The release by Patek Philippe of the new Ref. 5370P with blue enamel dial raised a few eyebrows.
From those owners who already had the Ref. 5370P with black enamel dial, there was a general feeling of disappointment that the 5370 range had been broadened. Indeed, many prior owners had hoped that the reference would be discontinued thereby allowing the existing black enamel dial to become a great rarity.
From those who did not already own the black dial, the reception of the new version was generally met with enthusiasm. I would guess around half preferring the black dial and half preferring the new blue dial.
I have reviewed the Ref. 5370P in depth on this blog so there is no need to re-review the watch. I have said before that I believe the reference is one of the finest modern watches made by Patek Philippe. I still think that is true. However, I do think that it is worth delving a little into whether some owners of the first edition black enamel are right to feel aggrieved at the release of the new model. As one collector who already owned the original 5370P black dial said to me…”I feel cheated.”
To be honest, when I saw the new blue dial version, my immediate reaction was that I thought I preferred it more than the black dial. I thought it looked absolutely incredible. It is no secret that my personal taste is very much for platinum cases with blue dials. And this new version of the 5370P is quite stunning. If I was given the choice of having one of these two versions, I think I would have chosen the new blue dial version.
As I look at this watch, I am left feeling that it is, essentially, close to perfect. In an ideal world, maybe 39mm would have been perfect.
My apologies for stealing the concept from someone else (and I cannot recall who it was…sorry), I cannot own every great watch that is made, but I can make sure that I feel every watch in my collection is great. Do I believe that my Ref. 5370P black dial is a great watch? Absolutely I do. Does the production of a new blue enamel dial detract from the original black enamel? And, to be clear, from the perspective of Patek Philippe, when they have created a watch as fine as the Ref. 5370, why shouldn’t they expand the range to encompass different tastes?
Does the release of the blue enamel version make the black enamel version any less fabulous?
From every angle of this watch, it is stunning. Within the entire range of watches from Patek Philippe, the scale of finishing and attention to detail on the Ref. 5370P excels.
I can think of few cases that have been crafted as beautifully as the Ref. 5370P. It is literally outstanding.
So, as I see it, the Ref. 5370P in either blue or black enamel places the watch at the very pinnacle of excellence. Now, and herein lies the rub, should Patek Philippe have ended production of the Ref. 5370P, thereby allowing the original black enamel version to become a future legend given the scarcity of its production?
On this question I am ambivalent. From an owner’s perspective, it is always nice that a watch owned has a scarcity and exclusivity to it. However, in this instance, the rarity of owning the black enamel version is not especially hampered by the likely production of the new blue dial. And should Patek Philippe really be catering to collectors who bought the original because of its expected rarity and future value? And for those that missed buying the original or who are mesmerised by the blue enamel version, then this release is fantastic news.
I view rarity as the cherry on the icing on the cake when it comes to watches. It is very much something I like having with my watches, but it is absolutely not the determining factor for buying a watch. I love the black enamel dial 5370P. I prefer the blue enamel 5370P. No problem for me. If the Ref. 5370P was my absolute favourite watch in my collection, then I can imagine a mental debate about buying the new blue dial version. However, although I do consider the Ref. 5370P a fabulous watch, it is not near the top of the list of my own favourite watches within my collection. So, thankfully, that mental debate doesn’t need to happen.
But if it did, then I think it would be hard to resist this new blue enamal marvel. It is sublime. It does also raise another interesting question. When Patek Philippe want to produce something extraordinary in platinum, what dial colour do Patek Philippe consider to be at the top of the food chain? Black or Blue? Maybe that is a blog for another occasion.