Since 1923, the split-seconds chronograph (movement No. 124’824) occupies a preferential position in Patek Philippe’s wristwatch collection. But for many years, Patek Philippe’s celebrated Split-Seconds chronographs depended on a highly modified, highly refined base Lemania movement. So in 2015, the Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370 debuted to great fanfare because it was the first to be equipped with the proprietary manufacture calibre CHR 29-535 PS.
Endowed with a platinum case and a black enamel dial, the new Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370 was a quiet hit with the collectors thanks to its unapologetically polite and almost counter-cultural understated elegance which ran in contrary to the growing exuberance of the watch industry. Today, the most interactive of grand complications is updated with a new Grand Feu blue dial.
Coveted by connoisseurs, the new Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 reflects Patek Philippe’s proud tradition in Grand Feu enamel dials. Aesthetically, the shimmering blue face is an oeuvre of unmatched chromatic intensity one could almost dive into, slavishly made by hand on the basis of an 18K gold dial plate but where the new Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 acquits itself is where the Geneva manufacture also enjoys historic provenance – mastery of the split seconds complication.
Let it be said, the Lemania 2310 was never designed to have split seconds functionality and for decades, Patek Philippe made good with what they had for use in the ref. 5004. To the Geneva manufacture’s credit, even a modified Lemania split-seconds calibre looked nothing alike with others who used the same base movement. By 2010, Patek Philippe had developed their own in-house rattrapante or split-seconds calibre CHR 29-535 PS Q, building on the chronograph CH29 movement used the ref. 5170J and ref. 5270G, combining it with a perpetual calendar complication.
Are split-seconds still a prestigious high complication?
As in anything that involves gears and geekery, there is often debate on the hierarchy of horological complications and which can be considered the most prestigious or the most complex. During the classic age of watchmaking, the rattrapante and its nigh magical ability to keep track of two timing sequences simultaneously was considered a high complication in its own right. But today, its near ubiquity takes some of the lustre away from what is still an extraordinary timing complication. Please allow us to elucidate: the split-seconds mechanism may no longer be considered complex in the contemporary sense, nevertheless, it is still a “high” complication often paired with a perpetual calendar or minute repeater to create a grand complication. But really, it’s real difficulty is not in the creation of a split-seconds calibre (today, CNC machines can mill many of the components to extreme tolerances), it is arguably one of the most prestigious high complications because to get it work precisely, the skills of the watchmaker must be up to snuff.
New Split-Seconds Ref. 5370P-011: Beautiful outside and in
Reminiscent of the Ref. 5170 home to Patek Philippe’s first in-house manual wind chronograph calibre CH 29-535, the dial of the new Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 is superbly legible as befits an instrument with a technical precision timing capability. Yet, not one to forget the sophistication and refinement which exemplifies Patek, the hours and minutes are tracked by slender leaf-shaped hands with luminous coatings and applied Breguet numerals in white gold.
The results of short-time measurements are readable with the same precision and speed: the sweep chronograph and rattrapante hands as well as the instantaneous 30-minute counter hand contrast as clearly against the blue dial as do the white-printed scales. The two-phase chronograph movement with two pushers for the chronograph functions and a rattrapante pusher integrated in the crown at 3 o’clock is an impressive example of how tradition meets innovation.
A thoroughly modern movement with classic elements such as manual winding, dual-column-wheel control, and the horizontal wheel clutch, the Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 is driven by the same calibre as its 2015 predecessor right down to as well as its patented innovations and advanced rattrapante mechanism.
The elegant polished platinum case with a concave bezel and satin-finished flank recesses is worn on an alligator strap in shiny night blue secured by a platinum fold-over clasp. As is the case with all of Patek Philippe’s platinum wristwatches, the new Ref. 5370P-011 is graced with a small diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock. It replaces its predecessor with the black enamel dial.
Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011 Price & Specs
Movement Manually wound Caliber CHR 29-535 PS with 65 hours power reserve
Case 41mm 950 platinum with 30 meters water resistance
Price On Application