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Patek Philippe  - Patek Delivers a Textural Treat

Patek Philippe Patek Delivers a Textural Treat

The new Calatrava Ref.5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time is a special model Within the Patek Philippe collection.

The new Ref.5326G is a hybrid object in more ways than one. It lies somewhere between a small and a large complication, between a sports watch and a precious watch, between formal and informal. This is above all clearly apparent on its dial. Patek Philippe has added a touch of novelty with its finish, a granular stamped texture thicker than sandblasting or frosting. The bumpy feel is similar to the grip of a traditional camera, an object whose sides were rough enough to prevent it from slipping and soft enough to feel comfortable to the touch. These two aspects had to be in sync during those protracted periods when as we all remember we had to hold the camera against our face to frame and focus. In addition to the texture, Patek Philippe has worked on the color aspect. The brand has long since adopted the gradient effect to create watch faces that are darker around the rim and lighter in the center. The result here is a variation between a solid black and a charcoal gray. The Calatrava Annual Calendar Travel Time radiates a spirit of adventure as well as an activity material and equipment vibe. One senses this intention with the 41mm-diameter case. Its construction is exceptionally strongly geared towards wearer comfort, notably including the lugs that fit seamlessly into the caseback and create a continuous line of contact with the wrist. The result is a first-class fit. 

Patek Delivers A Textural Treat

The Calatrava Ref.5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time © Patek Philippe

 

Aesthetic Refinement 

At the same time, the Calatrava Annual Calendar Travel Time is brimming with details that lean towards elegance. The G in its reference number reminds us that it is made of white gold and the caseband is adorned with a Clou de Paris guilloché pattern. The latter effect could again be slightly misleading, because while this motif is used to make other references of the brand more precious, typically the Calatrava Ref.6119, that is not the image projected by the Ref.5326G. This intermediate nature can also be seen in the indications driven by the movement of this timepiece belonging to the Calatrava family. For the first time, Patek Philippe is merging its Annual Calendar and Travel Time functions, which are combined with its new 30-255 selfwinding micro-rotor base movement. The latter was introduced in 2021 with the Calatrava Ref. 6119, has a larger diameter than its historical cousin, the legendary Caliber 240. It is equipped with a second barrel enabling a maximum 48-hour power reserve for this energy-hungry timepiece – a degree of autonomy that would not have been possible with its forerunner. On this platform, Patek proceeded to merge two complication modules into the driving movement. It is essential to note that Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H results neither from assembly nor from stacking.

Merging Functions

Many brands use additional complication modules that are simply screwed onto driving calibers. At Patek Philippe, this is done in a semi integrated manner. Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H is therefore neither an indivisible entity, nor a simple sandwich-type construction. The advantage of this approach, which is more complex to design and manufacture, lies in its thickness. Merging levels and integrating the components dedicated to one function into those responsible for another eliminates unnecessary and redundant thickness. The result can be summed up in a single figure: 5.6 mm, corresponding to the total thickness of this caliber that combines automatic winding, an Annual Calendar with a disk-type display of the day, date and month, as well as moon phases and a dual-time indication. It is also worth specifying that this annual calendar requires only one date correction per year, on 1 March, right at the end of the very irregular month of February. Moreover, Patek Philippe Travel Time does not mean merely a central dual-time display. It comes with fast time-jump adjustment and a double day/night indication, one for each time zone.

Patek Delivers A Textural Treat

The Calatrava Ref.5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time © Patek Philippe

Inner Beauty 

It is not particularly common to see the association between this type of complications, with the brand’s most recent combo of this nature dating back to 2014 and the launch of the Nautilus Ref.5990/1A Travel Time Chronograph. It therefore remains exceptional and endowed with a certain aura of nobility. Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H does not skimp on the finishing details, as in addition to the elegantly cut, chamfered and gently curved bridges, it is driven by a Gyromax and Spiromax-type regulating organ. It is wound by a micro-rotor that Patek Philippe has made from 950 platinum, a heavy and prestigious metal ensuring strong winding power, which is necessary to maintain the driving torque required by the numerous indications provided by this model. This rotor is also superbly finished with its engraved Calatrava cross, its snailing and its guilloché borders. 

Bang On Target 

Patek Philippe has of course never been into tool watches, yet the exercise that consists in being halfway between refinement and more virile codes is both unusual and successful. If it had to be summed up in figures, the brand has succeeded in creating an (almost) all-purpose watch, in gold, which is only 11 mm thick despite the abundance of its indications. Even more than the other elements, the hour-markers are particularly revealing of the approach. They are applied and in polished white gold, all of which is very Patek. Yet the particularly bold typography offers a central zone abundantly filled with beige luminescent substance, in the so-called Old Lume color. This vintage rendering, in line with the camera grip and syringe-type hands, sets the final touch to the overall aesthetic consistency.

Patek Delivers A Textural Treat

Calatrava Ref.5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time © Patek Philippe

A penchant for essentials 

With no complications other than the date at 3 o'clock, the Calatrava Ref.5226G is a concentrated blend of Patek Philippe’s functionalism and attention to detail. It puts into perspective the new scope of the Calatrava collection, as behind the rather rough appearance of the dial, it is a fully-fledged member of this family. One of its distinctive features is a strong taste for slimness and one notes when reading the specifications that the 40mm diameter case is 8.53mm thick. While for many other brands, this would be an ultra-thin timepiece and touted as such, for Patek Philippe, the term would be redundant because this attribute is consubstantial with any Calatrava. By way of example, Reference 6119 is 8.08 mm thick, which is quite comparable, yet people will long tend to regard the latter as ultra-thin, whereas that is more unlikely to the case for Reference 5226.

Patek Delivers A Textural Treat

Calatrava Ref.5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time © Patek Philippe

Double Effects

Reference 5226 does not resemble the other Calatrava models, which are dressier, smoother and more obviously designed for elegant wear. This particular model, on the other hand, exudes a deceptively adventurous aura – an impression created by the dial, hands, hour-markers and even the tone-on-tone date disk. When viewed from the side, this effect is reinforced by the case itself. Its Clous de Paris hobnail guilloché pattern does not create a precious effect as it does on Reference 6119, but its roughness is instead reminiscent of the dial. On the other hand, the lugs are straight, angular, taut and thus rather virile. Another novel feature which is unusual for Patek Philippe is the fact that Reference 5226 comes with two interchangeable straps, both of which match the watch in their own way. The first is a sandy beige nubuck calfskin version, reflecting the hour-markers; while the second one is black and made of embossed leather with a rough canvas look, thus matching the dial instead. Patek Philippe has thus added a new string to its bow, for despite its precious and inherently Calatrava nature, Reference 5226G is also distinctively rugged in its own way. 

 

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