A YEAR’S WORTH OF TIME
Back in 1996, Patek Philippe introduced an entirely new complication to the world of horology: the annual calendar. This patented calendar mechanism needs to be adjusted only once a year, at the end of February, making it infinitely more useful than standard ones, but also much more accessible than perpetual calendars. For 2018, this innovation is well represented once again by Patek Philippe’s Reference 5205G.
The Reference 5205 Annual Calendar model was initially released back in 2010 with a white gold case. A rose gold version was then introduced in 2013. At Baselworld this the white gold watch was reintroduced with a new two-tone sunburst dial that graduates subtly from blue to black. The contrast between the delicate shimmer of the white gold case and the darker shade of the dial is particularly eye-catching. The watch shows the day, date and month in an iconic three aperture configuration that arcs from the 10 to 2 o’clock position.
Rounding up the watch’s design package is a host of smaller, but no less magnificent, aesthetic touches, from the slightly concave bezel and the delicately pierced strap lugs (which have always been a special facet of the Reference 5205’s case) to the shiny black hand-stitched alligator leather strap and the lavish finishing of the movement visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.
At the heart of this watch is the selfwinding Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/206 movement featuring the aforementioned annual calendar mechanism. In essence, an annual calendar “knows” which months are 30 days long and which ones run to 31 days. The sole exception is February, hence the need for an annual correction. The simple fact that this is an entirely new horological complication speaks volumes of Patek Philippe’s drive for innovation. Another mechanical marvel of the Reference 5205G is its moonphase display, which will only show a full day’s deviation from the actual lunar cycle after 122 years.
Patek Philippe annual calendar ref. 5205g-013