Travel has been an important theme among Patek Philippe’s latest timepieces in the past few months. At Watches and Wonders 2023, it was shared that the Travel Time collection is of personal interest to Mr Thierry Stern, the President of Patek Philippe.
It explains why Patek Philippe has been developing new models and innovations in the collection actively. The casually stylish and contemporary design of these watches clearly appeal to collectors. They also represent the next phase of design at Patek Philippe that combines technical and aesthetic developments in a very unique style.
New Travel Time Display
One of the brand new references introduced at Watches and Wonders 2023 was the Ref. 5224R Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time. It’s the first 24-hour display wristwatch by the brand together with a dual time zone function and without day/night indications.
The 24-hour display has been used by Patek Philippe in the past. Most notably, it was used in a pocket watch from 1905, designed for Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau. But in recent times, the dual time zone watches from Patek Philippe have run on 12-hour standard displays, with a small aperture on the dial that indicates the day or night time for both local and home time displays.
To simplify this, Patek Philippe’s movement designers designed a watch based entirely on a 24-hour display for both local and home time. Using the self-winding, ultra-thin Caliber 31-260 as a base, they added the 24-hour and Travel Time mechanism to the movement. You may recall that the Caliber 31-260 was first launched in 2011 with the Annual Calendar Regulator. It was further improved in 2021 with the Ref. 5236P-001 In-Line Perpetual Calendar. The Caliber 31-260 PS QL featured a stronger barrel spring, new micro-rotor, and a reduction wheel for the winding mechanism to reduce unnecessary wear.
The Caliber 31-260 was once again used as the basis for one of the key novelties for Patek Philippe in 2022: the Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time , with eight patent applications for innovations in efficiency, accuracy, reliability, and more. Three of these patents are used in the Caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement. The time-setting crown features a lever with three positions, which disables certain wheels when there’s no correction. This improves the amplitude of the balance and reduces wear and tear.
In addition, because the entire watch runs on a 24-hour display, the time zone star wheel has 24 teeth and accordingly, the hour wheel, cannon pinion and other elements that connect with the hour wheel all have to be revised to accommodate the different display. A linear design that joins the hour wheels of both time zones uses a jumper spring to ensure a strong torque increase to deliver precise time.
Hour markers are applied on the dial, alternating in bars and Arabic numerals. A small seconds counter resides at the bottom of the dial. Three syringe-style hands indicate the local hour, home hour (with a skeleton hand) and the minutes. The home hour can easily be aligned with the local time when not travelling. The dial displays a 24-hour indication with midnight at the bottom of the dial and day time at the top. This makes natural sense.
The case of the watch features a softly rounded case middle with a slim bezel that’s chamfered. The lugs are stepped and curved and the entire case is polished to a mirror finish. The design of the watch follows another watch in Patek Philippe’s collection: the Ref. 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar, which featured a 52-week central calendar.
The dial features circular striated centre as well as brushed finishes and comes in a striking blue display that’s closely matched to the nubuck strap accompanying the watch. The fact that this is the first Travel Time watch with a 24-hour display already makes this a prized collector’s piece. More importantly, it makes the dual time zone even easier to read and more enjoyable to view on a highly minimalist display.
New Pilot Models
Aside from a new Travel Time display, Patek Philippe is further expanding on its range of Calatrava Pilot Travel Time models. The new Ref. 5924G-001 and Ref. 5924G-010 models build on the distinct line with flyback chronographs coupled with the Travel Time complication.
The Calatrava Pilot range was inspired by Patek Philippe’s aviator watches from the 1930s, and it makes sense that the brand would bring the most important complication for pilots in the past into this collection. Flyback chronographs were needed to help pilots accurately calculate their travel routes and navigate their flight paths. It enables users to reset the chronograph without stopping it first; adding this complication to a collection inspired by aviation makes perfect sense.
Like the standard Travel Time models, a skeleton hand indicates the home time, while local time is indicated by solid, lume-filled hands. Oversized Arabic markers are also painted with luminous material, and two apertures on the dial show the day and night indications for both local and home time. The chronograph operations are indicated by a central seconds hand and 60-minute totaliser at 6 o’clock, and a date counter that’s synced with the local time is shown at 12 o’clock.
The Ref. 5924G is powered by Patek Philippe’s self-winding chronograph Caliber CH 28-520 C FUS, which features vertical coupling with column-wheel control. Because of its robust design, there’s no notable dip in amplitude when the chronograph is running. Therefore, you can technically use the central chronograph hands as a running seconds hand if you wish. Two versions of the Ref. 5924G have been introduced. The Ref. 5924G-001 has a blue-grey sunburst dial with a navy blue calfskin strap, while the Ref. 5924G-010 has a khaki green lacquered dial and a green calfskin strap with a vintage finish.
The Aquanaut has always been an emblem of sports-luxe design, with its soft rounded octagonal case and rugged composite strap that’s highly durable. The collection’s name itself speaks to its affiliation with the oceans.
While the very first Aquanaut was in steel, Patek Philippe has expanded on the collection with more precious models and added new complications to the original from 1997. Two new models in rose gold have been presented this year that highlight the Aquanaut’s take on modern casual luxury.
The Ref. 5968R-001 expands on the Aquanaut Chronograph’s existing range in steel and white gold with a rose gold case. It sports a chocolate brown dial with a sunburst finish that darkens to black at the edges of the dial, and a matching composite strap. The watch is powered by the CH 28-520 C movement, with a power reserve of up to 55 hours and a single 60-minute chronograph totaliser at 6 o’clock, coupled with a central chronograph seconds hand.
The ladies’ Aquanaut Luce collection also has a new member in the Ref. 5268/200R-010, housed in a rose gold case similar to the Ref. 5269/200R-001. However it features an automatic movement, the Caliber 26-330 S C that also powers the Twenty~4 Automatic with a central sweep seconds hand and date window at 3 o’clock. On the bezel are 48 diamonds that bring out the brilliance and glamour of the chic sports model.
Fresh from the Watches and Wonders fair in Geneva, these luxurious and sporty timepieces highlight the evolution of Patek Philippe’s designs that fuse casual style with sophisticated design and technical innovation.
Discover other Patek Philippe collections at our boutiques, or online. Contact a sales representative today to learn more.