Angus Davies reviews the Patek Philippe 5033P and other wonderful tonneau-shaped delights from arguably the finest Patek Philippe Gondolo Minute Repeater watch replica manufacture, Patek Philippe.I am often asked what is the best watch replica to buy. However, citing one model is difficult, as a watch replica should fit the needs and wants of its wearer. Consideration should be given to the wearer’s character, lifestyle, profession and the role of the watch replica (sports, professional use or dress watch).
Professional success is often accompanied by reward. However, it is only through informed advice and research, that a worthy purchase can be made without a period of cognitive dissonance resulting, as you question the rationale of selecting a particular item.
Budget may be another consideration and may restrict choice
I have struggled most of my adult life to restrict my choice to one model and have a large collection of wristwatches as a result. Moreover, I have an even larger list of timepieces I continue to crave.
This brand name always features on my list but unfortunately has eluded me to date, due to indecision, practical reasons such as school fees or the watchful eye of my wife who tempers my hunger for haute horology.
A high price will always be a feature of involved manufacture. However, price should not be confused with value. Good value is something you appreciate when you consider the time taken to craft one of these horological wonders.
Reference 5135 P
I remember visiting David M Robinson in Canary Wharf and trying on a Patek Philippe Gondolo Calendario replica 5135P and the seduction commenced.
The Tonneau-shaped form caresses the wrist with an aesthetic appeal I simply adore.
5135 is the model reference which suffixes the soubriquet of this model. Patek Philippe enthusiasts always converse in model numbers and this number is imprinted deep in my psyche. Moreover, the model reference often has a letter afterwards and for me “P” is the important letter (5135 P).
The Reference 5135P denotes platinum, a subtle metal which is tastefully understated.
I always recommend placing a watch replica on the wrist to confirm whether the model meets your needs. A picture in a magazine can create interest but intimate contact with a watch replica can sometimes lead to disappointment. Not so, the Patek Philippe Gondolo Calendario Reference 5135P, no picture could ever convey the beauty of this watch.
Art Deco is a style I have often admired and continues to exude glamour and sophistication even in the 21st century. This model features a wonderful tonneau-shaped case, reminiscent of the Art Deco style.
The moment was lost
Too late. Patek Philippe produces limited numbers of watches and production of a model sometimes ceases to prevent it becoming over familiar and ensure residual values and scarcity are maintained. My protracted deliberations had cost me dear, my dreams of owning a new 5135P had evaporated. The production of the watch replica had ceased.
I always favour visiting an authorised boutique, where expert opinion can provide insightful information to assist the purchasing process and ensure an investment in a timepiece is deftly executed and absent of regret at a later stage.
In this instance the deliberation with the reference 5135 P was over whether to purchase this or the 5135G in white gold, together with fear of self reproach about squandering my children’s inheritance on yet another watch. This delayed the purchase.
A lesson has been learnt
I now seek a pre-owned 5135P from an authorised Patek Philippe retailer or reputable auction house. Unfortunately, I know that any watch replica purchased will not result in my name being added to the register held at Patek Philippe, a privilege reserved for the first owner of the timepiece, nor will I enjoy the pleasure of knowing I am the first owner.
A trip to Geneva
A trip to the 81st Geneva International Motor Show on business, provided the opportunity to visit the Patek Philippe Salon at 41 rue du Rhône, Geneva.
Minute Repeaters, Tourbillons and sophisticated split second Chronographs were superbly displayed.
It was a heady, intoxicating experience for this self confessed watch replica enthusiast. I stood, transfixed and dumbstruck that all these amazing watches were under one roof.
These watches are not merely made but are created by a few artisans who are without equal, having dedicated years at the bench meticulously spending hours to achieve perfection in every detail they touch.
Screws, some barely visible to the naked eye, are painstakingly bevelled at 45°, blued and polished and this is one very small, but important, example of the perfection pursued by Patek Phillippe.
Savour the Côtes de Genève striping, perlage and gorgeous polished bridges. Consider the patience required to execute this work.
Reference 5033 P
A Minute Repeater is an amazing complication. It is a complication using hammers and gongs to deliver chimes to signify hours, quarter hours and minutes.
A series of notes are used to differentiate different elapsed periods. This was of benefit in yesteryear when telling the time in the dark (where light was scarce) was difficult.
A slide mechanism on the outer case of the watch replica arms the spring to deliver the chimes.
Minute Repeaters are some of the most costly complications offered by the finest watch replica manufacturers.
The mechanical self-winding Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Reference 5033 P is without comparison, simply one of the most beautiful watches I have ever seen. This model not only features a minute repeater but an Annual Calendar too, a first for Patek Philippe.
The tonneau shape at first glance may be confused with the 5135 P, but look closer, observe the slide mechanism on the left hand side of the case.
Closer examination and you discover the discrete diamond, positioned on the side of the case at 6 o’clock between the interhorns. This denotes that the watch replica case is made of the ultimate precious metal, platinum, hence the suffix P after the reference number 5033.
Earlier this year at Baselworld, Patek Philippe revealed the 5033/100P, a new Haute Joaillerie version with baguette diamonds and a black or silvery grey dial.
The size and quality of the diamonds used is congruent with Patek Philippe’s pursuit of perfection.
Perfection is a term recklessly used often with little justification, not so with Patek Philippe. It is only at Patek Philippe where the President would insist on placing each Minute Repeater to his ear to confirm the precision and quality of the sound. Wonderful.
My future with Patek Philippe
Our courtship began many years ago, but I am convinced our relationship will be consummated with a well judged purchase very soon.
Disappointment at failing to secure a new 5135 P is tempered by the thought of numerous exquisitely detailed timepieces, branded with the PP seal on the calibre, that feature in the comprehensive book, “Collection 2010 – 2011” provided by my local authorised retailer.
The 5033 P is a tempting proposition which one day I will succumb to. I hope to acquire one for my 50th Birthday (several years away I may add) and hope it is still available by the time I have amassed the necessary funds.
However, Patek Philippe offer less costly models which share the “10 founding values” of this fantastic watch.
I will visit Baselworld in 2012 and cannot wait to see the next wonders to be made by this amazing manufacture.
I own several Patek Philippe Gondolo Calendario replica watches from many well know companies, but it is a Patek Philippe which I crave the most.