This outstanding minute repeater annual calendar watch is the only known example of the reference 5033 to be made in titanium, it is therefore, unquestionably the key piece of the reference and a truly world-class object. It offers the opportunity for international connoisseurs to join a highly exclusive group of collectors indeed – those fortunate few who possess a titanium Patek Philippe complicated watch.
Patek Philippe has only used titanium on very special occasions, this metal is reserved for the cases of its most high-profile and special unique-piece watches, in fact, only a handful of titanium cased watches have been created over the company’s entire production. Including the references: 6000T, 5001T, 5102T, 5396T, 5524T, 5712T, 5004T, 5208T and the present 5033T, each a unique titanium example of the respective reference and amongst the most desired and valuable trophies of Patek Philippe’s modern production.
As the only known titanium example of reference 5033, not unexpectedly, this remarkable watch has its own very distinct individual character. The use of titanium for the case provides a quite unique aesthetic in comparison with the regular platinum version, with noticeably sharper angles and brushed finishing, and in terms of the feel and weight, its lightness is the polar opposite of the platinum version. The unmistakable grey colour of the titanium harmonizes with the two-tone silvery grey Roman dial to perfection. It is also notable that the titanium case, quite naturally, has a subtle effect on the acoustics of the ‘cathedral’ repeating gongs, which sound with a clear, rich tone.
The first examples of the reference was a special order of just 10 pieces made in 2002, nine were made in platinum, the 10th watch, the present watch, was made as a unique piece in titanium. To highlight its very special status as a one-of-a-kind watch, it was given its own separate reference number: 5033T-001. This set it apart from the other nine platinum pieces with the reference 5033P-001. These first ten watches of the 5033-001 series were fitted with a distinctive specially designed two-tone silvery grey dial with guilloché centre and elongated black Roman numerals.
The combination of the annual calendar complication with that of the minute repeater defines the reference 5033, it was the first time that Patek Philippe had brought together these two complications in a wristwatch. Inspired by historic models from the Art Deco era, its elegant design incorporates a very distinctive arrangement of large triple calendar apertures. The 5033’s movement is calibre R27 PS QA which comprises 483 individual components. The beautifully melodious sound of the repeating is provided by extra-long ‘cathedral’ gongs, developed by Patek Philippe, the gongs are made from a special alloy which enhances and prolongs the rich tone of the minute repeater.
Discontinued in 2012, only around 80 pieces were ever made during the ten-year production period of the reference 5033. It is a watch that is so treasured and beloved by its owners that to date only 5 examples have returned to the open market since the model’s launch 18 years ago.