Patek Philippe 5059P, Perpetual Calendar, Platinum

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This Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5059P* is one of the last examples of classical Patek Philippe perpetual calendars, and has a fascinating quirk in the form of a silver, rather than black date hand. This was the result of a request from the owner, and is an unusual example of the manufacture being willing to accede to small tweaks to watches post-sale.

Perpetual Calendars

“Of course, watchmakers just love a perpetual calendar,” enthuses Stephane Widmer, technical office manager for Bovet. “I mean, here’s a complication, parts of which don’t move for hundreds of days and then which have to move precisely at one particular time on one particular day. It’s mechanically pure – and us watchmakers tend to be a bit square. Admittedly it’s not a very playful complication – you can’t press buttons and see something happen for the fun of it. That said, we do have customers who get together to sit and wait for midnight on a leap year to see the date flip over. The perpetual calendar inspires that kind of adulation.”

Indeed, it may come down to a tie with a minute repeater, but the mechanical perpetual calendar is certainly one of the most complicated of complications – after all, it displays the date in a way that, unlike most watches, not only allows for the various number of days in different months, but also compensates for leap years, such that a perpetual calendar worn consistently from today won’t need resetting until 2100.