Rarely do we come across a modern watch we can confidently say has already earned its spot in history; the Patek Phillipe 5070P is one of those watches. Though we try—especially in the watch world—we can’t predict the future, and that makes it hard to tell what watches will go on to be historically and horologically significant. That said, some modern watches simply change the game when they appear on the market, and their place in the watch world is undeniable from day one.
The 5070P is the platinum version of the Patek Philippe 5070 Chronograph. In 1998, Patek Philippe produced a simple chronograph for the first time in over thirty years, and the watch world was more than ready. The 5070 was designed after a piece unique—the 2512 split-seconds chronograph—now in the Patek Philippe museum. The 2512 is a yellow gold 46mm split-seconds chronograph produced in 1950 as an aviator’s watch, hence the extremely large size for the time. Aside from the size and complication, the 5070 has a very similar aesthetic.
With great lineage and proven timeless design, the 5070 is a favorite among collectors. Throughout its production run, the watch was made available in four metals between 1998 and 2010. Released in order were examples in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum. Patek Philippe released the platinum model we have here today in 2008 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the 5070 model.
It’s no secret that platinum is a more precious metal than gold, but adding to the significance and value of this piece is the drastically shorter production run than its gold siblings. While no exact production numbers exist, estimates on how many 5070Ps exist are between 200 to 250. To put that in perspective among the other 5070 models, the yellow gold estimates are between 750 to 1000 with the white and rose gold estimates at 1250 to 1500. It is not an exaggeration to say the Patek Philippe 5070P is one of the rarest regular production models made by Patek Phillipe.
Historical significance and rarity aside, the true joy of owning a watch comes from wearing it. This is a true gentleman’s tool with all kinds of great “but look closer” details. The 42mm case is highly polished and on the larger side for Patek Philippe, but with a 12mm thickness it’s both wearable and versatile. The first thing you notice when looking at the watch is the prominent stepped bezel. The watch has a distinct art deco vibe that sets it apart from other Patek Philippe references. Between the lugs at the six o’clock position is a top wesselton diamond, my favorite detail of the watch. Discreetly tucked away but visible for those in the know. The dial layout is almost identical to the 2512 reference mentioned earlier but with a gorgeous sunburst blue color and white gold numerals and hands. Also shared with the 2512, the aviation lineage is obvious when looking at the dual tachymeter scales and recessed sub-dials. As gorgeous as the dial is the real treat is observing the movement through the clear caseback.
Inside the watch beats a beautifully polished and chamfered 24 jewel manual winding CH 27-70. All decorations are in classic Geneva fashion, with the Geneva hallmark present. This Patek Philippe caliber is a completely reworked Lemania 2310, regarded as one of the best chronograph movements ever made. The reliable and robust CH 27-70 beats at 18,000 A/h with a power reserve of 58 hours. The Lemania 2310 is also the base movement for the famous Omega 321 a testament to the quality of this chronograph.
As expected with any Patek Phillipe, this timepiece is of the highest quality available. The Patek Phillipe 5070P isn’t available often and when it is, it’s more commonly offered at auction and aggressively fought over. Currently listed at $174,500, you get an opportunity to purchase what will become an important piece of history from the world’s most eminent watch brand. While you can buy this piece, we all know you won’t ever really get to own it, just look after it for the next generation.