Let’s face it, the fair has been a bit of a mixed bag. There’s been a range of good, bad, and downright ugly watches lurking in these halls. I never expect to walk in the door and love everything, but as with most years I’ve certainly found a few odds and ends that grabbed my attention. The surprising element to this is where some of the watches are from — in the case of the three watches below we’re talking about Patek. For years I’ve certainly had an appreciation for the brand, their technical prowess, their devout following and their ability to fuel a level of demand that borders on the astonishing. That said, at a personal level their watches seldom speak to me to a point of a desire to own, with the odd exception. However, I found this trio of watches from the brand’s Basel 2019 releases caught my attention far more than in previous years. Patek Philippe Ref. 5520P Alarm Travel Time The latest evolution of Patek’s pilot-inspired spin on the Calatrava is poised to be another hot-button topic among many, especially those more enamoured with the brand’s more traditional offerings. I, on the other hand, warmed up… Read More
Editor’s note: It’s getting close to end of financial year here in Australia, a time when, traditionally, watch lovers start counting their fiscal chickens before they’re hatched, and allocating that spend to the less essential things in life … like watches. Now, in a shock twist that I’m sure you’re all pretty familiar with, it turns out significant others don’t *always* see the fiscal sense in dropping serious coin on yet another watch that is, let’s face it, pretty much exactly the same as all the others you own. Andy Green has taken on the dangerous task of evaluating eight common strategies for spousal approval. Be warned though, results may vary. The reality is that watches are luxury goods, so the ‘need’ to buy them rarely occurs. That means, for most, they naturally fall very low (some say too low) on life’s list of priorities, and most definitely do not outrank things like kids, mortgages and school fees. And unless your partner shares your passion, I’d gamble and say they don’t think that your wrist darlings are as important as you think they are. So, the perennially thorny question is: “How do I buy this watch with my partner’s blessing?”… Read More
Effectively a new dial and case metal of an existing reference, initially launched in white gold with a blue dial, what makes this new version of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time really interesting is the way it was unveiled, and the sister piece that accompanies it. It’s hard to believe, but Patek Philippe finally joined the modern world of social media in the week leading up to Baselworld 2018, and their first big announcement through the channel was this new release, alongside a “ladies version” measuring 37.5mm in diameter, which has been dubbed the ref. 7234R. Both sizes are powered by the same caliber, and, quite frankly, both are within a conservative size range that could be worn by either gender without the faintest question. Because the duo of chocolate brown gems are so similar other than in diameter, we’re focusing our attention on the bigger of the two pieces: the Ref. 5524 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. Vital statistics First things first, when images were released of the new Calatrava Pilot I wasn’t quite sold. There was quite a bit of debate out there when the initial Calatrava Pilot surfaced, and what business Patek Philippe really had in getting into… Read More
One of the more entertaining games to play at Baselworld 2018 is: “Who is Brand X after with this watch?” In some cases the answer can be as clear as mud, but in the case of the new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph it’s a bit of a no-brainer. Bright orange accents on its dial, and sold with both black and bright orange straps, this is the new king-casual Patek for a new generation. With the steel Nautilus in brutally short supply these days, this new Aquanaut is expected to be the new entry point into the Patek Philippe universe. Having taken a closer look at the new reference 5968A, we don’t doubt it’ll hook its fair share of new Patek fans. Vital statistics Transferred over from the Nautilus chronograph, the automatic flyback chronograph Caliber CH 28-520 C powers the new Aquanaut, featuring central chronograph seconds and a large 60-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock. Unlike current versions of the Nautilus Chronograph, the Aquanaut’s subdial does not include the 12-h totaliser within said subdial, giving the dial a slightly cleaner look. The case size is also increased on this latest Aquanaut, coming in at 42mm in diameter. This is now the largest Aquanaut on… Read More
One of the big surprises of Baselworld 2018 was Patek Philippe’s decision to add a grand complication model – specifically a perpetual calendar – to the Nautilus line. Or was it? Nautilus-with-complication is an old story (travel time, chronograph, annual calendar have all featured over the years) and the pre-Basel rumour mill was promoting the ‘perpetual’ idea pretty heavily. So when Patek unveiled the ref. 5740 there was a definite sense of “Surprise – what surprise?” Vital statistics The movement is one of Patek’s all-time greats: the ultra-thin self-winding calibre 240 Q – also found in the current collection in the Calatrava-cased ref. 5327. It’s essentially the same movement that was introduced in the landmark ref. 3940 in the mid-1980s and continually improved upon over the years. Those improvements include a Gyromax balance wheel and Spiromax (silicium) hairspring. The perpetual calendar display indicates the day, date, month and leap year by hands, as well as a moon phase and 24-hour display. The white gold case measures 40mm (diagonally, from 10–4 o’clock), has a screw-down crown, helping to ensure water-resistance to 60 metres, and comes on a white gold bracelet with a folding clasp. On the wrist Although, for a Nautilus, there’s… Read More
The year was 1997, the Spice Girls were busy spicing up life, and Leo was king of the world. It was a great time to be alive, and not just if you were a 13-year-old-girl. Because if you were a fan of stainless steel sports watches, it was also the year Patek Philippe introduced the Aquanaut. Taking its design cues from the casually elegant Nautilus, it was initially released as a slightly more accessible alternative, and aimed at an active and younger generation of watch lovers. But it quickly stepped out of big brother’s shadow, and has since become an important (if sometimes polarising) pillar of the brand’s sports watches. To celebrate its 20th birthday, Patek have this year released the Aquanaut ref. 5168G. For the first time, the Aquanaut is available in an 18k white gold case, and has been given Jumbo status with its 120m water resistant case upsized from 40mm to 42.2mm. The dimensions may have changed, but the three-part design retains the same lines and curves, and the distinctive rounded octagonal bezel keeps its mix of polished edges and vertical satin-brushed finishing on top. Measuring only 8.25mm thick, it’s also still decidedly slim. Its slender profile… Read More
I imagine there’d be some decent perks that would go along with being a bud of The Weeknd. You’d probably get to meet Daft Punk. You probably wouldn’t get to meet Justin Bieber. And maybe he’d pick you up to go bowling in a sweet ride with a panther in his passenger seat. Pretty great perks. But the real value of working with, and befriending Abel Makkonen Tesfaye seems to kick in around birthday time. Just ask French Montana, who received an iced out Patek Philippe Nautilus in November last year from The Weeknd, successfully present-shaming the whole world in the process. Now, it seems the birthday-watch is making its way into the pair’s music, with new French Montana song feat. The Weeknd ‘A Lie’ starring both French’s new Nautilus and a rose gold model on leather on The Weeknd. The song drops lines like “A hundred thousand for the time” and “House on my neck / ‘Nother house on my wristband”. As well as this one, which I’m sure we can all relate to: “My life’s invested in bein’ a f*cking legend.” The moral of the story is, even though it’s Saturday, we all need to get closer to The Weeknd.
Editor’s Note: Sometimes it’s the first line of a story that grabs you, but in this case, it was the last. The very last sentence in fact. Adam Craniotes, co-founder of RedBar Group and longtime friend of Time+Tide (go on a virtual tour of NYC with the big man here, just don’t drive home afterwards, that Bloody Mary looks bloody strong) recently penned a review of the Patek Philippe: The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition and it concludes with these words: All in all, it’s hard to overstate just how incredible – and important – this exhibition is. At a time when the industry is reeling from a worldwide economic downturn, buyer reluctance in the face of years of out of control price hikes, and indifference from a new generation of consumers, the Art of Watches Grand Exhibition makes a compelling case for traditional watchmaking as a relevant exercise to novices and seasoned collectors alike. The occasional tremors of FOMO (fear of missing out, on horological majesty) that had afflicted all in the T+T office since the exhibition was announced swelled in my chest to full blown, full body envy. I had it bad. The exhibition was incredible, important. So, damn. How could we transport… Read More