The tonneau watch bears a name that resonates in the heart of every connoisseur. Particularly in Brazil, the name Patek Philippe Chronometro Gondolo inspires awe among collectors and aficionados. A hundred years ago, Patek Philippe was a synonym for watch in this country on the equator. "My Patek says it's half past two," people would
state, even if they were not wearing a timepiece from the eminent manufacture in Geneva. Chronometro Gondolo was the name of an entire suite of watch models created by Patek Philippe explicitly for the Gondolo & Labouriau jewelry and watch retail company in Rio de Janeiro. For this once so important buyer, the workshops crafted the
exclusive Chronometro Gondolo collection for nearly thirty years. It featured square and rectangular as well as tonneau- and cushion-shaped cases. This is why Gondolo remains the name chosen for all current form watches made by Patek Philippe in Geneva. Now, the collection has just been enriched with the new, exclusive Chronometro Gondolo Ref. 5098P. It transports the design of the historic 1925 Chronometro Gondolo into the new millennium with perfect aplomb.
The tonneau is one of the classic case shapes in watchmaking, and it has never been as consummately refined as for the Ref. 5098. Departing from a 1925 Chronometro Gondolo model, the case design was subtly reworked, the contours delicately retouched, and the silhouette gently cambered for a snug, comfortable fit on the wrist. The curvature is also repeated in the crystal and display back. It takes advanced technologies and rare skills to shape sapphire crystal, an extremely hard mineral, to three-dimensional contours. The result is an aesthetically appealing case -available exclusively in platinum - with a beautifully balanced look and the functionality needed to protect the precious manufacture movement inside. Like all current Patek Philippe models with platinum cases, the new Chronometro Gondolo Ref. 5098P has a small diamond discreetly set between the lugs at 6 o'clock. The watch is worn on a matte black alligator strap with a platinum prong buckle inspired by its historic predecessor.
The mechanical movement of the new Chronometro Gondolo Ref. 5098P was developed especially for this watch. It is the manually wound caliber 25-21 REC PS (REC stands for rectangular), the manufacture's first simple form movement since its famous 1930s and 1940s predecessors, including the 9-90 caliber that was introduced in 1934 and built for more than thirty years. Together with the 25-21 REC, the Patek Philippe portfolio of manufacture movements currently encompasses 23 basic calibers that are crafted in 45 versions. In decisive details, its architecture follows the formal design that accounted for the beauty of the Chronometro Gondolo movements of the early 20th century. This applies to the elegant, S-shaped minute-wheel bridge and the slender escapewheel and fourth-wheel bridges that afford a generous glimpse of the rest of the movement. Patek Philippe's proprietary Gyromax balance is one of the contemporary features of the watch. The movement beats at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 semi-oscillations per hour) to assure aboveaverage rate accuracy and convenient adjustability for long-term precision.
The dial of the Ref. 5098P is as authentic as its 1925 precursor. It is a miniature work of art in rhodiumed gold, with a gentle curvature that extends to the horns. Its center and the zones outside the oval railway-track minute scale are carefully guilloched by hand. Guilloching has become a rare craft and this watch is a fine example of meticulous
artisanship. The oval hour scale lies between these guilloche zones, and cartouches at 12 and 6 o'clock showcase the brand name "Patek Philippe Geneve" as well as the model designation "Chronometro Gondolo." Two pear-shaped hands in black oxidized gold hover above the dial and move with chronometric precision.
Also known as: Patek Philippe 5098P-001, Patek 5098P-001, Patek 5098P001, Patek 5098P, Patek 5098 P