The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G And Calatrava Ref. 5226G Are Show Stoppers
Right out of the gates, Patek Philippe releases two of the biggest show stoppers of Watches & Wonders 2022. The first is the all-new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G-001. The watch is a brilliant display of vintage-inspired style and technical ingenuity. It combines an annual calendar and a travel time complication that displays two time zones. It is launched together with the automatic Calatrava Ref. 5226G-001 which features the same stunning overall new style. This is a pair of watches that introduces an explorer-chic that is brilliant. Let’s find out more.
The big introduction for Patek Philippe this year is the Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G-001. For the timepiece, the brand combines a new aesthetic with a new brilliant movement, and it just might be the ultimate traveler’s watch. The combination of a travel time complication and an annual calendar is a first for the brand. Additionally, the brand designed a new Calatrava case that is simply spectacular. Along with that, the brand also introduces the automatic Calatrava Ref. 5226G-001 that uses the same overall aesthetic. It’s a style that shows a modern interpretation of a vintage aesthetic that works very well for this simpler timepiece. With this new duo of watches, Patek Philippe has struck gold.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G-001
Let’s start with the more remarkable of the two watches, the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time. As mentioned, the combination of these two complications is a first for the brand. But if there is one brand that made both complications famous, it’s Patek Philippe. The brand introduced the annual calendar in 1996, and it has since become a complication that can be seen in a wide range of watches from different brands at different price points.
One year later, in 1997, Patek Philippe debuted the travel time complication. Of course, we have seen the travel time complication in the Nautilus collection. The more recent integration of the complication can be found in the much-debated Calatrava Pilot Travel Time models with their huge pushers first introduced in 2018. The new Annual Calendar Travel Time is a lot less extravagant in its presence, but it still is a spectacular watch.
A new case design and spectacular dial
Patek Philippe created a fantastic new case design for the Annual Calendar Travel Time. The 41mm white gold Calatrava case is 11.07mm thick and features a slightly chamfered bezel and a visually stunning hobnail pattern around its entire flank. We have seen the pattern recently used for the bezel of the Calatrava “Clous de Paris” Ref. 6119. But I have to say the integration on the case band looks so much better, in my opinion. It’s less prominent but still a defining element of the case design. On top of that, the case features stunning polished, inclined lugs attached to the watch’s case back.
The Annual Calendar Travel Time features a charcoal-gray vintage dial with a beautiful grained pattern for extra depth. The brand states that vintage camera bodies inspired the pattern. As you can see, all the other elements are executed in a very nice contrasting beige color. This color combination works really well as it gives warmth to the dial and creates a very nice contrast for great readability. The elements that immediately stand out are the three central syringe-style hands. The local time hour and minute hand are executed in 18K white gold and filled with cream lume. The skeletonized home-time hour hand is brilliantly executed in 18K white gold and lacquered beige.
A perfectly integrated annual calendar
The Arabic numerals are also executed in 18K white gold and filled with cream-colored lume. Along with the railway-track minute scale, the small second with its cream-colored dagger hand, and the local and home markers, they form a great set of elements in an overall design that looks very nice and is easy to read. The integration of the annual calendar is flawless, with the date window at 6 o’clock integrated into the small seconds display that also holds the moonphase indication. The day/night indicators for local and home time are placed at the center of that dial, and lastly, the day and month displays are located near the Patek Philippe logo placed just underneath the 12-o’clock numeral. I have to say, I’m really impressed with this dial design in both the integration of elements and the execution of colors and materials.
The Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H
Inside the white gold case is where we find the in-house movement that powers the watch. The new self-winding Patek Philippe Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H has eight different patents. As you can see, the watch does not feature any pushers to set the local time as with the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time models. Patek Philippe has created a new movement so that the local time is adjusted by operating the crown. This newly developed crown has three different positions.
In the standard position, you can manually wind the watch. If you pull the crown to the middle position, you can set the local time in one-hour increments. Lastly, if you pull the crown out fully, you can set the home time with hours and minutes and hacking seconds. You will also find small corrector buttons on the sides of the case for adjusting the annual calendar. The corrector for the month at 2 o’clock, the date at 4 o’clock, the moon phases at 8 o’clock, and lastly, the day of the week at 10 o’clock.
A stunning movement, both technical and visually
The self-winding movement that makes this possible consists of 409 parts. It operates at 28,800vph, has 47 jewels, and delivers a power reserve of 38 to 48 hours when fully wound. As you can see, the movement features a decentralized micro-rotor that is executed in 950 platinum. The construction and finishing of the movement are both stunning, as you would expect from Patek Philippe. The construction of the different bridges looks particularly elegant.
Completing the style
To complete the brilliant looks of the new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G, the brand delivers the watch with two different straps. The standard strap is a calfskin nubuck strap in beige that comes with a fold-over clasp in 18K white gold. The second is an additional calfskin strap embossed with a textile pattern and beige contrasting stitching.
The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G will be available for €69,930. Overall, I love that the brand has created a watch that combines the best of a new movement and great style. The combination of complications, the new case, and the overall dial design are impressive and far less classical in appearance than most of the brand’s complicated pieces. As a result, this immediately has become my favorite Patek Philippe timepiece within the Complications collection and one of the early highlights of this year’s Watches & Wonders.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G-001
But wait, there is more! If you are looking for something simpler, more affordable, but with equally as much style, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G-001 might be your pick. The watch is the latest addition to the Calatrava collection, and it features the same aesthetic as its bigger brother. This new Calatrava looks clean and has plenty of vintage charm, executed with a modern twist but without complications.
The watch features the same case style as the Annual Calendar Travel Time. But for this Calatrava, Patek Philippe made the white gold case slightly smaller at 40mm and with a height of only 8.53mm. The case features the Clous de Paris hobnail pattern typical of the brand. With the slimmer profile of the case, the lugs become slightly more prominent, making the integration with the case back even more visible. I have to say that the case design looks absolutely stunning.
The simple but classy dial design
The watch also uses the same charcoal gray gradient dial with a grained pattern. The brand made the black outer ring bigger and created a modern-looking minute track executed in beige to give the dial a bit more zing. Just like the Annual Calendar Travel Time, the dial also features applied Arabic numerals executed in 18K white gold. The handset features 18K white gold syringe-style hands with beige luminescent coating and an 18K central seconds hand that is lacquered beige.
At 3 o’clock, you will find the date aperture that is executed brilliantly. The date is printed in beige on a black disc, ensuring its perfect integration with the dial. At first glance, I was not entirely sure whether the dial had enough character to stand out. But looking at it for a bit longer, I like what Patek Philippe has done. The combination of the dial and the case design is the perfect mix between vintage style and modern execution, and it has resulted in a watch that I adore.
The self-winding Caliber 26-330 S C
Inside the white gold case, Patek Philippe has equipped this new reference with its Caliber 26-330 S C. This self-winding movement consists of 212 parts, operates at 28,800vph, has 30 jewels, and delivers 35-45 hours of power reserve. As you can see, the movement features a 21K central rotor with the Patek Philippe seal engraved on it. Furthermore, it comes equipped with a Gyromax balance and a Spiromax balance spring.
The watch also comes with the two same straps as its bigger brother. The first and standard strap is the calfskin nubuck strap that comes with an 18K white gold prong buckle. The second is a black calfskin leather strap embossed with a fabric pattern and contrasting being stitching. The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G will be available for €34,630.
Final thoughts on these two new Patek Philippe introductions
In my opinion, these two new Patek Philippe models are a stroke of brilliance. They offer a great sense of style that is less formal and classical but still offers tons of charm. The Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G is an impressive piece. It might just be the ultimate travel watch for people looking for a great stylish piece inspired by vintage pilot’s watches. But it has a certain charm that goes far beyond that. The movement with its eight patents is equally impressive and a great show of Patek’s brilliance.
When it comes to the Calatrava three-hander, I am equally excited. I have always liked the Calatrava collection for its iconic value and impeccable style. But there was never a model that I connected with, let alone fell in love with. However, after seeing this new Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G, I have found my new favorite Calatrava, and I am smitten.
For more information, visit the official Patek Philippe website.