Back in 1998, Patek Philippe introduced their first completely new chronograph in nearly 40 years. The design was impressive, and the case-size very large (42mm) by Patek standards. One can say that the 5070 was Patek’s entrance to the 21st century, where 40mm-plus case-sizes became the standard, especially in chronographs. The 5070 started in red-gold case, featuring a Lemania-based, manually wound chronograph movement that is visible through the sapphire display back. It also has a broad bezel offset by the winding crown and long, thick lugs as well as a fifty-hour power reserve.
In the first years of this millenium, variations in white gold and platinum came to the market. Patek also set the trend in the 30K-plus large chronos, and Lange (Datograph), Vacheron Constantin (Les Historiques) and Jaeger Lecoultre (Duometre) became serious alternatives. On http://indepth.watchprosite.com/show-nblog.post/ti-607576/ I found a very interesting article by Nicolas “amanico” Fondaneche, comparing the above-mentioned watches. Very readable!
The 5070 is a masterpiece. I first saw the watch in early 2000, when a 5070 could be purchased at $15/20K. Wish I did. Currently, 5070’s are trading well over listprice (I believe latest listprice was €34650 in rg). prices over $100K in trade and auction are no exception. Perhaps a little overrated, compared to other Patek references, but a strong proof of the popularity and relevance of this great watch.