Hands-On – Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164R
1997, 21 years after the introduction of the Patek Philippe Nautilus stainless steel sports watch, Patek Philippe introduced a new watch aimed at a younger clientele: the Aquanaut. Now, in 2016, almost 20 years later, they introduce a new variation on the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, a watch that was introduced in 2011: It is the reference 5164R, where the R stands for rose gold.
I’ve always been a fan of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1A and 5711/1A and prefer them as clean as possible (no complications), as it was meant to be in my opinion. That is a bit different with the Aquanaut. Perhaps I am a bit too much of a purist when it comes to watches, but the Aquanaut always was the next best Patek sports watch for me. Even though at some point my colleague Gerard Nijenbrinks had one (I recall being it the 40mm ref.5167A) and I kind liked it on a leather strap (instead of the rubber), I still preferred the classic Nautilus 5711/1A or a Royal Oak 15202ST. Two Genta giants (I compared them here in-depth).
However, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time that was introduced in 2011 made a huge impression on me and I remember that was the talk of the town during the BaselWorld exhibition. The first Aquanaut with a complication, and perhaps the most useful one for people who travel often through different time zones. The watch did not come cheap, at $32.000.- USD back then, but at least you would travel in style. On the other hand, looking up this exact reference today in the (pre-owned) watch market, you didn’t loose money over it.
This year, Patek Philippe had quite a bit of novelties and stunning pieces, including a rose gold version of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, reference 5164R-001.
The dimensions and movement are equal to the stainless steel version (Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time reference 5164A-001), but the rose gold combines with the brown dial and rubber strap make it a very handsome, almost dressy, sports watch.
Although the watch measures 40.8mm in diameter, it wears very modest on the wrist. It is by no means a small watch, but definitely not bulky either. The time zone complication is very easy to use, just use the two pushers on the left side of the case to increase or decrease the hour hand by one hour at a time. The awesome thing is, that the pushers on the left side looks a bit like the crown guard on the right side. It looks very well-balanced, perhaps even nicer (for me) than the regular Aquanaut models.
As you can see on the images, the watch has an aperture indicating day/night in local time and in home time. It helps you to see whether you can contact someone at a decent hour of the day. I can imagine (and recall it myself as well when I used to travel a lot) that at some point, you don’t keep track.
The lower part of the watch shows an elegant way of indicating the date. The hands and Arabic numerals are in rose gold as well, to match the case. The Arabic numerals are filled with luminous material for better time reading in the dark or low-light. The printing of the hour indexes, date scale etc are a bit bold, but it fits the sporty nature of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time.
Inside, Patek Philippe uses the caliber 324 S C FUS movement, based on the caliber 324 S C. It is a beautiful looking movement as you can see above, and only 4.82mm in height despite the 294 components that are used for this complication timepiece. The power reserve is 45 hours and beats at 28,800vph. This movement also bears the Patek Philippe Seal.
Below, you get a better glimpse of the brown rubber embossed strap and the double folding clasp, showing the Patek Philippe logo. It is very comfortable strap to wear, but if you want to make the watch a bit dressier, you might as well add an alligator strap to your purchase.
Aside from the price tag (see below), the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time in rose gold surely isn’t a watch for everyone. Which is a good thing! The shape of the case, the sporty character and rose gold might be to everyone’s liking, as I can imagine that some Patek purists rather go with the Calatrava or more classic looking timepieces. However, as a fan of the Nautilus, I have to admit this watch is one of my favorites of the Patek Philippe collection today. I am not a Calatrava guy myself.
Well, as said, the price is decisive in many cases, and this Patek Philippe is priced at CHF 45,000.- Swiss Francs, including 8% VAT. Considering the rose gold, Patek Philippe is very reasonable if you compare this price to the one of the stainless steel version (which is $36,400 USD).
More information on the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164R-001 can be found here.