New Releases Watches

Patek Philippe Launch Grand Complication Alarm Travel Time Ref. 5520RG in Rose Gold

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

While blue is a popular colour among Patek Philippe’s releases this year with the Nautilus and Aquanaut, there are plenty of others as well. At the top end, as part of their Grand Complication range they’ve introduced the updated Alarm Travel Time Ref. 5520RG. Revisiting the original model from 2019 with a fresh case and dial.

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

Alarms are an interesting complication in mechanical watchmaking as they’re surprisingly rare in comparison to how ubiquitous they are on digital timepieces. The most famous alarm watch is the Vulcain Cricket, which earned its name from the loud, clear tone of its alarm and was a favourite of several US Presidents. Alarm functions are part of the same family of complications as the more prestigious minute repeater, both relying on hammers striking gongs to create sound.

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

The functioning of the alarm is controlled by the pusher at 2 o’clock and you can see its setting in three apertures running from 12 o’clock to the central hands. The bell shaped aperture shows whether the alarm is on or off, the time window below that shows what time the alarm is set to and the small indicator below that shows whether it is set to AM or PM (a day/night indicator).

Elsewhere on the dial you have the travel time complication consisting of two hour hands on the central hand stack, allowing you to keep track of two time zones at the same time. Using the pushers on the left-side of the case allows you to jump the local time forwards or backwards by an hour. Plus, it’s connected to the date subdial so that if you jump across the bounds of a day, the date will update accordingly.

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG
Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

Aesthetically it has a grey sunray brushed dial that has a slight golden tinge to it, tying it in with the 42.4mm diameter rose gold case. There’s a small element of bi-metal in that it has white gold tubes for the pushers and crowns. The Arabic numerals are large and bordered by black lines making them highly legible – a reference to the fact that this is ostensibly a pilot’s watch. Hence the inclusion of the travel time complication which is designed for global travellers jet-setting across the world.

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

The movement powering the piece is the AL30‑660SCFUS, an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve. It’s finished in traditional Patek style with Côtes de Genève, visible through the exhibition caseback. Personally, I think on of the most amusing facts about the watch is that it contains three separate day/night indicators, which must be up there with the most of any watch. One for the alarm function, one for local time and one for the second time zone.

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time 5520RG

It’s priced at £222,020, which is quite a hefty price for a timepiece without a perpetual calendar or minute repeater. But it also goes to show that alarm complications are held surprisingly high regard in the world of mechanical watchmaking. On the whole I quite like the Alarm Travel Time ref. 5520RG and the way it straddles the worlds of being a practical timepiece and a high end piece of luxury.

Price and Specs:

Model: Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time
Ref: 5520RG
Case: 42.2mm diameter x 11.6mm thickness, rose and white gold, two travel time pushers
Dial: Grey sunburst
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Patek Philippe calibre AL 30-660 S C FUS, automatic, 52 jewels, 574 parts
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone, local and home time indicator, 24h alarm with hammer striking a classic gong
Strap: Chestnut calfskin leather with rose gold clevis prong buckle
Price: £222,020

More details at Patek Philippe.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.