Based on the round, streamlined case shape that has made Calatrava models much adored icons of classic watchmaking since 1932, Patek Philippe has introduced brand new design language to an exemplar of clean bauhaus aesthetics.
With its pure lines, the Calatrava is recognised as the very essence of the round wristwatch and one of the finest symbols of the Patek Philippe style. Last year, this heritage reference was updated with the Patek Philippe Calatrava “Clous de Paris” 6119 Hand-Wound which put the Maison’s trademark hobnail decorative finishing front and centre.
One for the next generation
For Watches & Wonders 2022, the unmistakable guilloched hobnail bezel with thin, polished fillet that frames the box-form sapphire crystal has reworked and now moved to the case-band. By adorning the flanks of the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5226G instead, designers have been able to extend the guilloche Clous de Paris around the midcase via a special case construction technique where the lugs form an integral part of the case back.
The charcoal grey vintage-inspired dial with grainy texture reminiscent of antique camera cases, is surrounded by a gradient black minute track. It’s this contrast of aesthetics — modernist case architecture with distinctive heritage elements combined with the vintage-inspired appearance accented with off-white numerals turn this year’s Calatrava into a symbol of what the Plan Les Ouates manufacture calls “highly contemporary vintage style”.
This classic look is further underscored by the syringe-shaped hour and minute white gold hands with beige luminescent coating. A date window is present at 3 o’clock however, there are so many elements which beg for attention that it doesn’t seem to be particularly jarring here – further demonstration of Patek Philipe’s deft hand at design.
Beating within the heart of the 40mm × 8.53mm Calatrava 5226G is the self-winding caliber 26-330 S C, a robust calibre that runs within the recently discontinued Nautilus 5711 models as well. The movement finished to Patek Philippe seal standards is visible via exhibition caseback.
While old souls might prefer the simple elegance of bauhaus aesthetics, the new Patek Philippe Calatrava distinguishes itself as a Calatrava Pilot-adjacent timepiece for the new, post-pandemic era. Perhaps we’re reading too much into this, but this feels very like a zeitgeist moment similar to when the first Calatrava was launched post-Great Depression and right on the eve of another World War; a threat looms once again over Ukraine. The new 5226 joins the 6007 once again in redefining the Calatrava for a new generation much like the original Reference 96 once did.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G Price & Specs
Case 40mm x 8.53 mm white gold with 30 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic Caliber 26-330 S C with 45 hours power reserve
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time combines two of its most useful complications
Combining two Patek signature complications: The travel time innovation which debuted in 2018 with the Pilot Travel Time and the annual calendar originally launched by the brand in 1996, the new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G joins its Calatrava Ref. 5226G brother in a brand-new case designed with guilloched Clous de Paris decoration.
Sans additional pushers, the Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G is more subdued than the Pilot Travel Time, however, it leaves its greatest talking points for what lies beneath the metal. For the first time the patented Annual Calendar – which requires only one manual correction per year – is combined with the Travel Time dual time-zone display system and this brings problems of its own: like what happens to the date when you adjust time as you cross an international date line?
Hence, the technical originality of this new Annual Calendar Travel Time is that it always indicates the exact date for local time. To cater for this unique functionality, the engineers designed the new self-winding 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H calibre in which the Travel Time mechanism controls the Annual Calendar, thus allowing forwards and backwards date correction.
Furthermore, the absence of multiple pushers was made possible by a system controlled by the patented crown innovation first seen in the 2021 Aquanaut Luce Travel Time ref. 5269-200R, instead of the usual two pushers, the local time is corrected by means of the crown pulled out to the intermediate position: a solution that proves both technical and aesthetic by preserving the elegance of the Calatrava-type case. While the dual time-zone display retains its two central hour hands (a solid hand for local time and a skeletonised hand for home time), this augments the overall clean, simple lines of the case.
The annual calendar complication is an evolutionary step up from a simple calendar without approaching the complexity of a perpetual calendar, requiring adjustment only once per year, at the end of the month of February. The Annual Calendar Travel Time also features a moonphase display, as well as an indication for local or home time, with date, day of the week, and month windows, and vintage-inspired syringe hands like its time-only brethren. The Annual Calendar has also been reworked, with accelerated disk passages enabling optimal synchronisation of the date and local time. The new 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H caliber is accompanied by eight patent applications for innovations improving precision, performance, reliability, safety and user-friendliness. Look how far we’ve come since the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G Price & Specs
Case 41mm white gold with 30 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic calibre 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H with 48 hours power reserve
This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore