The Replica Patek Philippe is reliably conservative and has legions of repeat clients who expect nothing less. This can, however, mean that sometimes quite radical developments get lost in the calm. Shown at the spring trade fair in Basel to suitably subdued fanfare, the 5200 Gondolo 8 Days is a case in point.
The replica Gondolo is a watch for Patek purists, its rectangular art deco case takes time to accept, and it’s traditionally fitted with “simple” movements, including a ten-day running tourbillon. This new model has a shorter power reserve than its predecessor of a decade past, and a regular escapement replacing
the tourbillon, so what’s the fuss about?
The answer is not the comparatively bold and assertive dial design, nor the unusual inclusion of a day-date display, but the new calibre 28-20 movement, specifically designed for the watch.
Manual-wind watches are considered more “serious” by purists as winding by hand (as opposed to letting the watch self-wind with a rotor) means the main spring can be kept more closely to its optimum state of power delivery to the gear train. The 28-20 is the first manual-wind to be fitted with Patek’s recently developed silicon technology (components are printed from silicon wafers rather than machined from metal alloys) and thus a moment for Patek Philippe “ultras” to savour. In other words the new replica Gondolo proves the new technology works as Replica Patek Philippe does not, and cannot afford to, experiment on their customers.
The Replica Gondolo 5200 is available in two models, with a silver-white opalescent dial, or with a matt blue sunburst dial, and costs £39,960.