Henry McIntosh discovers what it is that makes the Patek Philippe 5180/1G-010 Complication cost more than a high-end luxury car
Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Pope Pius IX all owned a Patek, Paul Godbold, the owner of Luxurious Magazine has a rare Patek Calatrava in his private watch collection demonstrating just how highly regarded the Swiss brand’s timepieces are.
On top of that, the brand can boast having sold the most expensive pocket watch and wristwatch in history, with its Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch selling at auction in 2014 for $24 million and, in 2016, the Patek Philippe 1518 wristwatch sold in Geneva for 11,002,000 CHF.
As you can imagine, even when a Patek Philippe is not a limited edition it will still cost a pretty penny, and at £70,870 the 5180/1G-010 Complication isn’t exactly cheap.
So what do you get for such a watch?
To start with, it’s crafted from white gold, which adds a luxurious appeal. The problem is that plenty of watches at far lower price-points also use the precious material.
What really stands out about the 5180/1G-010 Complication is the overall aesthetic of the watch and, most notably, the skeletonised dial which creates a sleek and timeless appearance.
I’ve always found there to be something mesmerising about a skeletonised dial; it’s a hard thing to perfect, and many brands have created rather unflattering incarnations of the form.
Fortunately, this particular complication demonstrates why the skeletonised dial can work to create an aesthetic of supreme elegance and refinement.
Indeed, it’s hard to tire of the interior construction of this watch. Beautifully configured golden brass wheels, luminous ruby-red jewels and springs demonstrate the intricacy and craft that goes into producing such a timepiece.
Such elements do not a Patek Philippe make, however, and the brand wouldn’t be so esteemed if it didn’t push boundaries. The way this extra mile is achieved with the 5180 is via the minuscule, handmade engravings on each component. These ensure that when the light hits the timepiece it will appear to dance.
This watch is also renowned for its ultra-thin 240 SQU movement, and great effort has gone into keeping the watch as slim as possible. At 2.53mm high, Patek hasn’t done a bad job, either.
This is not a limited edition watch as you might imagine it, yet it’s so time intensive to craft such a piece that Patek Philippe will only create a few each year.
This only adds to the exclusivity and appeal of what is unquestionably a stunning timepiece.