The Patek Philippe 5204R replica watch is impressive. Right. So no big news here. Clearly, arguing that a split-seconds chronograph with perpetual calendar from Patek Philippe is an impressive watch is kind of an euphemism. But that doesn’t prevent us from drooling in front of it.
First introduced in platinum with a white dial and black gold indexes and hands (ref. 5204P-001), it then came in another edition, a platinum case with a black dial (ref. 5204P-011). While the latter is still in the 2016 collection, the first one has been removed and somehow replaced by this 18k pink gold edition with white dial, the Patek Philippe 5204R-001.
The ref. 5204 was introduced at Baselworld 2012, as a substitute to the ref. 5004, the previous rattrapante QP of the brand. If the overall concept and the complications used in the mens fake Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph watch weren’t changed, the watch brought several improvements and updates: a larger case (following the trend for larger watches), a brand new movement, based on the in-house manually-wound chronograph of Patek Philippe and a new layout for the perpetual calendar, aiming for a better legibility of the chronograph sub-counters (some liked it, some not). However, the overall look of the 5204 remained closed from the previous edition… you don’t over-change an icon!
The combination of a chronograph with a perpetual calendar is a sort of love story at Patek Philippe. We could even set it as the motto of the brand, together with the minute repeaters – and probably the Nautilus, the Calatrava and the world-timer too (there’s a lot of icons at Patek). Since then, it has been part of the DNA of Patek and finally, it came to a pinnacle with the 5004, followed by the 5204, by adding the rattrapante function. So yes, the Patek Philippe 5204R is demonstrative, on paper… Itself, the watch remains rather restrained. This combination of a QP and chrono is a long lineage that began with the reference 1518, the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph, introduced in the middle of the 1940s.
At the time of its introduction, the dial also brought its dosage of updates, with the arrival of a new QP module, the same as used in the 5270. Instead of displaying the leap year and the day-and-night indicator into the chronograph sub-dials at 3 and 9, Patek wanted to improve legibility in keeping these counters as clean as possible and only focused on the chronograph functions. Thus, the leap year moved in a small window at 4h30 and the the day-and-night indicator in another window at 7h30 (changing from white to blue, depending on the moment of the day). If some applauded the gain in legibility, other collectors regretted the traditional layout. The rest of the dial remains classical for a chronograph with QP by Patek: day and month in windows at 12, date and moon-phase at 6. Another change that appeared in the new generation of chronographs by PP is the off-centered position of the sub-counters, slightly under the mid-axis of the dial – an anti-copy subterfuge.
Again, it isn’t difficult to say that the Patek Philippe 5204R Split-Seconds Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is a beauty (you can’t cheat a cheater). To say that this new edition in Pink Gold in very attractive isn’t difficult too. It adds a warmer look, the beauty of gold, to a watch that used to be somehow cold in platinum. It is restrained, very faithful to the history of the brand (something that some recent watches in the PP catalogue don’t have…) and at the same time technically modern. Yes, it is extremely appealing… and certainly inaccessible to mere mortals. However, once passed the slap in the face of having such a watch in the hands, the Swiss-made Patek Philippe 5204R replica is impressive for good reasons.