We all know that Patek Philippe dances to its own independent drummer when it comes to building superb watches. This year here at Baselworld, the brand thrills us with its newest collections. While it does have some special pieces up its proverbial sleeve, the watches that we are certain watch enthusiasts will go a little wild for belong to the most coveted ongoing collections and offer such features as a Pilot watch, split-seconds Chrono, and Annual Calendar.
We are more than happy to see a Pilot’s watch in the Calatrava line, and you will be, too, when you see this baby up close and personal. The new Ref. 5524 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time watch pays tribute to the courageous pilots of more than half a century ago with its vintage-inspired appeal and precise air-travel functions. To begin with, it houses the brand’s extremely easy-to-use two-time-zone mechanism that was refined and further patented in 1996. Essentially, when the local time hour hand is moved forward or backward in one-hour increments, an isolator uncouples the home time zone mechanism from the going train to enable the watch to continue oscillating at a regular rate. When traveling, two different hands indicate home and local time, but when home, the second time zone hand tucks neatly beneath the home time and moves with it on the hour.
This travel time mechanism is part of the self-winding 324C FUS manufacture-made movement that powers this watch. The caliber offers a sweep seconds hand, an analog date, and a 21-karat gold central rotor. The movement is further equipped with the brand’s Spiromax® spring and Gyromax® balance made of Silinvar®, a derivative of silicon. These materials and the movement ensure accuracy tolerance of the watch of -3/+2 seconds per day as specified by the Patek Philippe Seal. The watch features a sapphire crystal caseback for viewing the finely finished 294-part movement.
The dark blue lacquer dial, designed to recall the 1930’s American fighter planes, features an analog date display (in three-day increments) in a subdial at 6:00, and offers a day/night indicator for home and local time. The large Arabic numerals in white gold and baton-style steel hands are coated with Super-LumiNova for easy readability day or night. The crown and the two time-zone pushers (equipped with a patent-pending safety lock) on the 42mm case are fluted for slip-free grip.
Also new this year, the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph, Ref 5905P just got a new dial—with refined details and new color. This watch, that only needs a correction once a year, is crafted in a 42mm platinum case and a new dial design—a gentle shift from the previous Ref. 5905, features the three apertures between 10:00 and 2:00 that indicate the day, date, and month. The date aperture is somewhat larger, and is balanced by a large 60-minute chronograph counter and day/night indicator at 6:00. It is offered with a black or stunning navy blue dial.
Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.