Patek Philippe is widely considered to be the most prestigious luxury watchmaker in the world, with a history that spans nearly 200 years. The company’s had every reason to tap into its extensive classic archives and hop on the industry’s ongoing trend of vintage styling, but it’s always resisted. Until now, that is, as Patek has finally jumped on board the neo-retro bandwagon, and the results are quite something.
Among Patek’s unveilings at this year’s Watches and Wonders in Geneva are a pair of watches that the brand has dubbed as having “Highly Contemporary Vintage Style.” One is perhaps the most casual iteration ever of the classic Calatrava dress watch, and the other is the first-ever Patek to combine an annual calendar with a travel time complication. Discussing the Calatrava (ref. 5226G) first, the watch features a black, sand-textured dial with applied Arabic indices and syringe hands. Filling the hands and indices is a vintage-colored lume — yes, this is a Patek with “fauxtina” — and the same color also shows up on all dial text. The watch gets a new case in white gold, with a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern on the sides and lugs that are integrated into the case back. Powering the three-hander is the self-winding mechanical caliber 26-330 S C movement.
Next up is the Annual Calendar Travel Time (ref. 5326G), which might just be the ultimate travel watch for the discerning collector. The piece echoes the same design language as the new Calatrava, except for the addition of three calendar apertures for controlled date correction in both directions, and a subdial at six that contains moonphase indicator. There’s also the subtle fourth hand, along with the “Local” and “Home” time indicators typical of the Maison’s Travel Time watches. The watch features the same style case in white gold, but it’s slightly larger, coming in at 41mm to the Calatrava’s 40mm. Under the hood is the brand-new caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H hand-wound movement, which ties the annual calendar to the local time of the travel time complication.
Patek Philippe seems fully committed to the vintage style trend here, and we honestly can’t complain. Maintaining the brand’s classy touch, this Calatrava and Annual Calendar Travel Time are spectacular additions to Patek’s oeuvre and are two of the most eye-catching releases at this year’s first-ever in-person Watches and Wonders expo. The Calatrava retails for $39,030, while the Annual Calendar Travel Time is priced at $76,880.