each of the past few years has been the opportunity to tour the display of new introductions from Patek Philippe replica watches with the head of the firm’s Salons.
As we concluded our visit in March 2017, our host asked each of us to name our favorite new Patek Philippe piece, and for me the answer was obvious: the stunning Reference 5170P that had me standing slack-jawed in front of its display case long after the rest of the group had moved on to the other new pieces.
Before I even departed Basel I had requested an allocation for the 5170P, and during a recent visit to Geneva I was extremely pleased to pick up one of the first examples delivered.
How the Patek Philippe Reference 5170P fits in my collection
It may come as a bit of a surprise that in my pal Terry’s taxonomy of watch collecting (fun, patronage, foundational), for me this piece falls primarily in the “fun” category rather being a pre-meditated foundational piece for my collection.
I won’t fib to you: I’d like to spin out a lengthy tale about how I evaluated the Reference 5170P and its Caliber 29-535 PS movement against all of the likely competitors in its category, or explain how this watch fills a critical void in my portfolio somewhere between the A. Lange & Söhne Double Split and Voutilainen Masterpiece II and was therefore a carefully considered, entirely rational purchase.
But no such luck: this was one of those love-at-first-sight occurrences that has happily been backed up by my early ownership experience thus far.
Why I loved the Patek Philippe Reference 5170 and why I’m happy now that I have it
When Patek Philippe gets a dial or its features just right, as with the perfect black enamel dial on the Patek Philippe Reference 5370 fake watches or the achingly beautiful rounded Breguet numerals on the Reference 5950, their work is in my opinion right at the top of the industry.
The graduated blue-black dial of the 5170P (designated on the Certificate of Origin as “bleu degrade noir”) has to be seen in person to be appreciated; the combination of color gradation, sunburst texture, and grooved subdials that provide just that extra bit of visual interest make for a killer combination.
As with the limited editions copy Patek Philippe for the fortieth anniversary of the Nautilus, on the 5170P Patek Philippe has combined a dark blue dial with baton-shaped baguette-cut diamond hour markers. The visual pop is remarkable, but in most light conditions the diamonds look like highly polished metal markers that match the brilliance of the platinum case rather than gemstones.