Patek Philippe sets Gold Standard with the New Haute

A pair of new timepieces burnish Patek Philippe’s reputation as the world’s most prestigious watchmaking maison.

Earlier this year, at the annual Watches & Wonders extravaganza in Geneva, the hallowed watchmaking house of Patek Philippe astounded the horological community by adding no fewer than 17 new references to its range of collections, each incorporating innovative materials, aesthetics and technical features, and in various combinations thereof. Of these, the most remarkable was almost certainly a new haute joaillerie version of the Grand Complications Grandmaster Chime, a 20-complications masterpiece that’s become almost legendary since its first reference was unveiled in 2014. 

Against such an extraordinary tour de force it would be hard for any watch to shine, and yet that’s exactly a feat that two other of the maison’s newcomers – the first an impressive addition to Patek Philippe’s already exceptional portfolio of travel timepieces and the second an exquisite ladies’ Annual Calendar– managed to pull off. 



Emblematic of the Genevan watchmaking house’s penchant for understated and yet luxurious elegance since the collection’s launch in the early 1930s, the Calatrava line has now been joined by a new interpretation of the travel watch, the 24-Hours Travel Time Ref 5224-001, which features both a dual-time zone and a dial in 24 hourly increments, where noon is shown at the position normally occupied by 6 o’clock. It’s powered by Patek Philippe’s new self-winding 31-260 PS FUS 24H calibre, whose three-position crown enables winding and setting of the two time zones and which provides a reserve of around 48 hours; the movement can be viewed through a caseback crystal. 

The watch’s 42mm rose-gold case harmonises perfectly with the lustrous blue dial, which features applied rose-gold numerals, hour markers and cabochons, as well as different finishes on its three main sectors, and with a height of 9.85mm wears comfortably on all wrists. A hand-stitched navy-blue calf-skin strap with rose-gold buckle completes the ensemble. 

Patek Philippe, 5261R_001

As for Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut Luce collection, its modern “casual chic” design is eminently suitable for women, yet the 39.9mm “diameter” of the new Ref 5261R Annual Calendar’s rose-gold, curved- hexagon-shaped case also makes the watch an attractive proposition for men. The first Annual Calendar in the Aquanaut Luce range, it’s powered by the self-winding 26-330 S QA LU calibre, which drives day, month and moon-phase complacations, shows the date at 6 o’clock and requires setting just once a year. Complete with a 21K rotor, the movement is visible through the caseback. 

The watch’s matte blue-grey Aquanaut- pattern dial and matching composite strap further enhance the Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar’s unisex credentials, as well as contrasting beautifully with the rose gold of the case and applied dial furniture, and the white luminescent coating on numerals, markers and hands. 

Two outstanding timepieces, certainly – but then, what else would anyone expect from the brand considered by many to be the most prestigious manufacturer of luxury watches in the world? 

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