A novel combination
In 2011, Patek Philippe introduced the reference 5235 (exclusively available in white gold at first, until it was substituted for this rose gold variant in 2019), combining the annual calendar complication with a regulator dial layout. The annual calendar complication was invented by the manufacture in 1996, first made available in the reference 5035. It was developed to show relevant information about the day, whilst also providing a more accessible price point for such a complication, when compared with the brand’s perpetual calendars.
The reference 5235 annual calendar mechanism only requires adjustment once a year in February, as it accounts for the long and short months throughout the year. The day, date and month are located within the three apertures displayed on top and bottom of the dial, which are all very legible. These are adjusted using the correctors on the left side of the case.
Furthermore, the 5235 builds upon the annual calendar complication by integrating a regulator-style layout, with the hours, minutes, and seconds broken out into three separate dials. Regulator clocks, developed in England in the early 18th century, introduced unprecedented accuracy over other types of clocks, as well as this new way of displaying time. The minutes became the true protagonists of the dial with a large, central sweep hand, while the hours and seconds were usually relegated to smaller sub-dials.
The design of this 5235R is distinctly different to that of any other Patek Philippe wristwatch. The matte black sub-dials and outer track elegantly contrast with the graphite-coloured, vertically brushed central section. The varied colour treatments, rose gold rings around the sub-dials and brushed central section gives the dial a bold appearance, which plays with the light in appealing ways.
The overall appearance is symmetrical and legible, with a large, central sweep hand indicating the minutes, sub-dial at 12 o’clock for the hours and a sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the seconds. The Patek Philippe signature is placed at 3 o’clock, engraved fairly deeply into the dial, yet left unfilled with lacquer. Surprisingly, at certain angles, the signature fades into the brushed surface.
The rose gold case of the 5235R offers an appealing contrast with the dark, textured dial. With an angular style reminiscent of some vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch (notably the ref. 3448 and 3450), it features angular lugs, a circular polished case and a sloped bezel. Sized at a contemporary 40.5mm, the 5235R sits comfortably on the wrist.
The 5235R is powered by Patek Philippe’s 31-260 REG QA calibre – the first serially-produced watch from the brand to integrates parts from their Advanced Research division, such as the Pulsomax escapement, Spiromax balance spring, and Gyromax balance. Interestingly, according to SJX, the caliber 31-260, in any variant, is only found in the ref. 5235. In contrast, Patek Philippe’s other automatic calibre with micro-rotor, the cal. 240, is produced in seven variants and found in almost thirty models.
The movement integrates 31 jewels and beats at a frequency of 23,040 VPH. It is beautifully finished, with exquisite chamfering on all angles, polishing and decoration, in the form of Geneva striping. Furthermore, the 22k solid-gold micro-rotor is finished in classic Patek Philippe style, with Geneva stripes.
This Patek Philippe ref. 5235R comes as with its original box, Certificate of Origin, leather wallet and setting pin.
It comes on one of our grey nubuck Helsinki straps, and is also accompanied by its original Patek Philippe alligator strap and rose gold buckle.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.