THE TITANIUM COLLECTION
This important wristwatch is the only example of the rare 5033 reference currently known to have been made in titanium. Reference 5033 was originally released as a special order of only 10 pieces in 2002. Nine of these pieces were made in platinum, the remaining piece, the present watch, was specially made in titanium. The full reference code for the platinum pieces was 5033P-001 whilst the titanium example had its very own reference: 5033T-001. The 5033-001 series was manufactured with a specially designed two-tone silvery grey dial with guilloché center and stretched black Roman numerals. According to our research, reference 5033 was listed by Patek Philippe until 2012. The entire production of the model was small: our research suggests a total of approximately 80 pieces were made across all variations of the reference, of which only 5 have re-appeared on the market.
As the only known titanium example of the 5033, the present watch has its own unique character. The grey color of the case metal perfectly complements the two-tone silvery grey finish of the dial and the lightness of the titanium gives a markedly and surprisingly different feel to the watch when compared to the standard platinum version. Titanium is, of course, extremely hard wearing and it is interesting to note the sharpness of angles to the case when compared to platinum versions of the reference. It is fascinating to note the tonal subtleties of the chiming in a titanium case.
The elegant design of the 5033, with its broad ‘coussin-tortue’ case, is inspired by the Art Deco period. The arrangement of the calendar apertures is unusual, yet reminiscent of famous historical Patek Philippe models with triple aperture calendars such as the unique Calatrava no.828.665, made in 1941 and the platinum rectangular no.860.182, made in 1938. The two aforementioned watches are illustrated in Huber, M. and Banbery, A., Patek Philippe Wristwatches, Second Edition, p. 278. However, it is the combination of the annual calendar complication with that of minute repetition that defines the 5033 model. Indeed, it is the first time that Patek Philippe have combined these two complications in a wristwatch. The 5033’s movement incorporates the innovative calibre R27 PS QA, a masterpiece of mechanical complexity which comprises an astonishing 483 individual parts. The exceptionally sonorous nature of the repetition is achieved by the use of extra long ‘cathedral’ gongs, made from a special alloy that provides a rich and long lasting tone when struck by the movement’s polished repeating hammers.
The present reference 5033T is an extremely rare complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch. The production of a special titanium case would have required specific tooling, adding greatly to the cost of manufacture. The fact that such effort was made for what may well be a unique piece, demonstrates the importance of this wristwatch.
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