Just as travel resumes in enthusiastically unfettered force, Patek Philippe proposes the utterly incredible Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Reference 5224R-001 for the global citizen
who cherishes restraint. While observers have been expecting a wave of GMT and dual time watches to emerge from the major brands, Patek Philippe has been one of the few to deliver something with a bit of a spicy twist. Ref. 5224, as we will be calling it, is indeed the latest entrant in Patek Philippe’s exclusive Travel Time compilation series, and it promises to make you seriously look at your watch again. We reported from Watches and Wonders Geneva that this watch is one of the highlights of the fair, and that makes it one of the highlights of the year.
To begin with, ref. 5224 is a dual time watch with a 24-hour display, so Patek Philippe is definitely playing to the general audience for fine timepieces, most of whom prize the manufacture’s Travel Time complication. In fact, Swiss watchmaking export figures typically show that these types of watches, along with the chronograph, are amongst the most popular. As you can see here, there are two hour hands in Ref. 5224 (the home hour hand is skeletonised while the local hour hand is filled with luminescent material), and this is typical of many garden variety dual time watches. Patek Philippe offers a little extra here with the local hour hand being able to be adjusted in one-hour increments, forward and backward, with just the crown. You will recognise that other Patek Philippe Travel Time watches have required pushers for this, recessed or standard. With Ref. 5224, the Geneva firm wanted to keep things simple and classy, with the lines of the rose gold 42mm case being undisturbed by pushers of any kind.
The above also explains the unusual dial configuration, with the noon indicated at the 12 o’clock position, instead of the typical 24 (now at 6 o’clock). This hack, if you will allow a colloquialism to colour the commentary on a peerlessly elegant watch, means the watchmakers could dispense with the need for day/night indicators, which you will also recognise in other Travel Time references. Helpfully, this means the innovations in the automatic (with platinum micro-rotor) calibre 31-260 PS FUS 24H are plainly evident. The case height (crystal to display caseback) of just 9.85mm is another indicator of the nature of this movement, which is as finely finished as you can expect at this price point. To spell it out, the motionworks has been modified to enable a 24-hour display, and the keyless works has likewise been upgraded so that the crown can control more of the action.
Movement: Automatic calibre 31-260 PS FUS 24H with two time zones and 24-hour display; 48-hour (min) power reserve
Case: 42mm in rose gold; water-resistant to 30m
Strap: Navy blue calf leather
Price: USD 76,400
This article was first seen on WOW’s Summer #69 Issue.
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