Hitting impressive milestones gives reason to celebrate, and when Patek Philippe achieved 175 years of business, they observed the occasion how any respectable watchmaker should. The brand created the Patek Philippe 5575G-001 175th Anniversary World Time Moonphase to mark such a special moment in its storied history. This watch has a unique design, houses a new movement, is limited to 1300 pieces in total, and the box even makes this feel like a piece that should be displayed in a museum. Many aspects of this timepiece are worthy of closer inspection.
The world time complication in this fashion has been around since the 1930s when Louis Cottier created this mechanism that displays the timezones from all over the world. In 2000, Patek Philippe introduced the 5100 series, which was inspired by that original world time display. It was a 37mm timepiece made in yellow gold, white gold, and even a few platinum versions. It featured cities from around the world for each timezone and included a day and night indicator so the wearer would know all this information at a glance. The second iteration of this watch came in 2006 with the introduction of the 5130 series. The brand increased the size of the timepiece to roughly 40mm. Patek continued this version for ten years and created many limited edition variants for specific regions, such as the Dubai 5130p-014, and the Edinburgh 5130p-039. During this series, Patek also introduced the enamel dial versions of the world time as the 5131 series. In 2014, this exceptional 5575p was created, which included the moon phase indicator in addition to the world time, and the brand replaced Paris on the dial with Geneva. Then Patek introduced the 5230 series in 2016. This current edition features some new dial aesthetics and has come down a millimeter in size.
At first glance, this timepiece looks very similar to the Patek 5130; however, upon closer inspection, one can appreciate all the more nuanced differences and little details that make this piece so beautiful. The celestial-inspired center with the large moon phase indicator stands out the most. The near photo-realistic moon indeed looks like it is traveling amongst the stars. The hour hand continues the heavenly theme with its star shape, inspired by the southern cross. The 40mm case is incredibly different as well. The 5575 has beautiful convex and concave lines that traverse the side of the case and down the lugs. A wave-like line travels the length of the high polished white gold case. The brand chose not to include a crown guard on this version, which highlights that unique design choice on both sides of the case. The 5575 has a solid caseback but has “175 Anniversary” and dates engraved into the white gold. The final touch is the deployant clasp which features the Calatrava cross and has the dates “1839-2014” etched into the buckle.
The caliber inside the 5575G is the Cal 240 HU LU automatic, essentially an adaptation of the 240 Caliber that was introduced in 2000, which gives the world time functionality adjustable with the push of a button. The modification includes the moon phase indicator, which, once set, will not need to be adjusted for 122 years. It is a shame the piece has the closed case back because one can not appreciate the beautifully decorated movement. This caliber has a 22k rose gold micro-rotor with the Geneva strips and the Calatrava cross engraved on the top. The movement consists of 270 parts and highlights, such as the patented Spiromax balance wheel that beats at 3Hz. There are multiple styles of finishings applied to each component and 35 jewels throughout this caliber.
Versus The Competition
There is only one piece that this anniversary world time can be compared to another exceptional world time from Patek Philippe. The Patek Philippe 5131R-010 World Time Enamel Dial in rose gold is very similar overall; however, this would take just as much careful consideration from any collector due to its rarity. The highlight of this model is the hand-painted enamel dial. Patek has only two people qualified to do the enamel painting, so the production of these is very constrained. Because each one is hand-painted, no two pieces will be exactly alike. This makes these highly sought after among collectors. So even though the anniversary has unique features and complications, this enamel dial 5131R is just as exciting and hard to find.
Serious Patek collectors will seek out a model like this these days. It originally was an application piece, so several will undoubtedly be in the hands of the original owners. For collectors who were not selected initially or for those looking to get important timepieces from throughout this prestigious brand’s history, this is highly desirable. This piece could easily be a true “safe queen” as well, something that is part of the collection but is kept safely tucked away only to be brought out for exceptional occasions.
The Patek Philippe 5575G is unique, timeless, and a beautiful execution for a special anniversary. The box allows displaying such a prized possession perfectly. True to Patek Philippe’s famous marketing campaign, this type of piece should be held and passed down the generations, so when it comes available to add to one’s collection, it should be moved on quickly.