It’s safe to say that Patek Philippe has a lot of big ticket watches – between the Grand Complications, Nautilus and Aquanaut, they have more highlights than many brands ever achieve. However, of their latest round of releases it’s the Calatrava that’s unquestionably king. Especially the new Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Ref. 5224R, the first 24-hour model in the collection.
Looking at the basics, with its 42mm case in rose gold, it seems like almost any other Calatrava. But the display is simply gorgeous. 44 individually hand-crafted rose gold applique numerals create a wide arch around the edge of the dial, marking off the 24-hours of the day.
Interestingly, in defiance of convention, Patek have placed the 12 o’clock numeral at the traditional 12 o’clock position instead of the 24 numeral. The logic behind this is that in day to day life, we are awake and looking at our watches during the daylight hours and so it makes sense to have noon at the top of the dial and midnight at the bottom. This also means that the hour hand spends the majority of its time in the top half of the dial, which makes the watch more pleasing to look at.
Of course, as a Travel Time piece, there’s also a secondary hour hand that points towards a second time zone. “Travel Time”, as we have discussed previously with models like the Annual Calendar Travel Time, is simply Patek’s own take on the GMT and second time zone complications and given here in a 24-hour style, the similarity between them is more apparent than ever.
Going beyond the complications to look even closer at the dial reveals some sublime finishing. The single dial features a multitude of finishing with a single error in any of it rendering the entire dial unusable. Specifically, there is circular graining in the middle of the dial, which leads to a circular satin brush around the hour scale and then the piece is completed by a sunray brushed small seconds subdial. The colour of the dial is described as a grey-blue navy but it’s a much richer hue than that suggest.
Under the surface is the Calibre 31-260 PS FUS 24H, it’s an automatic piece with a 44-hour power reserve. It’s actually an adapted form of the movement that features in the aforementioned Annual Calendar Travel Time and has the same worldclass degree of finishing and a micro-rotor, allowing the Geneva stripes to shine in all their glory.
As a rose gold complication watch, you can expect the Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Ref. 5224R to have a not-insubstantial price tag and it delivers on that with a price of £46,190. However, you can’t put a price on class and this watch has class by the absolute bucket load.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time
- Ref: 5224R-001
- Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 9.85mm thickness, 18k rose gold case, navy blue dial with contrasting finishes
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Patek Philippe calibre 31-260 PS FUS 24H, in-house, automatic with off-center platinum minirotor, Gyromax balance wheel and Spiromax balance spring, 44 jewels, 240 parts, Patek Philippe seal
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 48h
- Functions: Local and home time indication, minutes, small seconds
- Strap: Navy blue calfskin leather with cream stitching
- Price/availability: £46,190