Patek Philippe has always been called the blue blood aristocrat in watches, and its main products have always been rare metals such as rose gold and platinum. As for the 5960 series, from the rose gold version launched in 2012 and the platinum version launched in 2013, Patek Philippe has always maintained a noble and luxurious watchmaking style. However, released in 2014, the stainless steel Ref.5960-1A, which will soon replace the rose gold and platinum versions, is enough to witness this stainless steel watch’s important position in the series.
Since its inception, Patek Philippe has produced only a handful of stainless steel watches. The first was the Nautilus series released in 1976, then the Aquanaut 20 years later, and now the new Ref. 5960-1A, all of which are widely sought after by collectors. ‘The world’s most expensive stainless steel watch’ has become synonymous with them, and Ref.5960-1A is more likely to set off a new wave of stainless steel watches.
From the appearance of the watch, the shiny white dial and the cool-looking case made of stainless steel give people a sense of resoluteness, low-key and unobtrusive. The smooth and rounded lines of the case highlight Patek Philippe’s tradition of advocating elegance and excellence in manufacturing. The Calatrava cross symbol on the crown always implies its kingship. Its matching five-row raindrop-shaped link ‘Groutte’ has been used on stainless steel watches for the first time since 1997 Ref. 5037/1. The design of ‘Grountte’ not only greatly improves the comfort compared with ordinary steel straps, but also complements and compliments the cool and brilliant case of 5960-1A, and the gold inlaid body with black oxidation treatment is more attractive Bright three-dimensional feeling.
The watch is equipped with its self-developed CH 25-520 IRM QA 24H self-winding movement, with an automatic return stellate wheel chronograph, power reserve display, annual calendar and day and night display functions. The frequency of its movement is 4 Hz (28,000 oscillations per hour), and the winding energy is provided by the 21K gold counter-clockwise winding swing behind the dial. Different from the ordinary stylus wheel design, the clamp will not control the operation of the clutch wheel mounted with the fork lever in the timing gear train, but instead acts as the power on the butterfly clutch to start or stop the fourth gear and the timing hand. Therefore, the chronograph second hand can also be used as a continuous second hand, without affecting the running accuracy of the watch, and effectively curb the jumping situation when the chronograph function starts and stops.
Another major feature of this movement is its Spiromax® hairspring made of Silinvar ®. Spiromax® has the advantages of balanced oscillation, low dead weight, and anti-magnetic properties. According to the requirements of the Patek Philippe imprint, the movement error of the movement of the same quality every day should be maintained between -3 and +2 seconds. Such a hairspring design provides the perfect solution for the pursuit of excellence.
The calendar device on the movement is Patek Philippe’s patented calendar system. The system can automatically distinguish the current month and its corresponding 30 or 31 days of the month each month. You only need to manually adjust it once a year on March 1st to complete the day and month adjustment.
Unlike the chronograph dials in other Patek Philippe series, the Ref. 5960 series is equipped with a separate single chronograph dial, whose scales occupy most of the space under the main dial. With three concentric scale rings, the accumulated time can be accurate to 12 hours. The delicate day and night display is located below the chronograph dial. The user can make effective judgments when adjusting the time through the switching window of white and dark blue colors.
The upper part of the dial is an annual calendar display. Between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, there are three arched windows, which display the day of the week, the date and the month. Below the date display window is a miniature power display to inform the user of the winding state of the mainspring.
Ref.5960-1A The seemingly low-key dial is actually equipped with gold-toned, black-oxidized Barton-style hands and three-dimensional hour markers. A fluorescent coating is attached to the hands and hour markers. The main second hand for chronograph and the chronograph second hand located on the chronograph dial are processed in bright red, which fully reflects the lively and young characteristics of this watch. Similarly, on the first day of each month, a red ‘1’ pattern will appear in the date window to inform the user of the start of the new month.
Patten Philippe’s chairman, Mr. Sidden, said in the release of this watch that Patek Philippe’s innovative initiative is to more attract young customers to pay attention to the brand. This statement was criticized by some older generation Patek Philippe collectors, who believed that Patek Philippe’s colors were obscure, subverting tradition, and over trendy.
However, the online evaluation of the watch is also mixed. Proponents say the watch is more sporty and balanced in design, giving users an option. Opponents emphasized that the watch is no different from the ‘Tag’ sports watch, ‘Citizen’ and Longines, or the design concept of the strap and pilots of less than 10,000 countries.
Regardless of the comment, the watch’s insights are also opinions. There is no doubt that this watch fully reflects Patek Philippe’s determination to try to open up a market for young customers. Now that Ref 5960-1A is in short supply, even the Patek Philippe Salon in the heart of Geneva is in short supply. Many watch collectors abroad have also published reviews of this watch. Will the new ‘Steel King’ be born? Let’s leave this question to the time to answer it!