The original 5170 was introduced in 2010, in a yellow gold case, replacing the 5070. It was the first reference powered by Patek Philippe’s in-house caliber CH 29-535 PS. Subsequently, in 2013, Patek introduced the 5170 in white gold with a white dial (5170G-001). And now, for 2015, a new 5170 was introduced in white gold with a black dial (5170G-010).
To give a little background, the 5170’s predecessor – the 5070 – came out in 1998 (in yellow gold with black dial). The 5070 measures 42 mm in diameter by 11.6 mm thick (with a stepped bezel), has a pulsometer scale and the subdials do not intersect with the chapter ring. It’s powered by a heavily reworked Lemania-based manual wind movement that runs at 18,000 vph (or 2.5Hz) and has a 60-hour power reserve.
Patek Philippe 5070 in white gold
Reference 5170 is smaller than reference 5070 at 39.4 mm in diameter by 10.9 mm thick. And its powered the newer, manually wound in-house caliber CH 29-535 PS which runs at 4Hz, features a column-wheel with horizontal clutch, has 269 total components, 33 jewels and a 65-hour power reserve. In addition to being made in-house, the movement has smoother actuation of the chronograph than the previous Lemania. Also, the chronograph has jumping minutes, as opposed to continuously moving minutes.
Patek Philippe 5170G-001 in white gold
Earlier references, 5170J-001 and 5170G-001, were produced with a pulsometer scale on the outer ring of the dial. The 5070 was the same. However, interestingly, the 5070’s larger case allowed for the scale to be included “without” making the subdials intersect with the minutes ring. The earlier 5170 references, which have less space on the dial due to the smaller case size, had to be designed with subdials that intersect with the minute ring in order to keep the pulsometer scale.
Enter the latest 5170, which was made sans a pulsometer scale, and so the additional space on the dial allowed the designers to go back to subdials that do not intersect with the minute track (like on the 5070).
Another change, is the use of leaf-shaped hands, which are also a throwback to the original 5070s.
Patek Philippe (Ref. 5170G-010) Chronograph is paired with a shiny black alligator strap with square scales, that has been hand-stitched with a matching white gold fold-over clasp. Water-resistance is 30 meters. The retail price is $81,000.
When you start to compare the 5070 and 5170 references – there are positives and negatives for each of the variants. Although, in my mind, they all look great – and are all highly collectible. That said, the new version has a lot to like. The 39.4 mm by 10.9 mm case, the subdials that do not intersect with the minutes track, the omitted pulsometer scale (a scale that visually looks cool but that likely doesn’t get a ton of use) and the superb manually wound in-house Patek chronograph (which powers all the 5170 references). Not to mention, the new leaf-shaped hour and minute hands. Also, I really like the contrast of the white gold applied Breguet numerals and white gold hands, against the new ebony black opaline dial.