Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe departs from its usual form fare with a rugged pi­lot’s watch that’s any­thing but precious.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Contents -

Al­ti­tude ad­just­ment.

“There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots,” the say­ing goes. It ’s not quite true. Patek Philippe has two in its a rchives—st rik­ing pi­lot’s watches from the ’ 30s (one of these was show­cased at Patek’s Art of Watches ex­hi­bi­tion in New York). Now you can get the next best thing: the Ref.5522A, a limited-edi­tion stain­less-steel time­piece in­spired by the vin­tage orig­i­nals.

The f irst pi­lot ’s watches were es­sen­tially over­sized tool watches, a design that falls out­side Patek’s dressier métier. But early re­views sug­gest there’s a big lux­ury mar­ket for a lessthan-dressy watch. The Ref.5522A brings a con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can sen­si­bil­ity to those ’30s pilots: the orig­i­nal 56mm case has been re­duced to a more wrist-friendly 42mm and paired with a rugged brown leather strap. Ara­bic nu­mer­als and ba­ton-style hands also re­call the orig­i­nal mod­els, while a new navy-blue dial matches the colour of fighter planes from the same pe­riod.

There’s more to that old quote (from pi­lot E Hamil­ton Lee): “Never be too proud to turn back.” In Patek’s case, there’s no shame in build­ing on past suc­cesses—it’s the brand’s bold­est move in a very long time.

New York 2017 watch by Patek Philippe. Words by Stephen Wat­son Pho­to­graphs by Ben Gold­stein

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