By Jovan Krstevski
With the Only Watch 2017 event, I bet that most of you are already excited on what is up for grabs. This biennial charity auction sees lots of guests and of course big and bold watches. So without further ado, here is Patek with their highly special piece, the unique titanium Patek Philippe 5208T exclusively made for the 7th edition of Only Watch.
The 2015 edition of the same event featured the highest priced wristwatch of all time (that was sold for CHF 7.3M before Phillips Auctions and Aurel Bacs sold the Steel Patek 1518 for over CHF 11M), the Steel 5016A–010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar watch. A lot of collectors vied for it to the contentment of Patek and as expected, the brand is back with an equally or perhaps better piece this year.
We all know that the Geneva-based brand’s real Grand Complication was launched in 2011. The watch is a combination of a calendar, a timing device, and a chiming mechanism. If you know the mechanics of this combination, then you are probably fiddling your thumbs right now. The Reference 5208 Triple Complication showcases a minute repeater, a monopusher chronograph, and an instantaneous perpetual calendar arranged in a unique and effective manner using apertures along an arc. Its movement is a staggering 719 pieces all hand-finished through and through. At the same time, it’s also an automatic watch sporting a micro-rotor so if it nets an astronomical pricing, the horology community would be forgiven.
The watch has a standard version in platinum but the Only Watch 2017 differs in many ways. The most noticeable is the 42 mm case made of titanium and the unique blue dial enlivened with a hand-guilloched carbon-fiber pattern at the center. The watch is surprisingly sporty with the combination of white and silver accents on a titanium case. Of course, the changes are not only limited to the visible aesthetics of the watch but also to the movement. The case is built tough and personally, I like its interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back. This is neat for those days that you just want a subtle watch, but then there is no subtlety with this watch, because it’s bold right at the first look. It may be tough but the case is not rated waterproof although it has humidity and dust protection, a bummer I know.
As mentioned earlier, the unique hand-guilloché carbon-fiber blue dial is truly remarkable. Readability is superb as the indexes and the hands get luminous paint throughout. The sub-dials are neatly arranged with the calendar displayed at the top portion. This is a very complicated watch yet the display seems so simple.
Take into account that this kind of watch is extremely rare these days, this is an ultra complex model, to say the least. Now going to the movement, the Caliber R CH 27 PS QI is a thing built with absolute passion. The entire movement is plated with a black rhodium coat and the platinum micro-rotor is hand-guilloché with the same carbon-fiber decoration seen on the dial. This would be stunning when displayed through the caseback.
The Steel 5016A–010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar watch wears on a sporty Blue Cordura strap with fold-over clasp. The pre-sale estimation is valued at CHF 900,000 but I’m sure that on 11 November 2017, it would rather go sky high.