Thursday, June 3, 2010

Patek Philippe Ref. 5054

This is the first in what will be an ongoing series about randomly selected watches that one of us currently owns, or has owned.

I thought that I'd start the series with one of the most beautiful and classic 'Tart Watches', the Patek Philippe Complication Ref. 5054.

Introduced to Patek's range in 1999, and now discontinued, this particular watch is the RG model.  It was also available in WG and Platinum.

Interestingly, the case is only 31mm, but it seems to sit much larger than this on the wrist.  The case is 3.98mm thick, and has a dual position winding crown - pushed in for manual winding, and pulled out for setting the time.  Both the date and moon are set by push pieces, and if you try to make changes whilst the automatic date change is engaged, an automatic safety device prevents internal damage.

The milled, turban crown is a noticeable departure from the more usual crown decorated with the Calatrava cross.

As you can see, the 48 hour power reserve is at 10/ 11 o'clock, the date and moonphase at 7 o'clock, and the small seconds at 4/ 5 o'clock on the porcelain dial, which features a railway track scale.

A beautiful polished Officer's style case (which Patek call the "Directoire" case) with a hinged cover over a sapphire crystal back opens up to show 265 parts, a 22k gold off-centre mini rotor, and the Patek Calibre 240 movement.  The only thing that beats an open caseback, to me, anyway, is an Officer's case.  Even if you aren't a movement nerd you'll find this beautiful and mesmerising.

First released by Patek Philippe in 1977, the Cal.240 was created as a thin base movement for PP's perpetual calendars. At only 2.4mm thick, with a Gyromax balance, the movement allows for a perpetual automatic caliber with a total thickness of only 3.7mm.  As is evidenced by the Ref.5054, Cal.240 ended up being used for a variety of  watches from the brand, not just perpetual calendars.

The watch is water-resistant to 25m, but I doubt that this has been tested out in the wild by any owner!

Unfortunately, the photos I took were less than ideal, but as the photo below shows, they were taken under less than ideal conditions.  The appearance of the watch at one of our weekly GTGs was unexpected, so we had to make do with the rather old point & shoot cameras that we happened to have with us.

One of the strengths of this group is our wide ranging horological tastes, which lends itself to an ever changing variety of watches to enjoy and learn about.  With such a large group, it's inevitable that we aren't all besotted with each other's watches (haha), but this is one watch that we all fell in love with at first sight. 


Marten said...

I just have to say: What a wonderful site you have here, it truly is superb. Please carry it on. I only wished I lived in Sydney....or Oz for that matter.... but its just sunny UK for me. Many thanks again

The Sydney Tarts said...

Marten - thank you so much for your kind words. We love the U.K. :) We have friends and relatives there, and one expat Tart! Better watches there, too, LOL.