Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R Skeleton Watch Hands-On

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R Skeleton Watch Hands-On

Obviously, there are numerous ways the new-for-2017 Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R could be portrayed. The most convenient way would be an extensive utilization of fawning superlatives – it is, after each of the, a full-gold, skeletonized Patek Philippe. I take a gander at it and think not that, but more that it is a preposterous dinosaur of a watch, a T-Rex shaking Mr. T’s gold chains.

All pictures by David Bredan

I mean, who is this watch for? Is it for elderly individuals? Possibly some stogie smoking, retired baddie in Florida, maybe. That’s a pinhead of a target gathering, barely meriting such a lot of effort put into a watch, so who else? More youthful individuals? Don’t see rappers or footballers shaking this. It’s too thin and filigree to look great on Instagram or in dim VIP territories. Is it for the Wall Street financier? Indeed, in the event that you are getting it with newly laundered Russian natural gas cash, this definite aides say something – no offense to the leftover decent individuals of de Waalstraat.


I swear, on the off chance that I could, I’d photoshop this gold bracelet around the neck of this T-Rex. Source: Chicago Tribune

In all reality though, what about us, watch enthusiasts? As far as we might be concerned, this is a gallery piece – it works a lot like that aforementioned dinosaur. I think, the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R should be in plain view in galleries around the planet, where it could be appreciated as a fascinating thing of the past, something that so noisily and gladly relaxes in its immateriality and oddity today. As it were, it is the lord of its sort that would, were it in its natural habitat, command respect and humility.

Today, though? Wearing all the things it had put on as it progressed through its own impasse road of evolution, it looks as preposterous and ludicrous, as it is amazing and fascinating. I’m happy I had the noteworthy opportunity of seeing it live and I’ll everlastingly anticipate seeing another in reality; although where it counts I realize that will never happen.

If you came here for the specs and those groveling superlatives, I won’t leave you without them. The Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R is one magnificently executed dress watch – particularly as in it could dress even the most exposed of rulers. Patek Philippe calls the 2.53mm thick self-winding 240 type “famous” and “ultra-thin” – we are more persuaded about the latter, not such a huge amount about the previous. That is to say, even in the nerdiest of watch get-togethers, I think that its difficult to envision individuals arranging en masse and shouting upon first sight: “Wow, that’s the type 240!”


The hand-etching is top notch quality, in accordance with what you’d expect from a 87,000 CHF watch. Lots of depth meet consistent intricacy: it is the sort of hand-made where it makes things remarkably beautiful, and not where it’s a pardon for disappointing execution. Patek say it takes about 130 hours of work to play out the etching work – that’s more than 3 weeks of work and although strictly talking it isn’t watchmaking, the etching represents some tangible and genuine added value.

From the industry all in all, I couldn’t imagine anything better than to see the artists themselves get credit significantly more frequently and straightforwardly, maybe by letting them sign their work in a discreet manner, exhibit them in corporate communications, or what have you. What I normally hear brands say when we’re not permitted to photograph certain individuals from their staff in the manufactures is that they fear competitors stealing their labor force – still, the vehicle industry seems to have figured out how to sort these things out a lot better, for example marked AMG motors, shrouded signatures to a great extent, and certain specialists and fashioners given almost celebrity status. Us watch sweethearts are expected to twist around in reverse for the prestigious manufacture and just that, as though these valuable things just dropped out of the sky.

The 18k rose gold case itself is just 6.7mm thick and nearly 39 millimeters wide. Throughout the long term, it has put on a couple of millimeters of extra girth – just like that Florida baddie – as the case is stretched out by the gold stick hour markers that drive the fringe of the case further from the movement. This method is shrouded 99% of the time, for all we typically see is a smaller sapphire window on the back that helps camouflage the size contrast between movement and case. Here, though, the age of the 40 year old movement and how the case is inflated is truly on show, as the 240 was initially intended to fit in more modest watches that had been in design many years prior. Who realized that 39mm permitted one to wear the huge watch trend? Everything necessary is a 40 year old movement.

The rose gold, 15-connect bracelet (I counted it!) is strikingly adaptable and comfortable to wear – to take a gander at, perhaps not to such an extent. It’s an actual waterfall of gold around the wrist. This much gold for gold’s purpose functions as an almost artistic contrast against the intricacy of the hand-engraved movement. It is reckless ostentation against 130 hours of extremely engaged, careful evaluation craftsmanship. Poetic, isn’t it? Don’t get me off-base, the bracelet itself shows up so infinitely costly its esthetic boggles the psyche, and I’ll promptly admit, some time or another I desire to be in a position where I can nonchalantly shake a full gold bracelet like this (or of some other configuration), just because.

But with Patek, I’m just gradually admitting to myself that I’m seeing a just because side of – think about the awful 5522, the abnormal, boasting maths equation on the dial of the 5976/1G , or the unwearably measured, ultimate just on the grounds that watch, the Grandmaster Chime .

All on the whole, the 5180/1R is a watch I’m glad to have seen and respect for similar reasons as I love to have seen and respect a T-Rex (in an exhibition hall). It’s a lord of a distant memory time, wearing all the boisterous and significantly intimidating codes that evolution taught it to put on to elicit dread and humility from its companions – but those codes are irrelevant and fringe silly today. Unexpectedly, both the 5180/1R and the T-Rex today stay to be considered distinctly to be skeletons.

Price for the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5180/1R is 87,000 CHF. patek.com