This year at Baselworld Patek Philippe has treated fans to a truly diverse range of updates and innovations featuring calendars, alarms, world times, travel times, minute repeaters and chronometers. Here we take a closer look at the highlights of the Basel debuts from the renowned watchmaker.
Ref. 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar
The new addition to Patek’s range of calendar watches is as charmingly endearing as it is refreshingly original. An opaline dial plays host to day and week displays (indicated by hands with a burst of red at the end), a date window, a sweeping second hand and, of course, hour and minute hands. To execute such a winsome design, the company had to design and entirely new automatic 26-330 S C J SE movement.
There are two main features which give this watch a rather casual air. Firstly, the 40mm case is made of stainless steel and sports a set of two-step lugs to attach the timepiece to the hand-stitched, brown calfskin strap. Secondly, the typography mimics a handwritten form. The playful script and durable silver finish give hints of the prestigious manufacture with their tongue thoroughly in their cheek – what a delightful surprise that has turned out to be.
Ref. 5172G Chronometer
A stunning blue dialled, white gold cased chronograph has arrived to replace a much admired older reference. Maintaining the manually wound CH 29-535 PS movement (inherited from its Ref. 5170 predecessor) inside a 41mm case, the 5172G is a simply exquisite execution of a chronometer complication. The luminescent Arabic numerals, the symmetry of the subdials and the navy calfskin strap combine to create a distinctly sporty feel. Elegant yet sturdy, the sophisticated athleticism of this timepiece renders it an alluring addition to the Patek family.
Ref. 5220P Alarm Travel Time
Featuring a brand new automatic movement from Patek, the 5220P is a striking grand complication that certainly catches the eye. Some might contend that this timepiece is a stark deviation from Patek’s typically refined and quietly confident aesthetic but for a moment let us celebrate the master watchmakers daring to do things a little differently.
A practical and profoundly utilitarian inclusion, the grand complication makes the addition of an alarm feature (for which a tiny hammer strikes an equally minute gong) alongside the familiar dual time zone display. To actualise this dynamic pairing, Patek created the AL 30-660 S C FUS movement which fits comfortably within the 42.2mm platinum case. The four lugs protruding from the case give the watch an undeniably sporty attitude – one which is further asserted by the ebony black dial and luminescent, white gold Arabic numerals.
Ref. 6300G Grandmaster Chime
The most complex Patek Philippe wristwatch ever made receives an update in white gold and blue. The timepiece ticks along to entertain its owner with twenty different complications for which one dial did not provide enough room. A reversible dial features hand-guilloche, a day/night indicator, a second time zone and a 24-hour hour subdial on one side, with a four-digit year display, and day, date and month subdials on the other. The manually wound 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM movement is a masterpiece, and it is Patek at their most extraordinary.
Ref. 5231J World Time
Patek Philippe is unrivalled when it comes to world time watches. The world time complication is a prestigious mark of excellence in and of itself and Patek’s mastery deserves extraordinary respect. This example of the company’s expertise is presented in a 38.5mm yellow gold case which houses the automatic 240 HU movement. The city ring representing the twenty-four time zones of the world is tastefully presented alongside the day/night indicator. Naturally however, the crowning glory of the timepiece is the meticulously hand-crafted cloisonné enamel planisphere map in the centre. This is artistic craftsmanship at its finest.
Ref. 5168G Aquanaut
Khaki green and making a splash, the Aquanaut update in white gold is an adventurous step. At 42.2mm it is an assertive size with a daring colour scheme to match – the green rubber strap literally and aesthetically brings it all together. The 324 S C automatic movement keeps the date window, sweeping second hand, and hour and minute hands ticking along smoothly and reliably whatever aquatic activities await. With a youthful and fresh update to a classic and coveted timepiece, Patek is certainly not venturing out of their depth.
Ref. 5235R Annual Calendar Regulator
A regulator revisited and a regulator revised. Holding on to the 31-260 REG QA automatic movement, this update of the Annual Calendar Regulator boasts immense beauty in the contrast between the rose gold case and the two-tone graphite and black dial. As a regulator complication it separates the hour, minute and second displays by relegating the first two displays onto subdials, thereby allowing the sweeping second hand to show off a bit as it makes its way around the 40.5mm case. Self-assured and thoroughly contemporary, the design is somewhat controversial yet undoubtedly urbane – all the more so in rose gold.
Ref. 5726/1A Nautilus Annual Calendar
Paying homage to the original 1976 Nautilus, the iconic rounded octagonal bezel timepiece has received a colour update. The new dial is primarily blue, but the subtle grading of the horizontal embossing from blue to black adds depth, complexity and character. Day, date and month windows work alongside a 24-hour subdial and moon-phase inside the port-hole inspired, 40.5mm steel case – all of which is powered by the automatic 324 S QA LU 24H/303 movement. As refreshing as a dip in the ocean, the watch has every reason to be loved by those who admire the nautical classic.
Ref. 5078G Minute Repeater
A complication that espouses the very essence Patek Philippe manufacture, the exterior of the updated 5078G mesmerizingly hints at what lays beneath. Rare handcraft is dutifully acknowledged in the intricate pattern of the black enamel dial with both matte and shiny finishes. Yet despite the sheer opulence and grandiosity of the complication, the outward impression of the watch is discrete, dignified and debonair. Inside the 38mm white gold case is an extraordinary example of watchmaking prowess. The automatic R 27 PS movement allows for the hours, quarters and minutes to be announced by the quintessential chiming melody of the Genevan company’s minute repeaters. For this update there should only be the sound of praise.