It’s safe to say that Patek Philippe have one of the most comprehensive ranges of chronographs of any watchmaker. There’s nothing they like more than taking the racing complication and combining it with all manner of different haute horological functions. They have now taken three of the fan favourite chronographs, such as the perpetual calendar version, and given them a modern makeover.
They are the Splits-Seconds Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5204R-011, Self-Winding Flyback Chronograph with Annual Calendar Ref. 5905/1A-001 and finally the Self-Winding World Time Flyback Chronograph Ref. 5930P-001.
Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5204R-011
When you think about haute horology, chances are the first complication that comes to mind is a perpetual calendar. Not to mention that the first brand you think of is probably Patek Philippe as well. So, you can understand why the chronograph with perpetual calendar is one of their most successful and sought after grand complications.
The first rose gold versions appeared in 2016 with silvery or black dials, and the new version splits the difference with slate grey. The new colour makes for a more cohesive appearance because there is less contrast between the dial and the rose gold. However, there is enough of a distinction that the legibility remains crystal clear. Which is important when you’re balancing a split seconds chronograph with days, months, moonphase, small seconds, a 30-minute counter, leap year indicator and a day/night indicator all on one sunbrushed dial.
Controlling all those functions is the calibre CHR 29-535 PS Q, which we’re familiar with since it was first used in 2012, although it’s still as amazing as ever. It has a power reserve of around 55-hours, which is crazy considering it has 496 parts to operate. While the movement is a classic, the watch does come on a new strap, a slate grey calf leather number embossed with an alligator texture.
Price & Specs
Ref: 5204R-011 | Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 14.3mm height, rose gold case, slate gray sunburst dial | Water resistance: 30m | Movement: In-house Calibre CHR 29‑535 PS Q, manual winding, 34 jewels, 496 parts | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: Min 55h / max 65h | Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, split-seconds chronograph, instantaneous 30-minute counter, perpetual calendar, date indicated by hand, day, month, leap year and day/night, moon-phase | Strap: Calfskin with embossed alligator pattern | Price: £238,620, available at Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe Self-Winding Flyback Chronograph With Annual Calendar Ref. 5905/1A-001
While the Perpetual Calendar above had a makeover, it more or less kept the same character as its predecessors. The Chronograph with Annual Calendar on the other hand has gone from super high end platinum in 2015 to rose gold in 2019 and now stainless steel in 2021. So not only is it much sportier than it has ever been before, but you could also argue that it’s the closest thing to a daily beater Patek Philippe produce at this level.
That case has a 42mm diameter and comes with a new integrated bracelet (furthering the sporty aesthetic) inspired by the Aquanaut. Which makes sense because the Aquanaut is probably the other daily wearer Patek produce. The bracelet has polished outer links and satin brushed inner links for a nice contrast of surfaces, however unlike the Aquanaut, the underside of the bracelet is also polished to match the sheen of the Chronograph’s case.
It’s also worth noting that the olive green colour of the dial is also new. It’s perhaps a shade darker than the green Nautilus released earlier this year, but goes to show that green really has been the colour of 2021 from start to finish.
It’s always worth mentioning Patek Philippe calibres because they’re insane, however none of the new watches have new calibres so I won’t go into too much detail. Just know it’s the CH 28-520 QA 24H which has a 45-hour power reserve and a vertical clutch system.
Price & Specs
Ref: 5905/1A-001 | Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 14.14mm height, steel case, olive green sunburst dial | Water resistance: 30m | Movement: In-house Calibre CH 28‑520 QA 24H, automatic, 37 jewels, 402 parts | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: Min 45h / max 55h | Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph with 60-minute counter, annual calendar, day, date, month, day/night indicator | Strap: Steel bracelet | Price: £45,540, available at Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe Self-Winding World Time Flyback Chronograph Ref. 5930P-001
Last up is the world timer version. Technically this is the oldest of the three designs because it can be traced back to 1940, although it’s only been a staple of modern Patek Philippe since 2016. The new version revamps the design with a green dial and a platinum case.
World timers occupy a strange niche in watchmaking because they can be found at virtually every price point. At lower prices they are useful tools for frequent travellers while at the luxurious end they are major status icons showcasing your jet-setting lifestyle. I’m sure you can work out which end of the spectrum this watch falls under.
The platinum case has a 39.5mm diameter with classic wing-type lugs for a retro appearance. Moving inwards from the case, at the circumference of the dial is the 24 time zone ring, with corresponding cities. Then at the centre of the dial is a gorgeous circular guilloché in vibrant green. That green is also seen throughout the typography of the cities and the alligator strap.
Powering this watch is the calibre CH 28-520 HU, which like the other flyback chronograph here (the annual calendar) can use its central chronograph seconds hand as a running seconds hand when it’s not in use. A noticeable quality of life benefit.
Price & Specs
Ref: 5930P-001 | Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 12.86mm height, platinum case, green hand-guilloched dial | Water resistance: 30m | Movement: In-house Calibre CH 28‑520 HU, automatic, 38 jewels, 343 parts | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: Min 50h / max 55h | Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph with 30-minute counter, world time, 24-hour and day/night indication for the 24 time zones | Strap: Alligator leather | Price: £77,420, available at Patek Philippe.