Patek Philippe’s showing at Baselworld 2018 made headlines for watches like their 5968A Aquanaut chronograph, 5740 perpetual calendar Nautilus, and the expansion of the Calatrava Pilot’s watches. One watch received some coverage, but not nearly enough in my opinion as I believe it to be the frontrunner of the group, still to this day. That watch is the 7150-250R, a lady’s chronograph model. I’ve been wanting to write about this watch for a while, but kept putting it off as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say accurately described the watch. After a lot of debate, the fact is that it’s just a really really good watch.
Marketed as a lady’s chronograph, this watch has some elements that might make it lean a little more feminine, but I’d gladly wear this watch any day. First off, the watch is 38 mm, basically around the same size as most men’s Patek Philippe non-sports models. The rose gold of the case is echoed in the rose gold Breguet numerals applied to the silver opaline dial as well as the Breguet-style hour and minute hands. While so many women’s watches take the approach of “size down a men’s watch, add more diamonds, more gold, more quartz!”, this watch almost does the exact opposite. Yes there are diamonds, but they are done very tastefully with a single row of round diamonds circling the face and a few on the strap’s buckle. Yes there is rose gold, but it too doesn’t overwhelm. There’s a great balance between the rose gold of the case, the whitish-silver opaline dial, and the rose gold accents on the dial. Neither colour feels like it’s stealing the spotlight, which helps it to retain its elegance. About the size, it’s 38mm. This is a typical men’s Patek Philippe size. Especially with a company that makes more traditional dress & complication watch sizes like Patek, you’d expect that the women’s versions would be scaled down to something near 33 or 34mm. I think there’s so much great stuff going on with this watch, that Patek realised that making it any smaller than 38mm would be a disservice to the watch. Additionally, they kept open the possibility that men could wear it as well due to its relatively larger size. Lastly, we’ll address the “more quartz!” component. Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to this watch as it uses Patek’s hand-wound CH 29-535 PS. I’m not sure the last time I’ve seen a women’s watch that’s manual wind, but it’s really nice to see… it’s a women’s watch that’s really taken seriously by the manufacturer and is made with the true women’s watch connoisseur in mind. The movement has a 65-hour power reserve and beats at 4Hz. The case is resistant to 30m of water, so likely splash resistant, but acceptable for a watch of this type.
This isn’t a Nautilus, Aquanaut, or a Grand Complication model, but I believe it is the gold standard for what Patek’s releases should be held to. It might not be the most typical standard for a watch manufacturer to be measured against, but it shows what Patek can do when they want to do something well and don’t just release a new Nautilus. It’s quality, elegant, balanced, and isn’t just a new version of a watch that already has twenty different versions. This kind of outside-the-box thinking is what I would have hoped we’d continue to see, but so far, in the two years since the release, I haven’t been overly impressed. Most importantly, I am not impressed with the backwards step of the replacement of the 5170 with the 5172. The sports watch collections are there for a reason, and the dumbing down of an iconic dress chronograph model like the 5170 hurts all those who still value some elegance in their watches. Here’s hoping Patek will do things the right way and more in the style of the 5170 and 7150 in the future and not the 5172.
At its time of release in 2018, the Patek Philippe 7150/250R-001 was priced at 83,918 USD.