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Most brands have taken the conservative route with novelties this year, but Patek Philippe is clearly not ‘most brands’. Its massive 2017 collection has everything: commemorative pieces, technical innovation, grande complications, evergreen classics, artisanal timepieces and collector’s items. Navigate them all with this complete guide to the 2017 Patek Philippe men’s novelties.
1. Aquanaut Ref 5168g
This piece (S$50,800) commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut line and is the first men’s Aquanaut model in white gold. It comes with a dial that’s blue in the centre and gradated to black on the periphery. Its 42.2mm case diameter qualifies it as a Jumbo model and it is paired with a ‘tropical’ rubber strap inspired by vintage straps from the 1960s. In midnight blue, the composite strap is fitted with an Aquanaut fold-over clasp.
This timepiece is powered by the Calibre 324 S C, has a 35- to 45-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 120m.
2. Calatrava Squelette Ref 5180/R
Patek Philippe’s venerable Calibre 240 celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the manufacture has prepared a seven-watch tribute (four for men and three for women) beginning with this exquisite skeleton model (S$129,900), which replaces the earlier Ref 7180G-013 and Ref 5180/1G-010. The movement has been thoroughly skeletonised and hand-engraved, a process that took no fewer than 130 man-hours to finish. The micro-rotor has also been engraved with the Patek Philippe seal, while the barrel is decorated with the iconic Maltese cross. Patek Philippe has also created a pair of matching engraved onyx cufflinks (S$7,500) to go with this timepiece.
3. Calatrava Azulejos Ref 5089g
Like Ref 5180/R, this watch is all about rare handcrafts and with it Patek Philippe introduces the Portuguese historical tradition of Azulejo ceramic painting. This is the first watch ever to feature this beautiful art form, and it’s been done so vividly. The dial has a trompe l’oeil effect, as if it’s formed of tiny ceramic tiles. There are two variations, Ref 5089G-061 (The Barge) and Ref 5089G-062 (The Porter); prices are upon request. Interesting fact: to paint the dials the artist uses an array of badger hair brushes, some of which are so fine they consist of just a single hair.
The 38.6mm case is in white gold. Ref 5089G has a 48-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 30m.
4. Calatrava Ref 6006G
Also paying homage to Calibre 240, this rather unusually styled timepiece (S$40,400) oozes a retro-chic vibe that’s reminiscent of earlier models like the Ref 5000 and Ref 6000 watches, which will henceforth be discontinued. The graphic look of the dial in ebony black and silvery gray comes from the two rows of numerals, the chemin de fer minutes track, and the off-centred small seconds sub-dial. It also has a pair of matching cufflinks in white gold with an engraved onyx centre.
Ref 6006G is powered by Calibre 240 PS C. It has a 35- to 45-hour power reserve, is water resistant to 30m and has a shiny black alligator leather strap with white gold fold-over clasp.
5. Perpetual Calendar Ref 5940r
Calibre 240 is the base movement in this perpetual calendar (S$115,000), which means it comes with full analogue displays for all the calendrical indications. There are seven hands in total around this dial, two of which are used for time telling and the remaining five for the perpetual calendar. To ease the strain on your eyes, Patek Philippe has used a combination of rose gold and blackened gold hands for the leap year and the 24-hour indication. Patek Philippe will retire the yellow gold model Ref 5940J and the Ref 5940G-001 in white gold with a silver opaline dial.
On the plus side, it has an ultra-thin profile thanks to the gold winding micro-rotor.
6. Chronograph Ref 5170p-001
The beautiful symmetry of this two-counter chronograph now comes in a platinum case (S$127,000), but Patek Philippe raises the stakes even further with baguette diamond hour markers and a stunning dial that is blue at the centre and gradated to black at the edges – a subtle detail but one that gives this watch added depth and character. View the movement through the sapphire caseback and spot such beautiful things as the black polished column wheel cap, the S-shaped chronograph coupling arm, the Patek Philippe seal, Cotes de Geneve decorated bridges,and more. To keep the collection exclusive, Patek Philippe will phase out the white gold Ref 5170G-010.
This timepiece is powered by Calibre CH 29-535 PS and has a 65-hour power reserve.
7. World Time Ref 5131/1p
Patek Philippe’s iconic world timer with the cloisonne enamel centre has inspired many others to create something similar, but to quote Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing". This esteemed timepiece powered by Calibre 240 HU is decorated for the first time with a map of the North Pole (S$171,700), but you don’t have to be an Eskimo to be drawn to its beauty. Examine it through a loupe to see such fine details as the gold strips soldered onto the dial by hand to form individual cloisons and the gradation of colours from light to dark. Earlier models like Ref 5131J-014 and Ref 5131G-010 will be discontinued. This piece also retains the ring- shaped hour hand that has become quite symbolic of the collection.
This timepiece has a 48-hour power reserve.
8. Perpetual Calendar Ref 5320g
The retro vibe continues with this model ($109,000), inspired by Patek Philippe museum pieces from the 1940s and 1950s. Notably, it comes with a double-stepped bezel and triple-stepped lugs, and an elegant cream lacquered dial. Coated in SuperLuminova, the hands and gold applied numerals are deeply reminiscent of vintage pilot’s watches. This is Patek Philippe’s only perpetual calendar that has the classical double aperture for day and month, plus an analogue date at six o’clock, thanks to the new Calibre 324 S Q, which also includes the day/night and moon phases indications.
This timepiece has a 40mm case in white gold and a 35- to 45-hour power reserve.
9. Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref 5960/01
This is the first Ref 5960 model to be cased in white gold and it is distinguished from the non-precious metal version with a matte blue dial and a vintage-style brown calf leather strap (S$86,600); everything else remains the same.
Patek Philippe has also presented a new stainless steel model, Ref 5960/1A, which comes with a black opaline dial. The diameter of the case is 40.5mm. This timepiece is powered by Calibre CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H. It has a 45- to 55-hour power reserve, is water resistant to 30m and has a steel bracelet with fold-over clasp.
10. Annual Calendar Ref 5396R-015
Blue must be colour of the year for Patek Philippe as this next model is also dressed in the sapphire hue. Patek Philippe’s signature double-aperture annual calendar now looks dashing as it combines a rose gold case with the azure blue dial. Shiny navy blue alligator leather also does wonders to bring out the sparkle of the baguette diamond indexes (S$70,200). Earlier bracelet models, Ref 5396/1R-010 and Ref 5396/1G-010, will be phased out. If diamonds are not your thing, there is another variation with gold applied indexes, Re. 5396-014 (S$63,200).
This timepiece is powered by Calibre 324 S QA LU 24H/303. It has a 35- to 45-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 30m.
11. Minute Repeater Ref 5178g
Made by connoisseurs for connoisseurs, a Patek Philippe minute repeater is as rare as it is exalted, and this white gold number with a cream-coloured grand feu enamel dial (price upon request) looks as good as it sounds. Most importantly, it is endowed with cathedral gongs, which encircle the movement twice as opposed to just once. Because of the additional length, the chimes of this watch are particularly full and sonorous, with a long lingering finish.
The diameter of the case is 40mm. This timepiece is powered by Calibre R 27 PS. It has a 43- to 48-hour power reserve and is not water-resistant.
12. Minute Repeater Ref 5078g
Patek Philippe believes there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making a striking watch. Standard gongs encircle the movement only once. However, it’s not the length that’s important, but ultimately, the chimes they emit when struck by the hammers; it all boils down to the wearer’s preference. This model (price upon request) is exactly the same as Ref 5178 except that it has standard gongs instead of cathedral gongs and a smaller case, showcasing Patek Philippe’s savoir faire with striking complications and its ability to appreciate them on multiple levels. Together, Ref 5078 and Ref 5178 also make an exceptional choice for a couple’s watch.
13. Grande Complication Ref 5372p-001
Patek Philippe’s split-seconds chronograph with perpetual calendar has been reinterpreted in a more classical round case (price upon request), that in spite of the movement’s immense complexity, remains remarkably compact at a diameter of 38.3mm. As it replaces the cushion-shaped Ref 5951 which was in production between 2010 and 2016, this timepiece is presented in two dial variations: blue with sunburst finish and rose gold with vertical satin finish. The day and month apertures have been moved to new positions, and instead of elaborate Breguet-style Arabic numerals, the new models are given a more minimalist typeface. This timepiece is powered by Calibre CHR 27-525 PS Q.
14. Grande Complication Ref 5316p-001
Exceedingly complicated yet perfectly discreet, this grande complication model is endowed with a trilogy of traditional high complications: minute repeater, tourbillon and perpetual calendar (price upon request). The tourbillon is not visible through the dial but only through the sapphire caseback, which connoisseurs know is a nod to age-old tradition. The sliding lever on the side of the 40.2mm case is a dead giveaway to the movement’s striking complication. The perpetual calendar is enhanced with a retrograde date and not only the dial but the moon phase disc as well is made in grand feu enamel. Finally, the single diamond on the case at six o’clock indicates that it is a platinum-cased watch.
This timepiece is powered by Calibre R TO 27 PS QR and has a 38- to 48-hour power reserve. It is not water-resistant.
15. Aquanaut Travel Time Ref 5650 Patek Philippe Advanced Research
Undoubtedly the most controversial Patek Philippe watch of the year, Ref 5650 (S$77,700) is the fifth timepiece in the manufacture’s Advanced Research programme. Proffering real horological enhancements, it debuts a component visible through an opening on the dial called the compliant mechanism. This mechanism reduces the total number of components needed to construct the GMT module, increasing overall reliability. Patek Philippe also introduced a new balance spring that improves the rate of the watch, purportedly making it even more accurate than a tourbillon. Varying by just -1/+2 seconds a day, Patek Philippe achieves this astounding chronometric precision by modifying the design of the spring.