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Patek Philippe - Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Patek Philippe Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

The brand extends its family of pilot-style watches.

With the new Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, Patek Philippe rounds out its watch family that is inspired by the manufacture’s aviator's watches from the 1930s. The very typical and highly recognizable design was launched five years ago and has already established itself as a modern classic. Today, the pilot-style livery comes to the fore in the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time watches with two time zones (in white or rose gold and with two case sizes) as well as in the Alarm Travel Time, a grand complication with a 24-hour alarm, not counting several limited editions.

In 2015, Patek Philippe surprised aficionados by launching a watch with a highly unusual design as regards the prominent case as well as the dial with large white numerals and luminous hands that contrast crisply against the dark background. With its name and functional features, the timepiece recalled the first aviator's watches. Patek Philippe also took inspiration from two aviator's watches that had been crafted in the manufacture in 1936 and are now exhibited at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. They were very special siderometer (hour-angle) watches that allowed pilots to easily, precisely, and swiftly determine their current positions. The Ref. 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time was a homage to aviation pioneers and the grand epoch of aerial conquest to which the Genevan manufacture can take credit for many contributions.

Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Calatrava Pilot Travel Time © Patek Philippe

A watch for travelers of the modern era

By far not content simply with a new edition, Patek Philippe paid tribute to its own heritage with a highly contemporary interpretation of the icon. Instead of black, the usual dial color of aviator's watches, a very special blue was chosen, offering a contrast for optimized legibility. The siderometer architecture became obsolete with modern navigation aids, providing space for a function that is much more useful for modern-day travelers: the display of a second time zone made possible by the exclusive Travel Time mechanism. This easily operable system was patented by Patek Philippe in 1959 and 1996. It is characterized by two hour hands from the center. The local-time hour hand can be adjusted via two pushers in one-hour steps. The date is synchronized with local time.

The inception of a family

It also marked the birth of a new family of timepieces with an eminently recognizable design. In 2018, Patek Philippe reinterpreted the original Calatrava Pilot Travel Time with a rose-gold version and a brown dial. In the same year, the manufacture launched the rose-gold model in the medium format (37.5 mm) that was destined for feminine wrists but also welcomed by men who prefer somewhat smaller watches. In 2019, the pilot style took center stage again with the Ref. 5520 Alarm Travel Time grand complication.It combines the display of two time zones with a 24-hour alarm mechanism. The family also includes the two limited editions that were presented on the occasion of the Patek Philippe exhibitions in New York in 2017 (Ref. 5522A) and Singapore in 2019 (Ref. 7234A).

With these introductions, pilot-style watches in just a few years established themselves as key models of Patek Philippe’s collections. They subtly embody the combination of tradition and innovation shared by all of the manufacture’s watches, presenting themselves as new classics of contemporary timepiece design just like, before them, the inscrutable Golden Ellipse as well as the iconic Nautilus and Aquanaut.

Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Calatrava pilot Travel Time © Patek Philippe

New Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
A medium format for the white-gold model

As a medium-sized version of the Ref. 5524G launched in 2015, the Ref. 7234G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time has a diameter of 37.5 mm to fit women’s and men’s wrists. The round Calatrava case in white gold is sleek with a flat and slightly beveled bezel as well as a caseband that merges almost seamlessly with the strap lugs.

The blue lacquered dial, inspired by aviator's watches, is highly legible even in the dark thanks to applied white-gold numerals filled with a white luminous coating and broad luminous baton hands made of blued white gold. 

The self-winding caliber 324 S C FUS movement consists of 294 parts and features the exceptionally convenient Travel Time system for displaying a second time zone. All it takes is the actuation of one of the two pushers in the left-hand case flank to move the luminous local-time hour hand clockwise (with the lower pusher) or counterclockwise (upper pusher) in one-hour increments. During such adjustments, the local time hand is disconnected from the movement, so the accuracy of time displayed by the minute and seconds hands is not compromised. The skeletonized hour hand continues to indicate home time. Both time zones have separate day/night indicators (LOCAL window at 9 o'clock for local time, HOME window at 3 o'clock for home time) to simplify time setting on the go and to prevent unintentionally waking up loved ones with a phone call in the middle of the night. As long as the watch owner is at home, the two hour hands are superposed.

Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Calatrava Pilot Travel Time © Patek Philippe

The two time-zone pushers are equipped with a patented safety system that prevents unintended adjustments of the local time setting. Before they can be actuated, they must be unlocked with a quarter turn, which is simplified by delicate fluting. Afterwards, they must be locked again with a quarter turn in the opposite direction.

The analog date at 6 o'clock shows the date in three-day increments to improve legibility without cluttering the scale. A useful feature for travelers is that the date is always synchronized with local time because the time-zone pushers also increment or decrement the date if the local time hour hand passes midnight either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

Calatrava Pilot Travel Time © Patek Philippe

The new Ref. 7234G is worn on a shiny navy blue calfskin strap secured with a clevis prong buckle in white gold. It is reminiscent of the harnesses that allowed pilots to keep their parachutes and survival kits readily deployable. The scope of delivery includes a second calfskin strap in vintage brown with contrast stitching much like the belts for classic pilot overalls.

This wristwatch for ladies and gentlemen comes in addition to the Ref. 5524G with a diameter of 42 mm, making an ideal pair. Both formats of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time are also available in rose gold with brown black-gradated dials (Refs. 5524R and 7234R).


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