Patek Philippe Reference 5327R

Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Patek Philippe Reference 5327R

This detailed review of the Patek Philippe Reference 5327R includes live pictures, specification and price.

Patek Philippe Ref 5327R - grand complication featuring perpetual calendar

Thumbing the pages of the hardback Patek Philippe brochure is a joy to be savoured. Beautiful images vie with informative text to efficiently seduce any self-respecting horophile. Indeed, to describe this tome-like compendium as a ‘brochure’ is an injustice, it is a reference book par excellence.

Recently, while perusing said hardback book, absorbing every detail of the many watches featured within, I stumbled across the most fascinating chapter regarding ‘Grand Complications’. There, nestling between split second chronographs and tourbillons, the Reference 5327R quietly resided on the paper, waiting to be discovered. Launched at Baselworld 2016, the 18-carat rose gold timepiece arrested my attention with its modest case dimensions, ivory lacquered dial and exquisite Breguet numerals.

I have since got hands-on with the Patek Philippe Reference 5327R and have had the opportunity to closely admire each subtle nuance. Despite the quality of the aforementioned brochure, nothing could match the experience of cradling this sumptuous timepiece in my inquisitive hands.

The dial

Below noon, the revered maison’s nomen is proudly proclaimed. It sits above a sea of ivory lacquer, calling upon the observer to admire its flawless surface. Golden feuille hour and minute hands converse quietly with Breguet numerals, disclosing the time in seemly tone.

Patek Philippe Ref 5327R - grand complication featuring perpetual calendar

Adjacent 3 o’clock, a recessed subdial displays the prevailing month with a truncated hand proclaiming the leap-year. Positioned opposite, at 9 o’clock, a slender hand points to the day of the week while its smaller sibling serves as a 24-hour indicator. The symmetry is clear to see. Everything resides neatly without overshadowing its neighbouring indication.

Located above 6 o’clock is a crescent-shaped moon phase display. The golden moon and stars sparkle against a dark blue backdrop. The quiet tone of the display deftly sidesteps garishness, delivering an urbane vista typical of this historical maison. 

Encircling the moon phase display is a circular date indicator, proclaiming the odd-numbered values of the date using Arabic numerals. All intervening values are denoted with small black circlets. The elongated hands and crisp black text make determining the date a matter of child’s play.

Gracing the periphery of the dial, small golden pearls indicate the minutes and make reading off the time especially user-friendly.

The case

Patek Philippe flies in the face of modern trends for large case dimensions. The Patek Philippe Reference 5327R is timelessly proportioned with its 39mm case diameter. Moreover, despite its complexity and self-winding movement, this timepiece proves to be slender. Indeed, it measures a mere 9.71mm in depth.

Patek Philippe Ref 5327R - grand complication featuring perpetual calendar

The Calatrava case used on this timepiece may well be familiar to many owners of Patek Philippe models. Indeed, this particular case has proved very popular for the Genevan company.

The lugs are beautifully scalloped on their vertical flank and gently arc downwards. The crown is small, neat and hugs the case-band unobtrusively. Gracing the rear of the case is an exhibition case-back, allowing sight of the sumptuous Caliber 240Q movement.

The movement

The automatic Caliber 240Q is a mere 3.88mm in height. This is especially impressive considering the watch is self-winding. Part of the reason for this slender profile can be attributed to the 22-carat gold off-centre micro-rotor which sits low within the case and proves more diminutive than a conventional rotor.

Beneath the micro-rotor, the mainplate is decorated with petit perlage. Each pearl perfectly overlaps its neighbour. Adjacent the area underneath the micro-rotor, the mainplate is adorned with a larger perlage motif. The bridges and the micro-rotor are embellished with Côtes de Genève motif or Geneva stripes.

The bridges are beautifully appointed with brilliantly gleaming bevels, polished jewel and screw sinks and engraved golden text. The balance wheel features masselottes to adjust the rate. By equipping the balance with masselottes in-board there is less turbulence and, therefore, greater precision. The precision for this movement, stated as part of the ‘Patek Seal’ is ‘-3 to +2 seconds per 24 hours’.

Closing remarks

Despite creating the most comprehensive watch catalogues within the sphere of watchmaking, nothing can compare with holding a Patek Philippe in one’s hands. My time with the Patek Philippe Reference 5327R is an experience I will never forget.

While the maison makes circa 56,000 watches per annum, only a few Grand Complications are produced owing to their protracted creation.  Grand complications represent the pinnacle of Patek Philippe ownership, a brand which is held in the highest esteem. Few watches can surpass the excellence of these remarkable timepieces.

The complexity of the movement cannot be understated and yet, surprisingly, it looks remarkably clean and uncluttered. The finissage is an exemplar of watchmaking excellence with exquisite perlage, Côtes de Genève motif and bevelling much in evidence.

Despite being a highly complex timepiece with numerous indications on the dial, the display never appears cluttered, nor does it prove problematic to read. Indeed, the dial is a paragon of lucidity. Beyond its functional prowess, the dial is beautiful with its feuille hands, ivory lacquered dial and Breguet numerals.

Patek Philippe has also imbued this watch with a timeless quality, ensuring it will bestow colossal eye-appeal many years from now. The styling of the dial, the proportions of the case and the exacting creation of the movement are likely to elicit praise for decades to come and may well make this yet another Patek showstopper on the auction room circuit.

Further information

Technical specification

  • Model: Patek Philippe Reference 5327R
  • Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 39 mm; height 9.71mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 3 Bar (30 metres)
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; day; date; month; leap-year indicator; 24–hour indication; moon-phase indication.
  • Movement: Caliber 240 Q; Self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve min. 38 hours, max. 48 hours
  • Strap: Hand-stitched alligator strap in shiny dark chestnut on a fold-over clasp
  • Price on Application


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