Spring Surprise: Patek Philippe Launches a Post-Watches & Wonders 5470P 1/10th-of-a-Second Monopusher
The maison’s announcement of a new platinum chronograph came faster on the heels of Watches & Wonders than its new mechanism can clock time.
But, alas, it wasn’t yesterday; it was Saturday, April 2nd. And the always avuncular Stern gestured at the new releases spread out on the table in front of us. It was there that he teased us with two statements that proved important this week.
The first was: “Notice that there is no Nautilus. I am boycotting the Nautilus. It is too much trouble.” Why? Because the hype around the Nautilus was taking attention away from the other models Patek produces. Now, he wants to steer the conversation toward these other timepieces.
The second was: “What we have learned over the last two years is to spread out the introductions.” Because while it was great that industry shows were back, Stern made it clear that the brand was not going back to previewing a year’s worth of novelties at Watches & Wonders. So, enthusiasts should be prepared for new launches to be announced throughout the year.
And then, fewer than seven days later, we get such a surprise – the Ref. 5470P, a 1/10th-of-a-second monopusher chronograph in platinum.
Patek is getting a lot of marketing mileage from Nautilus surprise announcements lately, so why not use the tactic to launch something new (and not in Tiffany blue)?
Here’s the buzz on this timepiece. The big story is that the Ref. 5470P is Patek Philippe’s first wristwatch with a 1/10th second display. It is powered by a manually wound movement with two separate chronograph mechanisms and sweeping hands, one of which only indicates the tenths of a second.
This highly technological accomplishment came around by converting an existing chronograph movement – the CHR 29-535 PS – from a 4Hz to a 5Hz frequency. In this case, the escapement was replaced with one that employs “Advanced Research” innovations incorporating a Silinvar Oscillomax ensemble that beats at 36,000 bph.
The maison also took out the split-second module and replaced it with one that activates a separate 1/10th second hand in red lacquered Silinvar – a silicon derivative (using silicon in the manufacture of a hand is another first for the brand).
Agility & Aesthetics
In Geneva, Stern also told us that he had been challenging his team to make movements more refined. For example, he said, “I am always pushing the team to make the movements thinner because it allows us to do more with the design.”
So, although the Ref. 5470P is not significantly thinner (it has a 41mm diameter and 13.68mm height), its movement’s use of Silinvar technology in the balance, balance spring, escapement, and escape wheel allows for the mechanism to feel lighter and provide antimagnetic properties. As a result, this timepiece can be rugged, accurate, and elegant at the same time.
Aesthetically, the Ref. 5470P-001 1/10th-of-a-Second Monopusher Chronograph is a tribute to the brand’s signature platinum two-register chronograph, but with a sportier exterior. The blue dial and calfskin strap play well with striking red details in the hands and the stitching. The subtle shine of the platinum case provides nuanced reflections. And as an extra fun touch, the caseback is interchangeable and is delivered with a solid platinum cover and a sapphire crystal (after all, you do want to view the elaborately executed finissage).