Complex Issues

In a quiet year, Patek Philippe delights collectors with a trio of high-complication watches.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

In a quiet year, Patek Philippe delights collectors with a trio of high-complication watches.


As its name suggests, the perpetual calendar chronograph fuses the perpetual calendar and the chronograph. This is a realm closely associated with Patek Philippe, thanks to classics such as the Ref. 1518 from 1941.

The Ref. 5270J-001 in yellow gold is the latest iteration of the Ref. 5270 perpetual calendar, which has been available since 2018 in platinum or rose gold. The 41mm timepiece’s engine is the calibre CH 29-535 PS Q, the first chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar to be developed and made entirely by Patek Philippe in 2011.

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Able to measure two time intervals simultaneously, the split-seconds chronograph is the most challenging chronograph to create. While Patek Philippe’s history in split-seconds chronograph wristwatches dates back to 1923, one of its latest takes on the complication, the Ref. 5370, debuted in 2015 with a platinum case and a black enamel dial. The follow-up to that watch, which was the brand’s first split-seconds chronograph to be powered by the in-house calibre CHR 29-535 PS, pairs a glossy blue Grand Feu enamel dial with a 41mm platinum case.

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Watch connoisseurs who could not get their hands on the 12-piece Ref. 5303R-010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Special Edition, launched last year at the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition, will be pleased to know that its latest version is available. The Ref. 5303R-001 is an aural and visual treat like its predecessor.

The R TO 27 PS manufacture movement, powering both minute repeaters, allows for the hammers and gongs, usually tucked away on the back, to be visible on the dial side. Similarly, the tourbillon, normally visible only through the back to prevent sunlight from degrading the lubricant, can be seen on the front and is shielded by a UV-protective coating on the sapphire crystal. 

Slight modifications set this 42mm timepiece apart from the Singapore edition. For example, the mainplate is decorated with circular graining instead of Geneva striping, while the sapphire crystal hour scale is done in black, instead of red lacquer.