Combining the worldtimer and chronograph complications demands finesse in both dial and movement design that, as Ref. 5930 shows, Patek Philippe has in spades
Before 2016, Patek Philippe had only paired the worldtimer and chronograph together once, in a unique piece named No. 862 442 dating back to the 1940s. The dearth of this combination of complications isn’t surprising; both the worldtimer and chronograph require much space on the dial, and displaying all their information can make for a visually overwhelming watch. There is a certain romance to the dichotomy though – they march at wildly different cadences, with the chronograph splitting time into fractions of a second while its partner makes its steady, once-a-day rotation. The World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930 is Patek Philippe’s first foray into this pairing in over six decades, and will be part of the manufacture’s regular collection.
Ref. 5930 is driven by a new calibre, CH 28-520 HU, essentially a CH 28-520 PS chronograph movement with an additional worldtimer module, although work such as the shifting of components and the recalculation of their clearances had to be done as well. The chronograph was built for reliability, accuracy, and smooth operation, and thus it is column wheel actuated and vertically coupled. It is also of the flyback variant. As for the worldtimer, Patek Philippe has employed a very user-friendly module – the pusher at 10 o’clock makes it a cinch to change one’s reference city, which is anchored at 12 o’clock; depressing the push-button shifts the city rings, 24-hour ring, and the hour hand simultaneously, which makes it very quick and easy to set the time when one moves to another city.
Mechanics aside, Patek Philippe also needed a dial design that will coherently display both complications’ information. The manufacture has done more than just that, and even managed to carve out enough space for barleycorn guilloché decoration. The dial consists of concentric rings around a central portion, with all its details rendered in blues, whites, and greys. Visually, things are balanced – the city rings are the busiest, and have been relegated to the edge to afford more space between the words, with a single red dot serving as an anchor and reminder for GMT +0. The simple white gold appliqué indexes, on the other hand, lend weight to the middle of the dial. To cut down on clutter, Patek Philippe opted to restrict the chronograph’s measurable elapsed time to just 30 minutes, via a minute totaliser sub-dial. Since worldtimers traditionally do not have a running seconds hand, this keeps the number of hands to just four, and sub-dials to just one. MOVEMENT Self-winding Patek Philippe CH 28-520 HU chronograph movement with worldtimer; 50-hour power reserve
CASE 39.5mm in white gold, water resistant to 30m STRAP Navy blue alligator with white gold deployant buckle PRICE $97,100