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Father Time Part II - Top Chronograph Watches for Father's Day

The third Sunday of June is the time to celebrate Dads. As teachers, coaches, friends, and role models, dads are key figures in our lives. This Father’s Day, thank Dad for the good times he’s given you by giving Dad the gift of time. With 300watches’ collection of men’s chronograph watches, buyers are guaranteed to find the perfect watch for the occasion.

Men’s chronograph watches make ideal gifts for fathers. Part I of 300watches’ Father’s Day showcase examined an exemplar of sporting chronograph watches. In Part II, the blog highlights a true aristocrat among dress chronograph watches: the Patek Philippe 5070R.

It would be pretentious to say that a watch such as the 5070R needs no introduction. Instead, it is best to consider the impression that Dad would receive upon holding this exquisite timepiece for the first time. There are rare moments when the magnitude of exceptional product quality simply overwhelms the senses. It’s the stirring aroma of Italian leather in a new Ferrari; it’s the bottomless luster of polished mahogany planks on a Hinkley yacht; it’s the endless finish of Van Winkle bourbon. That’s how the 5070R makes its introductions.

The 1998 debut of the 5070 marked Patek Philippe’s first step into the world of large watches. At 42mm, the 5070 was considered large for a Patek Philippe, but this break with company precedent has permitted the 5070 to age well in the modern era of large chronograph watches. This timepiece cuts a striking profile on even the most formidable wrists.

Inside the 18K rose gold case lies the main event: that movement. It’s gorgeous. Every plate, screw sink, lever, wheel, and bridge embodies the finest traditions of Geneva school movement decoration. The details are so fine that even inspection via field microscope or 20x loupe yields only greater appreciation for Patek’s finishing department. And the clockwork features functional performance to match its style. 

A traditional column wheel chronograph actuator provides the kind of tactile feedback familiar to owners of Holland & Holland bolt-action rifles or Porsche 911 Carreras. The hand-wound mainspring is just as satisfying to engage via the large knurled crown, and a power reserve of 60 hours provides ample autonomy between windings. A massive Gyromax balance wheel beats at a lazy 18,000bph; isochronism is assured thanks to a huge moment of inertia. Like all 5070 chronograph watches, the 5070G easily surpasses the quotidian standards of the COSC chronometer test.

Patek’s 5070R is built in the traditional fashion of Swiss horology. The process begins with an ebauche sourced from Lemania and built exclusively for Patek and Vacheron Constantin. From this base movement, Patek Philippe craftsmen add the company’s signature refinements: a Breguet overcoil hairspring, a Gyromax balance system, and movement finish worthy of the Hallmark of Geneva.

That last point is key, because “Geneva Seal” movement finish was a salient feature of Patek Philippe watches for over a century until the watchmaker’s 2009 withdrawal from Geneva inspections. Since that time, Patek has been stamping its movements with an in-house Patek trademark that lacks some of the old-school cool of the Geneva Seal. Moreover, the 5070 series gave way to the 5170 in 2010, so this 5070R represents both the last of the Lemania-based Pateks and the last of the Geneva Seal Patek chronograph watches.

Needless to say, prices for these pieces are surging, and fully documented examples such as this one are grail watches and blue chip investments. Whether your dad is a veteran watch collector or has never owned a luxury timepiece, the manifold excellence of the 5070R will inspire him with awe and delight.

300watches knows that every dad deserves a special moment on his special day. While Father’s Day arrives only once per year, men’s chronograph watches from our collection can provide Dad with a daily reminder of a son or daughter’s love, gratitude, and admiration.