Time to play again – Ref.5212A

So, after two years off this blog, I decided I wanted to get back. Life can be very busy and the last two years have certainly been that. But now, I am going to put some focus back to my watch collecting. I guess that is one of the good things about watch collecting. It doesn’t need to take over one’s life. When there are more important things to do, well that is when watch collecting reverts to being ‘just’ the watch on one’s wrist. But now, I can become obsessive again.


When I say that I have taken two years off this blog, it would not be strictly true to say that I have abstained completely from collecting watches. In terms of Patek Philippe, I have added three watches. The most recent being the Ref. 5212A.

I met up with a fellow collector about three years ago and had the opportunity to see this watch in the flesh. I definitely wanted one. It ticked a lot of boxes for me.

First, as a complication in steel, it adds something different to my collection. Second, the complication itself is fascinating. A weekly calendar is a total novelty, but actually in my line of business that weekly count comes in very useful. The complication is just a bonus. Just look at that dial and tell me it is not fascinating to look at. Each watch I own does something slightly different, but it is a bare minimum requirement that when I look at a dial, it must capture me. I need to look at more than just the dial. I want to find a dial fascinating. And the dial of the 5212A is fascinating without any doubt.

Third, the case design of the 5212A works for me. The watch sits very comfortably and neatly on the wrist. Those stepped lugs add allure to the finish.

Obviously, this watch has been reviewed many times and I am not going to add anything new to the countless reviews of others. I will say that the colour of the dial can often look quite pale and white when captured on camera whereas in reality it has this lovely off-white hue to it.

With this blog, my goal is not to introduce some deep horological insight. No, it is rather to express a personal view and depict a collecting journey. I started my collection of Patek Philippe about 15 years ago, having originally started in JLC back in the 1980s, and Rolex perhaps 20 years ago. Patek Philippe, however, has become my focus as time has evolved. As I have said before, I have kept about 5% of the Rolex that I have ever owned. Probably kept about 25% of the JLC. With Patek Philippe, my retention rate is over 80%. There is a reason for that.

I am not sure how best to describe it. When you put a Tudor on, it is just not a Rolex. I know stacks of people will say it is a sister company and that it has the feel of a Rolex at a fraction of the price. But it just does not compare with a Rolex. I have to say, when Patek Philippe hit a winning watch, not much can compare. There is a certain feeling when wearing a Patek Philippe. I don’t need anyone to see it. I work from home. I don’t have clients. So the watch on my wrist is there, essentially, purely for me. And so when I say a watch generates a unique feeling for me, it is an intensely personal comment. And this Ref. 5212A is one I like a great deal. Is it an all-time classic? Time will tell. Probably not. Is it absolutely a joy to wear as an everyday watch?

Without doubt.