Every industry seems to have a brand within it that captures the imaginations of every customer, competing brand and member of the public that gazes upon its designs. In the automotive world, you have Ferrari, in the world of jewelry you have Tiffany & Co., and in the world of horology, you have Patek Philippe. Situated at the zenith of watchmaking for well over a century, Patek Philippe has created some of the most historically significant timepieces of all time.
In typical Patek Philippe fashion, their timepieces are functional, excellently made, and objectively beautiful, and one such watch that exemplifies this is the ref. 5170. Constructed of platinum and featuring baguette diamond hour markers and an incredibly executed dial, this is a timepiece that both, flies under the radar and packs a serious punch for those that give it a second glance.
The star of the ref. 5170 is, without a doubt, its dial. Offered with a graduated blue to black dial, which is designated on the Certificate of Origin as "bleu degrade noir", the ref. 5170 has to be experienced in the metal to be truly appreciated. The polymerization of its blue to black gradient, a sunburst finish, and grooved chronograph subdials provides one of the most visually appealing dials of any timepiece. In addition to this, as alluded to, the hour markers are baguette diamonds, further enriching the already graceful dial that extra bit and subtly hinting at the luxurious foundations upon which Patek Philippe has been built upon.
While objectively I’d say that this is a very beautiful watch, the desirability of it is further emphasized by its rarity. Patek Philippe didn’t make and sell many 5170s, but this particular platinum version goes above and beyond that as it was only produced for two years between 2017 and 2019, before being discontinued altogether. I do think that this particular variant of the 5170 is a sleeper and one that will be insanely collectible once people start to realize.
While not overly complicated, the ref. 5170 perfectly captures everything that a Patek Philippe timepiece is. Gorgeously designed and fantastically finished, the attention to detail on display here is second to none. It is only through appreciating timepieces like the ref. 5170 does it become blatantly obvious why Patek Philippe resides within the Holy Trinity, as watchmakers par excellence.