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The world’s biggest trade fair devoted to fine watches, Watches & Wonders Geneva, is going on throughout the week, and we’re continuing to cover the highlights from many of the most popular exhibiting brands. Today, we showcase the most notable new releases from Swiss luxury watch icon Patek Philippe.
Headlining the 2023 collection is a watch with an entirely new combination of complications from a brand that specializes in them. The Calatrava 24 Hour Display Travel Time Ref. 5224R-001 features a rare 24-hour dial with a hand that makes one full rotation (rather than the traditional two) around it per day. This unconventional timekeeping display is paired with Patek’s now-familiar and very user-friendly Travel Time complication, which indicates two time zones via a patented system in which the local-time hour hand can be easily moved in both directions by a press of the crown. The elegant simplicity of the dial, with noon represented at 12 o’clock with a “12,” and midnight at 6 o’clock with a “24,” allows Patek Philippe to dispense with the usual day-night or AM-PM indicator that one often finds on a dual-time dial. The classical, round Calatrava case — a hallmark of Patek Philippe’s oldest watch collection since its birth in the 1930s — is here made of 18k rose gold and measures 42mm in diameter and just under 10mm thick. Inside, behind a sapphire exhibition caseback, is Patek’s in-house automatic Caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H, with a 48-hour power reserve. The navy blue dial has a variety of contrasting elegant finishes, a railway style minute track, and applied Arabic numerals and baton markers in rose gold to echo the case. The hands, including both “local” and “home” hour hands, are in the vintage syringe style emblematic of Patek’s Pilot collection and made of rose gold, except for the contrasting sword-shaped seconds hand, which is in white gold. The watch comes on a navy-blue nubuck leather strap and retails for $57,366.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut is the sportier successor of the beloved and now-discontinued Nautilus, and the Aquanaut family has been adding complications, case materials, and colorways in recent years. The Aquanaut Luce is Patek Philippe’s “ladies” model, sized at 39.9mm and launched in 2004. Like the core collection, the Aquanaut Luce has been steadily increasing its options in various areas, including complications, like a Travel Time version in 2021 and an automatic chronograph in 2022. The latest is Patek’s other highlight piece from 2023, an Aquanaut Luce equipped with the maison’s patented annual calendar complication, available in two distinct executions: One is in a rose gold case with a taupe-colored dial and a 48-diamond-set bezel; the other, in rose gold with a blue-gray dial and strap. Both watches contain the new self-winding 26-330 S QA LU caliber, with a 21K gold central rotor and an Annual Calendar module with moon phases. Because of the unusual architecture of the movement, which is based on the one Patek Philippe developed for its Weekly Calendar model in 2019, the calendar indications are differently positioned than those on other other Patek Philippe annual calendars, with the moon-phase displayed in an aperture at 12 o'clock, the date at 6 ‘clock, and the day and month in subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock.
With the introduction in 2015 of its first Calatrava Pilot Travel Time model, a luxury watch inspired by a pilot’s timekeeper the Genevan manufacture made in the 1930s, Patek Phillippe paid tribute to a little-remembered facet of its prestigious watchmaking history. In addition to its military-vintage appeal, the timepiece has a patented dual-time function in which the wearer can move the hour hand forward or backward using two pushers while simultaneously uncoupling that mechanism from the gear train, meaning the watch will not lose a second of accuracy while changing time zones.The movement inside the two new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph models adds yet another functionality to this array, an integrated stopwatch. One watch has a blue-gray sunburst dial and a navy blue-grained calfskin strap; the other sports a lacquered khaki green dial and accessorizes with a vintage-finished olive-green calfskin strap. Beating inside both is Patek Philippe’s in-house Caliber 324 S C FUS, on display behind a sapphire caseback, which includes a gold rotor inscribed with the brand’s Calatrava cross emblem.
Patek Philippe introduced its first Aquanaut chronograph in 2019 in steel, and followed it up with white-gold models in 2021. The new Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968RR-01 impresses with its cocoa-brown dial and rose-gold case, the latter endowed with the Aquanaut collection’s hallmark rounded octagonal bezel. The watch is 42.2 mm in diameter and 11.9 mm thick and features a screw-down crown and alternating satin and polished finishing on its surfaces and flanks.The crown protector is bordered on each side by two elongated chronograph pushers. The gradient sunburst dial sports the familiar embossed pattern of the Aquanaut with applied white-gold numerals and indexes, a large, 60-minute chronograph-counter subdial at 6 o’clock whose shape resembles that of the case. Patek Philippe equips the Aquanaut Chronograph with the automatic manufacture Caliber CH 28-520 C, with a built-in flyback chronograph mechanism. The price is $75,699.
Patek Philippe unveiled the first Grandmaster Chime watch in 2014 as part of the many celebrations around the company’s 175th anniversary. The reference that made history at the Only Watch auction in Geneva in 2019 was a unique piece, the only Grandmaster Chime ever crafted in stainless steel; the Grandmaster Chime models in Patek’s regular collection are all made in precious metals. The watch is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch ever made (distinguishing it from the maker’s most complicated pocket watch, as detailed below), with 20 complications, displayed on two dials, most notably the five chiming functions that lend it its name, which include an alarm that strikes a pre-selected time and a date repeater that strikes the date on demand. For 2023, Patek unveiled a new iteration of its dual-faced, multi-complication chef d’’oeuvre with a bi-material white gold and rose gold case, two brown opaline dials with a hand-guilloché hobnail-pattern on the side that displays the time, and a two-tone chestnut brown alligator strap. The price for this one, as you might expect, is upon request.
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