In 2007, Patek Philippe relaunched a legendary collection that had literally been in limbo for eighty years: the Chronometro Gondolo. In 2009, the brand unveiled Ref. 5098R, a new version with an18K rose gold case and a matching dial. The warmth that it radiates played a particularly important role in the art nouveau and art deco periods.
Both the tonneau shape and rose gold are typical for art deco watch cases. But rarely have these two assets been so systematically and purely implemented as for the Ref. 5098. Its geometry was inspired by a Chronometro Gondolo that dates back to 1925, except that its silhouette is now gently curved to embrace the wrist. The fact that this curvature extends across the crystal and the transparent back, however, called for latest-generation precision technologies and the ability to accurately grind the extremely hard sapphire crystal to achieve a tight fit with the case. The result is a watch that has a fascinating aura of perfection.
The movement that ticks inside the Chronometro Gondolo Ref. 5098R is as iconic in style as the superb tonneau case. It is Patek Philippe’s manually wound caliber 25-21 REC (REC for RECtangular), an exemplary study in modern horology. But it is also endowed with many of the formal details that set the Chronometro Gondolo movements of the early 20th century apart from all others. This applies especially to the S-shaped center-wheel bridge and to the slender escape-wheel and fourth-wheel cocks that afford a generous view into the depths of the movement. The Gyromax balance wheel invented by Patek Philippe has a frequency of 4 Hertz (28,800 semi-oscillations/hour) and assures the high rate accuracy of this watch.
The cambered dial of the Ref. 5098R, as authentic in style as its 1925 predecessor, is a small work of art that descends gently toward the lugs. Its silver-plated center and the surface that surrounds the railway track minute scale are artistically hand-guilloched using a now very rare artisanal technique. Between the two guilloched zones lies the brown gilt hour scale with brown painted Breguet numerals.
Two cartouches that touch the hour scale at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock contain the signature of the maker, Patek Philippe Genève, and the “Chronometro Gondolo” model designation. The two pear-shaped hands are made of brown-colored gold.
Model: Chronometro Gondolo, Ref. 5098R
Caliber 25-21 REC
Manually wound mechanical movement
Dimensions: 24.60 mm x 21.50 mm
Height: 2.55 mm
Number of parts: 142
Number of jewels: 18
Power reserve: Max. 44 hours
Frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations/hour (4 Hz)
Balance spring: Flat
Functions: Two-position crown:
– Pulled out: To set the time
– Pushed in: To wind the watch
Displays: Hours, minutes
18K rose gold with cambered sapphire crystal, cambered transparent sapphire-crystal back secured with four polished screws
Water-resistant to 30 meters
Case dimensions: Height: 42 mm
Width: 32 mm
Thickness: 8.90 mm from the crystal to the transparent back
Overall thickness: 11.45 mm from the crystal to the lugs
Width between lugs: 17 mm
Rhodiumed gold, cambered, manually guilloched, silvery and brown gilt Patek Philippe logo and model name “Chronometro Gondolo” in rounded cartouches at 12 and 6 o’clock
12 brown painted Breguet numerals
Pear-shaped hour and minute hands in brown-colored gold
Hand-stitched, large-scaled alligator, matt dark brown. Historic screwed 14 mm-prong buckle in 18 K rose gold