Patek Philippe is breathing new life into its instantaneous jumping perpetual calendars, with two updated references and one that is perfect for a new era of travel.
The last two years have seen a generous offer of new Patek Philippe models, ranging from the Ref. 6119 to the Ref. 5750P, as well as last year’s Ref. 5236P, the brand’s unique in-line perpetual calendar display. It’s clear that in-line calendars are what Patek Philippe’s dedicated collectors desire, and the brand is generously offering more this year with 3 calendar references released at Watches and Wonders 2022.
The most talked about novelty is the Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time, which combines two favourite complications among collectors. The annual calendar was first introduced in 2010 and is popular given its practical function and incredible value. As for Patek Philippe’s Travel Time – an original take on the dual time watch – it represents a brand new wave of aesthetics and technical sophistication taking over the brand.
The Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time
Combining the two complications makes this watch a coveted collector’s piece that’s also wearable on a daily basis. Mr Thierry Stern could not have timed this release better, at a juncture where travel restrictions are easing and people are boarding planes once more. Like the Ref. 5726’s display, a day and month display is shown at 12 o’clock, with a date display at 6 right under the moon phase indication. Syringe hands indicate the local and home time on two hour hands, with a day/night indication for both.
To make this watch work for the traveller, the calendar indication is tied to the local time, and can be adjusted backwards and forwards with the time adjustment. To achieve this, a new movement was developed, with the Travel Time mechanism managing the calendar display. Eight patents have been filed for the Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H. The Caliber 31-260 was of course developed for the Ref. 5236P, which makes this a grand complication level watch housed in a utilitarian, military-style display.
To add to its vintage elegance, the watch is housed in a classic Calatrava case with an added detail — a hobnail guilloché pattern encircles the case middle. The Calatrava incidentally celebrates its 90th anniversary, making this the first of what is sure to be many new releases themed around the iconic Patek Philippe design. The anthracite-coloured dial has a textured grainy effect that recalls the design of classic rangefinder cameras with a soft black gradient rim. The Arabic hour markers and hands are filled with luminous material, ensuring the watch is legible even at night.
A New Ref. 5320G Perpetual Calendar dial
The Ref. 5320G is the latest in a long line of perpetual calendar watches that traces its history all the way back to the Ref. 2497, created in 1951. The simple display of the watch’s full calendar makes it both easy on the eyes and aesthetically well-balanced. Rather than clutter the watch dial with excessive information, Patek Philippe’s design team keeps it clean. It also offers a mix of aperture displays with analog counters, adding a touch of modernity to an otherwise classic watch.
On the Ref. 5320G, two windows indicate the day and month, with a moon phase indicator that’s combined with a date display at 6 o’clock. On each side of the date counter is a day/night indicator and a leap year display. In this particular model, the brand introduces its favoured rose gold dial, that’s often monikered the “salmon dial” for its slightly pinkish hue. The triple stepped lugs and bezel create an Art Deco style feel to the watch, contrasted by the syringe hands and Arabic hour markers that are luminescent in the dark.
The Ref. 5205R Annual Calendar
Finally, and previously mentioned in an earlier article, Ref. 5205R Annual Calendar with Moon Phases sees a new release in an olive-green dial, another significant trend for the brand this year. On the dial, three apertures between the 10 and 2 o’clock hour markers indicate the day, date and month, how most people would write it classically.
The olive-green sunburst sector-style dial has a black gradient rim, with applied rose gold markers and beads for the minute track. It goes incredibly well with the rose gold case, hands and markers. Like the Ref. 5320G, its use of negative space gives the watch a sense of incredible balance. And just like its predecessors, this will be a model greatly welcomed by collectors.
The calendar displays of the brand continue to see incredible design versatility. But equally significant is the expression of the Calatrava formula in new models, which makes us wonder what’s coming next.