Patek Ref. 5235G – an owner’s review

This is the first of three “Owner’s Reviews” from guest contributor, I am grateful to him for providing the insight and knowledge that only ownership of a watch can bring. The Patek Ref. 5235G.

The reference 5235G is definitely a unique piece from Patek. Being a regulator dial certainly separates it from the rest of the Patek Philippe range.  Recently released in rose gold, I bought the white gold model as soon as it was released.

I , like most people, waited for nearly 3 years to get my watch since its launch in 2011. The excitement was elevated when the Patek magazine featured this watch with a 6-page spread extolling the virtues and highlighting all the technical innovations used in bringing this watch to the marketplace. Spiromax, silvinar and oscillomax were all incorporated into the Ref. 5235 giving it more accuracy, a longer power reserve and finally a Patek Philippe that hacked (other than the uber model 5959).

So now that I have worn this super watch ( in all senses of the word ) does the hype live up to the reality?

The one question I still cannot answer is , if the name Patek Philippe was not on the dial would I still have bought it? Probably not but I definitely would have been attracted to this watch. Being a regulator is certainly a difference that attracts a lot of collectors. It harps back to the old regulator style long clocks and the accuracy that it brings is definitely a plus.

But this watch is so very different from any other watch in my collection. I collect vintage pieces such as Ref. 2526, Ref. 1593 and Ref. 2442, as well as vintage Rolex  Princes and sports watches , so what I am doing with this watch that so clearly stands out in my collection?

At the outset let me say I am absolutely smitten with this new piece. It is on the larger side at 40 mm diameter but not too thick (10mm).  Remember it houses an automatic movement with a 60 hour power reserve as well as the annual calendar.  I am certainly not going to go over all the technical details. These can be obtained from the web with a couple of clicks. This is a users report.

As mentioned it is a large piece compared to many of the watches in my collection that I have worn but it does not wear large. The very simple white gold case with straight lugs sits very easily on the wrist. The low crown poses no problem in terms of comfort and does not irritate my wrist.

The brushed sides of the case make it look quite inconspicuous giving it a stainless steel look rather than a brilliant white gold or platinum look. It does have a polished bezel surrounding the dial which offsets the two tone dial perfectly.

The dial is a design worthy of any Bauhaus designer ( as is the case). Simple, effective with enamelled letters to the right side of the dial, making it slightly unbalanced but in a way that works. The design and position of the windows can be debated but Patek has a winner here. Yes the dial divides collectors ( I agree with previous commentators  that this is a watch that will appeal primarily to collectors.) The brushed dial and the enamelled letters seem to change colour depending on light and position.

The simple baton hands fit in well with the overall design

As regards the primary feature of the watch, telling the time ( although some collectors will tell you this is of secondary importance these days) is actually very easy. It does take a few days to orientate yourself when looking at the face but the large minute hand is obviously easy to see and the small hour hand rotates around the subdial with large enough numbers so that finding the hour is simple. Day, date and month are  clear and easy to read.

Small unobtrusive buttons on the left hand side of the case are very easy to set with the tool provided.

One of the advantages of all the technical advances is the 60 hour power reserve. This is a really useful feature if you do not have an automatic winding box or are too lazy to use it. You are not beholden to wear your new watch every day ( although I am guessing you will) and can put it down for a day or two quite safely with out going through the rigmarole of resetting  the day, date and month again. 

One minor positive that this watch brings is the lovely blue alligator strap which co- orientates very well with the blue in the dial. Another lovely touch. 

Oh yes, if you get bored with the dial you can turn it over and look at the movement through the crystal back. The new 31- 260 movement is a marvel to look at with Patek’s usual high standard of finishing on view.

In summary Patek have a winner .  Something brand new, innovative and appealing.

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