Every One a Classic
Patek Philippe provides memorable updates to some of its greatest collections
Patek Philippe has built a reputation on traditional craft and innovation, and every year at Baselworld the brand unveils a collection of watches that push technical and design boundaries. The latest edition was no different, as The Grand Lady of Geneva introduced some new models and revisited some classics. Let’s start with the Nautilus. Introduced in 1976, it was Patek’s first sports watch in steel. Its distinctive shape – a bulging octagon measuring 42mm in diameter and inspired by a ship’s porthole – was well ahead of its time. Since then the Nautilus has gone through many iterations in terms of complications, size and materials. Each new model quickly sold out. This year, Patek has added a perpetual calendar
( ref 5740/ 1G- 001) to the collection. This new Nautilus boasts an ultra- thin movement encased in white gold. At just 8.32mm, it is one of the thinnest perpetual calendars Patek has ever made. While the complication is new, the watch bears all the signature Nautilus details loved by fans, such as the classic blue dial with horizontal ribbing, luminous markers and hands, and mix of brushed and polished finishes.
Adding a touch of colour is a new chronograph ( ref 5968A- 001) from the Aquanaut collection. Originally released in 1997 as the first Patek Philippe watch to be fitted with a rubber strap, the Aquanaut is one of the most famous watches of the 1990s with its contemporary, sporty aesthetic. The new chronograph sports a bright orange second hand and comes with a standard black strap that can be replaced by a bright orange version. Equipped with a self- winding flyback chronograph movement in a robust 42.2mm stainless steel case that is water resistant to 12 bar, this model is bound to appeal to a younger audience.
Patek Philippe released its first annual calendar timepiece in 2010. Characterised by three apertures along an arc that tell the day, date and month, it was an instant hit. The line was then extended in 2013 with two rose- gold models. In 2018 Patek announced that this perennial favourite would be replaced with a sleeker- looking version in white gold ( ref 5205G- 013). The new watch comes in a 40mm case and an elegant two- tone blue sunburst dial, Dauphine hands and applied white- gold hour markers. Its contemporary style is further underscored by a beautiful moon- phase indicator at 6 o’clock.
The release of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in 2015 created a hot debate. Many thought it didn’t conform to Patek’s
traditional design paradigm, but collectors went after it enthusiastically. Three years on, there’s a new version in rose gold ( ref 5524R- 001). The timepiece’s design is still rooted in aviation and stands out due to a second time zone and a date display for local time. The dial is no longer matt but features an alluring sunray brushed pattern in warm brown. The large Arabic hour numerals in white Superluminova with gold edges nicely complement the brown dial and rose- gold case. Patek’s Travel Time watches enjoy an enviable reputation because of their ease of use and legibility, and this one is no exception.
Another much- coveted classic Patek timepiece is the Golden Ellipse. It first came out in 1968 featuring a yellow- gold case and a shimmering blue- gold dial. The bold elliptical case – a cross between a circle and a rectangle – represented a unique combination of sleek audacity and harmony. It has since been crafted in other gold alloys and dials with other colours. To celebrate its 50th birthday, Patek enlisted the help of several of its rare handcrafts specialists to create a limited- edition series ( ref 5738/ 50P- 001) of 100 anniversary sets, each consisting of a platinum watch and matching cufflinks. The manufacture also extended its regular collection with a new grand- taille model ( ref 5738R- 001) in rose gold with a black dial.
Women have always figured prominently in Patek Philippe’s collections, and one of the latest ladies’ watches to get an upgrade is the Aquanaut Luce “Misty Blue” ( ref 5067A025). The watch’s face has been enhanced with a new blue- grey dial featuring a bezel illuminated with 46 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds. The dial’s embossed guilloché motif mirrors the texture of the rubber strap and comes with white Arabic numerals and a white minute track. Water resistant to 12 bar, this steel watch reflects a contemporary, chic yet sporty look.
Another ladies’ watch getting a makeover is a manually wound chronograph. In 2009, Patek introduced a cushion- shaped chronograph for women, its first watch endowed with a totally new classic chronograph that was entirely developed in- house. The latest version ( ref 7150R/ 250R- 001) comes in a 38mm round case instead, in rose gold, and set with 72 round diamonds on the bezel and 27 more on the pin clasp. Its exceptional design is rounded off by a pulsometer scale on the silver dial, alongside fluted, curved strap lugs, pushers with guilloché faces and applied Breguet numerals.
In addition to a fresh iteration of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time for men in warm rose gold, Patek also unveiled its first Pilot Travel Time model for women ( ref 7234R- 001). Powered by a selfwinding movement, it is equipped with a useful dual- time function. This elegant watch shows off a refined 37.5mm rose- gold case and a chocolate- brown dial decorated with vintage touches. It’s the perfect choice for the globetrotting woman.
Women have always figured prominently in Patek Philippe’s collections
FROM LEFT: AQUANAUT 5067A; CALATRAVA PILOT 7234R; GOLDEN ELLIPSE 5738R; WOMEN’S CHRONOGRAPH 7150R