The Definitive Guide to Patek Philippe’s Baselworld 2018 Novelties

The Definitive Guide to Patek Philippe’s Baselworld 2018 Novelties

A deep dive into the iconic brand’s latest introductions.

By Vincent Daveau
Managing Editor France

This year, Patek Philippe struck just the right balance between tradition and innovation, building upon its tremendous legacy with the Ellipse d’Or collection, 50 years old this year, and no less than 11 new masculine models and three new feminine pieces.

Golden Hour

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Golden Ellipse, the manufacture's second largest collection in order of seniority next to the famous Calatrava, Patek Philippe pays homage to the superlative artistry of rare handcrafts. A limited edition of 100 anniversary box sets contain the platinum Golden Ellipse reference 5738/50P-001, and a pair of matching cufflinks.

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Ref. 5738/50P-001

For the record, it is interesting to note that the exceptionally slim Golden Ellipse, originally equipped with a manually-wound movement, was the first to adopt, in 1977, the famous extra-flat self-winding calibre 240 with built-in micro-rotor. Heir to the great tradition of Genevan artisanal skills, this piece boasts a black enamel dial with hand-engraved volutes adorning a white gold plate, whose central motif recalls the Calatrava Cross. Powered by an automatic cal. 240, this ode to divine proportion is the perfect illustration of the golden section in watch form. And just to make sure this level of craftsmanship is accessible to everyone, the manufacture is enriching its current collection with a new over-sized version in rose gold, enhanced by a black dial. Its design is a celebration of strength, simplicity and essence.

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

Perpetually popular Nautilus

This year, Patek Philippe is enriching its Nautilus collection with a perpetual calendar with moon phase. This grand complication is exquisitely balanced and sports the famous extra-flat calibre 240Q with automatic winding viewable through the sapphire crystal caseback. This elegant white gold timepiece (ref. 5740/1G-001) is water-resistant to 60 meters, yet still exceptionally slim at 8.42 mm thick, making it the flattest perpetual calendar watch in Patek Philippe’s collections.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5740/1G-001

Purists will note that, thanks to an ingenious system of deflection mechanisms, the correctors on the perpetual calendar have been repositioned to integrate more seamlessly into the Nautilus case construction. For comfort considerations, the white gold strap, alternating between polished and satin finishes, is fitted with a new Nautilus deployant clasp sporting four independent catches to optimize opening and closing and to safeguard against unintentional release. This fascinating marvel of engineering sports a blue sunburst dial, similar to the dials on Nautilus novelties made in 2016 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5740/1G-001 on the wrist

Orange is the new Patek

Another piece that's bound to be a global success is the Aquanaut chronograph reference 5968A-001. Harmoniously proportioned at 42.2 mm diameter, this steel model is the perfect match for collectors of this youthful, dynamic line. The watch comes fitted with a flyback chronograph movement with automatic winding (CH 28-520) and exemplifies the successful blend of tradition and innovation you’ve come to know Patek Philippe for. The classic column wheel chronograph features a modern vertical disk clutch that prevents a rebounding hand in either direction when the chronograph is started.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968A-001

Given the virtually friction-free clutch, the central chronograph hand can also be used to display the seconds continuously. You will observe that the 60-minute counter at 6 o'clock adopts the characteristic contours of the gently rounded octagonal bezel. The orange chronograph indications stand out markedly against the black dial sporting the embossed tire tread pattern typical of the collection, legibility is improved by the addition of gold applied numerals with luminescent coating.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968A-001

Elongated chronograph pushers are integrated on either side of the crown protector and the screw-down crown guarantees water-resistance to 120 meters. But the proverbial cherry on top is that this extraordinary instrument comes with two composite rubber straps, the workshop-fitted black strap and an additional orange version to reflect the bold orange dial accents. For increased comfort, the manufacture has also fitted the ultra-tough, water-resistant strap with a new Aquanaut deployant clasp with four independent catches to optimize opening and closing and to safeguard against unintentional release.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968A-001

The Aquanaut also comes in a ladies' steel version measuring 35.6 mm in diameter. The bezel set with 46 diamonds accentuates the highly distinctive design of this watch, which is water-resistant to 120 meters and powered by a quartz movement. Its blue-grey textured dial displays the hours, minutes and seconds and features the date in an aperture at 3 o'clock. The composite rubber strap also echoes the embossed pattern and color of the dial.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 6067A-025

Complications for the ladies

Patek Philippe has enriched its complicated watch collection for ladies with a new face-lift for the ref. 7150 chronograph that's already a favorite with female professionals. In the new reference 7150/250R-001, the original cushion-shaped case has now made way for an elegant round rose gold case 38 mm in diameter, its bezel embellished by no less than 72 diamonds. Powered by a manually-wound calibre CH 29-535 PS and instant 30-minute counter, this timelessly stylish instrument is lifted to new heights of elegance by the presence of a silvered opaline dial complete with simple, functional pulsometer scale for the working woman to measure the wearer's pulse rate. A unique chronograph model for Patek Philippe ladies' collection, this elegant piece comes with a shiny taupe alligator strap with rose gold deployant buckle adorned with 27 diamonds.

Patek Philippe Ref. 7150/250R-001

Men’s Complications

Complicated pieces have long contributed to Patek Philippe’s reputation for excellence. The famous World Time Minute Repeater reference 5531R. Launched as a limited edition at "The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition New York", has been updated with new reference 5531. This is the first watch to combine the two complications that are most associated with the manufacture: a minute repeater and a world time function.

Patek Philippe World Time Minute Repeater Ref. 5531R

In doing so, Patek Philippe has managed to introduce a trailblazing innovation. Unlike other watches of this type, systematically chiming the wearer's home time even when located in another part of the globe, the reference 5531 always sounds local time, in other words, that of the time zone selected at 12 o'clock on the dial and indicated by the center hands. In order to accomplish this patented world first, Patek Philippe developed the new calibre R 27 HU. Featuring a 22K gold micro-rotor totally recessed into the movement. Other original features that are likely to appeal to enthusiasts include the two gongs of the minute repeater, which are not fixed to the main plate of the movement, but instead attached directly to the caseback in order to amplify the sound.

Patek Philippe World Time Minute Repeater Ref. 5531R

This remarkable movement, comprised of 462 parts, is housed in an elegant rose gold case. Following the great tradition of Patek Philippe World Time watches, the center of the dial is a tribute to the fine watchmaking arts with its cloisonné enamel decor depicting the vineyards of Lavaux overlooking the banks of Lake Geneva. This bucolic scene has been painstakingly executed in a subtle polychrome palette of 22 different transparent and opalescent colors of enamel. To complete the Geneva touch, the name of Paris has been replaced by that of the lakeside city on the city disk. The rose gold 24-hour disk doubles as a day/night indicator. The skeletonized hour hand stands out for its unique form inspired by the "Southern Cross" constellation.

Introduced in a 40 mm diameter white gold case with openwork horns and a blue dial, Patek Philippe's new Annual Calendar Moon Phase ref. 5205G-013 houses the self-winding calibre 324 S QA LU 24H/206 visible through the back. Equipped with calendar functions that require adjustment only once a year. Arrayed along an arc between 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock, the day, date and month apertures serve as a visual hallmark identifying the manufacture. These features are rounded off by a 24 hour and moon phase sub-dial at 6 o'clock. The whole offers around 45 hours of power reserve and comes on a black alligator strap with ardillon buckle

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Moon Phase Ref. 5205G-013

A unique piece in the current collection featuring a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon, the reference 5207G-001 comes in a white gold case measuring 41 mm in diameter, boasting intricate engraving work on its horns and slide piece. Three apertures arrayed fan-like on the dial displaying the date, day and month conceal the manually-wound calibre R TO 27 PS QI with power reserve of up to 48 hours, and capable of striking on demand. This tourbillon-regulated timekeeper includes a moon phase function and displays the leap years. lt also offers the choice of an interchangeable full back and sapphire crystal case back and is worn on a navy-blue alligator strap with deployant buckle.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5207G-001

A specialist in grand complications, Patek Philippe artfully combines a chronograph, minute repeater and a perpetual calendar all within the calibre reference 5208R-001. Housed in a rose gold case measuring 42 mm in diameter, the self-winding calibre R CH 27 PS QI with a power reserve of 48 hours boasts a highly legible display of its functions, including moon phases and a day/night indication, set against an ebony black dial. This instrument also comes with a solid or open caseback and is worn on a black alligator strap with deployant buckle.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5208R-001

A specialist in grand complications, Patek Philippe artfully combines a chronograph, minute repeater and a perpetual calendar all within the calibre reference 5208R-001. Housed in a rose gold case measuring 42 mm in diameter, the self-winding calibre R CH 27 PS QI with a power reserve of 48 hours boasts a highly legible display of its functions, including moon phases and a day/night indication, set against an ebony black dial. This instrument also comes with a solid or open caseback and is worn on a black alligator strap with deployant buckle.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5270P-001
Patek Philippe Ref. 5270P-001 caseback

Renowned for its elegance, the chronograph with perpetual calendar this year comes in two super-luxe versions, the first crafted in platinum with a golden opaline (salmon) dial (ref. 5270P-001) and a brown alligator strap, and the second entirely crafted in rose gold with a black dial (ref. 5270/1R-001) and a metal "Goutte" bracelet blending seamlessly with the 41 mm diameter case. Powered by the manually-wound calibre CH 29-535 PS Q, boasting around 65 hours' power reserve, these pieces display the day and month in two windows at 12 o'clock, and the date and moon phases are displayed in a counter at 6 o'clock. Two very small, yet perfectly visible, apertures indicate day/night and leap years round off the information displayed on this sophisticated instrument, whose chronograph function also boasts a tachymeter scale. These watches come with interchangeable solid or sapphire crystal casebacks.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5270/1R-001

Something for the Pilot in your life

It is also interesting to note, this year, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time reference 5524R-001, was released on Patek Philippe’s new Instagram page!

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524R-001

Housed in a rose gold case measuring 42mm in diameter, the calibre 324 S C FUS with automatic winding features a second-time zone mechanism with an openwork central hand, and a dual day/night indication, one for home time and the other for local time, thanks to two differently colored ring halves. The date counter at 6 o'clock, associated with local time, rounds off the features on this ideal traveler’s companion, which comes with a simple brown leather strap with an ardillon buckle. This year, this timepiece in 5N gold is also produced in a ladies' version, the reference 7234R-001 is available in a subtler 4N range of rose gold shades. For this 37.5 mm diameter model is the first Travel Time with a self-winding movement in the ladies' collection, the manufacture decided to adhere more or less faithfully to the masculine model, right down to the choice of calibre.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524R-001

(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)

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