The present lot is fresh to the market and was purchased at the historical Salons Patek Philippe Geneve, 41 Rue du Rhone. Obviously worn once or twice at most, if ever, the piece is absolutely unspoiled in all of its parts, allowing the elaborate case design and enthralling black and gilt dial to be fully appreciated in all their glory.
Reference 5074 is one of the most technologically complex, aesthetically appealing and hard-to-find modern Patek Philippe wristwatches. In production from 2001 to 2005 in yellow gold, since 2005 in pink gold and in platinum since 2009.
Reference 5074 can be considered one of the most striking stylistic exercises by Patek Philippe. It seamlessly blends design traits inherited from vintage horology with modern solutions. The final result is breath-taking.
The dial with its three subsidiary counters and no windows obviously looks back at the timeless and supremely balanced design of perpetual calendars of the past century, such as reference 1518 and 2499. The lugs as well are unmistakably inspired by the celebrated lug design of reference 2499, with the outer top edge of each sculpted with a subtle groove. The blank sloped and stepped bezel, instead, is a trait typical of modern horology, as is its impressive diameter of 42 mm.
It incorporates the legendary "Cathedral" repeating mechanism, consisting of a high-tone and a low-tone gong. When the repeating is activated, first the number of hours is stroke by means of one of the two hammers on the low-tone gong, followed by the quarter hours with double strikes on both the low-tone and the high-tone gong, and finally the number of minutes which have elapsed since the last quarter-hour with one hammer on the high-tone gong.
The length of the gong in a standard repeating mechanism corresponds to almost precisely one turn in the movement whereas those of the "Cathedral" mechanism exceed the case circumference by at least one and a half, even two turns. Consequently, a much richer and fuller timbre is achieved, resembling the chime of the bells of a cathedral.