Last year Patek Philippe’s showstopper Basel release was the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. Perhaps the most notable feature of Patek’s foray into the world of aviation watches was just how polarising it was. While diehard PP fans quickly dug into the archives to prove the wildly off-brand model actually had a forebear, most of the watch world issued a pretty heavy shrug – yeah, it was a pilot, sure to draw a younger crowd, but it was also in white gold and not at a price point that was going to unlock younger wallets. In other words, it created conversation. It was genuinely divisive. Fast-forward to Basel 2016 and Patek’s headline release, the reference 5930G World Time Chronograph is about as far removed from the Calatrava Pilot as possible. The 5930G is a very safe watch for Patek – combining two complications the brand is famous for, with an exquisitely designed and executed dial, all wrapped up in an elegant 39.5mm white gold case. It’s a watch that has met with nothing but praise since it was announced. Patek have made a world time chronograph before, but that was a unique piece made way back in the 1940, so it… Read More
Beautiful watch – tell us a little bit about it. It’s the Patek 5975 in rose gold. It’s a special multi-scale chronograph Patek made to commemorate their 175th anniversary. I applied to get the platinum version, but the rose gold was what I was offered, and given that it’s limited to 400 pieces, I was happy to get it. I really love the soft rose gold of the case. I find gold watches can sometimes be a bit stark, but that’s not an issue with rose gold. What’s it like to wear? I generally wear small vintage pieces, so this is a big change for me. It’s 40mm in size – one of the biggest watches I own – and has a presence on the wrist. However,the case has lovely features including the deco style stepped lugs, which seem to soften things. The vintage appearance makes the watch wear smaller than its measurements. There’s a lot going on in that dial – pulsometer, telemeter and a tachymeter! Is it hard to tell the time? At first glance it does look very busy, with lots of numbers and curves. It also lacks the elapsed time subdials you’d normally associate with a… Read More
The story in a second: Patek Philippe have released a rose gold and dark chocolate version of the classic Nautilus 5711. Never mind the buzz-piece (hello there Pilot), it’s their best release of 2015. There was a lot of fuss about Patek Philippe’s new watches this year, with the eye-brow raising Calatrava Pilot and their much more on-brand split-seconds chronograph. If Patek made music rather than watches, the Pilot and the split-seconds would be their latest album’s lead singles. Big, highly produced and attention-grabbing. Initially they’re the only songs getting played. After a little bit of time and reflection though, we have some important news; our favourite track is actually one that appeared further down on the listing. In fact, it’s a remastered version of one of their greatest hits – the Nautilus. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R-001 is structurally and technically identical to the classic 5711 ‘Jumbo’ that was introduced in 2006, itself a direct predecessor to the original Nautilus introduced in 1976 – the 3700. It’s the Nautilus at its most pure – pared back to time, date and that iconic Gerald Genta design. It’s the ultimate luxury sports watch. This is the first time the 5711 has been… Read More
Your name: Tom Your watch: Patek Philippe 5712 When – did you buy it? My parents gave it to me as a Christmas present. I love it. Every watch I own has been for a special occasion. Whether it’s a grandfather passed down watch, or a 21st, or something from my wife. Every watch reminds me of some kind of event. What – was special about this Christmas? (Tom’s wife Hoda interjects) This one was a bit random. I gave him a watch as a wedding gift and he got a watch for his 21st and his 16th (his grandfather’s Patek Philippe). You would never wear this kind of watch. It’s a really old, gold, delicate, antique one. Why – do you love this watch? I like that it’s sporty on a rubber strap. I can wear it casually, I can wear it to work. I can wear it to the beach.
The story in a second: The new Patek Philippe split-seconds chronograph (Ref.5370P to its friends) is the new must have über-Patek. The talk about Patek Philippe this year centred on their controversial attempt to break into younger market segments – AKA the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. It’s easy then to forget that Patek released other watches, many of them every inch the classic Patek. Case in point is the ‘other’ big novelty of the year, a watch that is pure Patek – the Ref.5370P split-seconds chronograph. This watch is the other side of the Calatrava Pilot coin. Patek, who undoubtedly knew they were taking a risk with the Pilot, decided to release this ultra-classical chronograph at the same time, to mitigate any perception of Patek going ‘off-brand’. It doesn’t get more on-brand than the 5370P. Everything about this watch, the case, the dial, the pushers and (most definitely) that movement are of the highest quality, in keeping with the maison’s finest traditions. The case is modern at 41mm, but not too large. And of course it’s made from platinum (hence the ‘P’ in the reference). But the real beauty is in the details, like the concave bezel and recessed inner… Read More
The story in a second: The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is the watch that’s confusing the most people at Baselworld 2015. While the familiar Patek quality is there, that is pretty much the only thing about this watch people are associating with the name on the dial. It’s a telling fact that in the first sentence of their press release for their new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Patek Philippe have to explicitly reference that they have two 1930s hour angle pilot’s watches sitting in their Geneva museum. Because the fact is that while we associate many wonderful watch types and styles with Patek, the classic aviators watch is not among them. There is something ironic about Patek, that most august and legitimate of brands, feeling the need to justify a new model. It’s a watch that has left the industry, and the (large, affluent and opinionated) Patek collector community befuddled. The most common sentiment expressed about the Pilot Travel time is that ‘”this is not Patek”. The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time might confound traditional notions of what a Patek looks like, but there is no denying that the high Patek standards are there. The white gold case and… Read More
Even though it’s only February, 2015 is shaping up to be annus horribilis for the Swiss watch industry – and in uncertain economic times, an industry looks to its leaders to see which road they will take. The shortest telling of this story is that Patek are taking the low road, to lower pricing. On 15th of January 2015, just days before the opening of the prestigious SIHH the Swiss watch industry was dealt a very nasty blow. Out of the blue the Swiss National Bank announced that it was abandoning its long-standing currency cap against the Euro. The immediate result was that the Swiss Franc had an unprecedented 30% increase overnight. This is the largest single currency market movement in 24 hours. Ever. For more on the impact of this we recommend reading some expert financial (as opposed to watch experts) analysis. Aside from generalised chaos on the Swiss stock markets this move has big implications on the export heavy Swiss watch industry. Share prices for dominant players Richemont and the Swatch Group suffered, and Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch group described it as a “tsunami for the country’s economy”. In the wake of this shockwave we’re beginning to see how… Read More