Among the legendary Genevan manufacturer’s 2021 novelties, a quartet of new Nautilus models and a ground-breaking perpetual calendar are set to delight watch connoisseurs around the world.
Among the giants of haute horlogerie, Patek Philippe occupies a distinctively unique position. As the last independent, family-owned Genevan watchmaking company, it is known for its rich collections and has long established itself as a leading name in complicated timepieces, to say nothing of its exceptional designs that have become icons in their own right.
Earlier this year, Patek Philippe outdoes itself again by presenting what can only be described as “a bouquet of technical and aesthetic debuts.” And while this bouquet contains quite a few highlights, this on this particular occasion, you’re invited to take a closer look at two particular debuts: the new Nautilus models and the new in-line perpetual calendar from the Grand Complications collection.
The Four Nautili
Nothing says “casual elegance” quite like a Nautilus watch. With its nautical influences, elegant design and sporty appeal, the collection has garnered a cult following since its debut in 1976. As Watches and Wonders Geneva 2021 kicked off in April, Patek Philippe – during its first appearance at the fair – debuted four new faces of the Nautilus.
First and, arguably, the most-talked about is the Ref. 5711/1A-014. As the final iteration of the stainless-steel model Ref. 5711/1A, this watch has been given an all-new sunburst dial in olive green – a hue never before seen in the collection. The same-coloured dial is also seen flanked by a baguette diamond-set bezel in the Ref. 5711/1300A-001.
Those for an eye for complications, meanwhile, might prefer the Ref. 5990/1R-001 Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph. This watch features three practical complications: A flyback chronograph, Patek Philippe’s unique Travel Time function to display two time zones, and an analog date at 12 o’clock synchronized with local time. The rose gold case and bracelet along with the blue sunburst dial gives this Nautilus a particularly elegant look.
The fourth new Nautilus is the Ref. 7118/1450R-001, an haute joaillerie model that sparkles with the fire of 2,553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds on the case, the bezel and the bracelet, put in place following the random-setting technique, also known as snow-setting.
A Calendar Like no Other
Most innovations in calendar complications happen behind the screen – or behind the dial, if you want to be technical about it. With the Ref. 5236P-001 In-line Perpetual Calendar, however, Patek Philippe has introduced an update to the perpetual calendar with a visual element that puts it at the cutting edge of contemporary watchmaking. In essence, this new watch shows the day, date, and month in a single panoramic aperture at 12 o’clock.
In-line displays like these have actually been adopted already in some of Patek Philippe’s pocket watches. But to have it in a wristwatch is an as-yet unparalleled feat of mechanical miniaturization and technical mastery. The secret to the Ref. 5236P-001 is the Caliber 31-260 PS QL self-winding mechanical movement, that comes with a recessed minirotor and an additional in-line display module, for which three patent applications have been filed. The first is a display system composed of two coplanar double ball bearings; the second is for an “anti-double-jump” feature for the units disk to prevent disk bounce in the event of a jolt or when a date correction is being performed; and the third is for a mechanism that immobilizes the units disk during transition from the 31st day to the 1st day of the next month.
Of course, as expected from Patek Philippe grand complication timepiece, the Ref. 5236P-001’s elaborate mechanism is paired with appropriately elegant aesthetics. The case is platinum, which contrasts nicely with a vertical satin-finished blue dial with a black-gradient rim. On this dial, the aforementioned single-line calendar display is accompanied by a leap year cycle indicator at 4 o’clock, a day/night indicator at 8 o’clock, and a moon phase indicator – an essential element of Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendars – at 6 o’clock.
For sure, in Patek Philippe’s bouquet of technical and aesthetic debuts, the Ref. 5236P-001 In-line Perpetual Calendar is a blossom unlike any other.