Looking at a watch on a screen or on someone else’s wrist can often lead to a feeling of wanting that watch. When it looks just so good, how can it fail to deliver? One watch that always looks stunning on screen or on someone else’s wrist is the Reference 5370P. I did a brief review of this watch in June 2017. Time for another inspection….having owned it for the last couple of years and had it on my wrist for extended periods of time, it seems only fitting to give an owner’s review.
First, a short recap on why I bought the 5370P. Essentially there were five factors that drove my decision. I had no Rattrapante in my collection and this one appeared stunning to my eyes. My preference for white metal and black dials was always going to be another positive for this watch. I also have a strong love of Breguet numerals and when set against the deep black enamel dial of the 5370P, the effect is to accentuate the beauty of the white gold numerals even more. Fourthly, the DNA of the watch is very much to the fore with the 5370. It borrows from history without stealing from it – the very first Patek Philippe Rattrapante from 1923 was also a manual wind, with enamel dial and Breguet numerals. Finally, the 5370P has its in-house movement finished to a level that is just stunning. The finishing is absolutely top level.
Mirror-like black enamel dial
With a diameter of 41mm and height of 13.6mm, the watch is at the upper end of my comfort zone. However, how one wears this watch is crucial. For me, wearing this with a suit and shirt when taking my wife to a great restaurant, it feels absolutely perfect. Yes, this is not a watch to be worn casually for me. It is a watch with a sense of occasion.
Before discussion moves to the experience of ownership, let me outline some of the basics of the watch. Caliber 29-535 was previously used in the Reference 5204. It has been applied to the 5370P and I cannot stress enough just how extraordinary has been the finishing of the movement. I have seen a lot of movements from Patek Philippe, and the 5370P has to be in the very highest category. In previous reviews, I have mentioned how silk-like the winding mechanism is. For a manual wind Rattrapante, the feel of the wind is not unimportant. The 5370P does not disappoint. The case design borrows from prior vintage classics such as the Reference 1436 and Reference 1563. However, it is important to stress that the case of the 5370P is very much an original. It has its own very specific personality that is quite distinct from any prior iteration.
One of the most finely finished movements by Patek Philippe
Enamel dials are not unique within Patek Philippe, but they are certainly not the norm. Black enamel dials, in particular are rare. In terms of how Patek Philippe values a watch, one can make a strong argument to suggest that black/blue enamel within a platinum case sits at the very top of the table. The enamelling process used in the 5370P adopts a process that sees a white gold dial coated at super-high temperature with deep black enamel. The result is a black mirror-like sheen that is breathtaking. As previously mentioned, the contrast between the white gold Breguet numerals and this deep black mirror-like dial is something to behold.
The 5370P has a purity that is hard to define. It is, for me, almost a perfect watch. The ownership experience has been exactly how I had hoped it would be. This watch is no ordinary watch. It has a real presence on the wrist. I spent some time wearing it for work. To be honest, that just didn’t do it. It felt totally wrong. However, when I wore it to a fancy restaurant taking my wife out for dinner, it was fantastic. It needs that sense of occasion. This is not a watch that worked well for me with a pair of jeans. It did work well with a shirt and suit….a celebration watch.
A perfect two-watch collection?
I would not look for more than one Rattrapante in my collection. I have a preference for round watches rather than cushion-shaped. For me, the Reference 5370P fills a very specific hole in my collection. As one would expect, the initial months of ownership saw that typical honeymoon period where I saw the watch as Top 2 in my collection (behind the Reference 3448J).
Whenever I spend a lot of money on a watch, that watch always becomes Top 2 for the initial months. It is a way of justifying the spend! After two years, I would say that the 5370P is not Top 2, but is very solid in my Top 6. A further review in a couple of years will see how that evolves, but unless another absolutely stunning Rattrapante is released by Patek Philippe, I suspect I will still be enjoying dinners with the 5370P on my wrist.