Patek Philippe 5200G Gondolo 8 days – Day & Date indication with 8 days power reserve
A Gentleman’s watch with character
Rectangular watches befit stylish gentlemen, delivering a degree of beauty few other forms can surpass. If you feel nostalgic about art deco, adore streamlined style and appreciate timepieces exuding masculine elegance, the Patek Philippe Gondolo 8 days 5200G may very well appeal to your sensibilities. In this instance, guest contributor, Xavier Markl, takes a close look at this epitome of horological virtue and sophistication.
The Patek Philippe 5200 is part of the Gondolo collection. Launched in the early 1990s, this line embodies Patek Philippe’s legacy to form watches. A nod to the brand’s tradition, its name was derived from the ‘Chronometro Gondolo’ watches that were manufactured by Patek Philippe for the renowned Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau, in Rio de Janeiro, between 1902 and 1930. A contemporary interpretation of the art deco style, the collection comprises shaped watches inspired by past Pateks.
The reference 5200 was announced with great fanfare in 2013, bearing all the attributes necessary in order to become a classic and incorporating the latest technological innovations from the ‘Patek Philippe Advanced Research’. In its veins runs the blood of the iconic reference 5100, originally presented in 2000 to celebrate the turn of the new millennium. In this instance, at the heart of the reference 5200 is a splendid hand-wound rectangular shaped movement, the Calibre 28-20 REC 8J PS IRM C J, sharing the same dimensions as the movement within the reference 5100 (28mm x 20mm x 5.05 mm) despite the addition of an instantaneous calendar mechanism.
Shaped movements are rare because it is much easier for watchmakers to use a versatile round movement suiting an array of models. Developing a movement ‘sur mesure’ to the specific geometry of a given shaped watch offers little flexibility, but allows maximum use of space within the case, as well as delivering a treat for purists. Naturally, the Patek Philippe ethic of ‘no-compromise’ is not inclined towards shortcuts and economies of scale.
The reference 5100 (similarly the reference 5101 featuring a tourbillon escapement) and the movement within the reference 5200 share the same platform and gear train configuration. Yet, unlike the 5100, the 5200 contains innovative Silinvar® components, namely a Pulsomax® escapement and an oscillator with Spiromax® spring. The use of silicon for the lever and escape wheel improves the energy efficiency of the movement. Silicon holds a number of beneficial properties. It is light, non-magnetic, corrosion-resistant and requires virtually no lubrication. In addition, the capacity to manufacture complex parts with extreme precision allows innovative shapes to be employed.
The movement employs twin in-line mainspring barrels, delivering an impressive power reserve of 8 days. This comes up short by two days in comparison with the 5100, but the incorporation of an instantaneous calendar mechanism requires much power. In addition, the Gyromax balance within the reference 5200 runs at 4Hz (versus 3 Hz for the reference 5100) which enhances its performance but makes it more power hungry.
The instantaneous date also features the day of the week indication through a window and jumps in 3 milliseconds only. This necessitates the progressive accumulation of sufficient energy before releasing it at midnight. Moreover, a safety mechanism prevents the date from jumping 2 or 3 days at once. Unlike its forefather, the 5200 includes a stop second mechanism allowing precise adjustment of the time.
This innovative calibre bears the Patek Philippe seal and its technical perfection is reflected by splendid aesthetics and finishing. The bridges are decorated with Geneva stripes and gold-filled engravings while the edges are beveled and polished. The overall architecture of the movement is superb. The movement features a “trompe l’oeil” going train bridge, which at first sight seems to be three separate bridges. This unusual option, specifically for a modern calibre, allows easier assembly and service.
The reference 5200, with its prodigious power-reserve, is accommodated in an elongated rectangular case with double-stepped sides, celebrating the art deco style. It is anatomically cambered with curved crystals. This elegant geometry boasts refined lines and sits elegantly on the wrist while offering optimal comfort. Polished to a gleaming finish, the case features two independent correctors to adjust the day- date indication. The crown is neatly integrated within the case band. The screwed case back allows access to the freely disclosed movement.
Two dial options for the reference 5200 are offered, either a silvery opaline white or a deep sunburst blue. The optimally arranged face shows the status of the 8-day power reserve in the upper half of the dial, while the lower half displays the calendar indications. The seconds are displayed coaxially with the date. The red arrow tip of the date indication avoids any confusion. The faceted dauphine-style hour and minute hands match the white gold hour markers on the dial.
The watch is presented with a top-grade, smooth hand-stitched alligator strap complemented with a pin buckle.
A splendid rectangular cambered watch and a shaped movement manufactured to Patek Philippe’s high standards provide the necessary elements for a fine gentleman’s watch. Living up to the promise, the reference 5200 exudes elegance and, despite its art deco inspiration, a tasteful dose of modernity. The ‘Manta Ray’ rectangular case design of the reference 5100 has many admirers, however, I favour the 5200 case, appreciating its harmonious proportions.
Its calibre is stunning and exemplifies ‘tradition in motion’; it is true to the most orthodox horological tradition, while incorporating cutting edge technical
innovations. Some purist watch enthusiasts might be disturbed by the ‘trompe l’oeil’ bridge. While it clearly says what it is (tromper l’oeil is to mislead the eye in French) the solution brings clear benefits and is indeed interesting.
- Model: Patek Philippe Gondolo 5200G-010 Reference: 5200G-010
- Case: 18-carat white gold; dimension 32.4mmx 46.9mm; height 11.65mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); curved sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; day; date; power reserve indication. Stop second mechanism.
- Movement: Calibre 28-20 REC 8J PS IRM C J, hand-wound movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); Gyromax balance, spiromax balance spring; 28 jewels; power reserve 8 days, components=235
- Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator strap with 18-carat white gold pin buckle Price: £40,090 (RRP as at 3.10.2016)