Patek Philippe is not all about high-end chronographs, perpetual calendars, and repeaters; the brand also offers many complicated timepieces that have plenty of everyday utility. We present a few of them here for your viewing pleasure.
1. SECOND TIME ZONE: CALATRAVA PILOT TRAVEL TIME REFERENCE 5524G
Whether for a winter vacation in Canada or a business trip to Japan, a well-thought-out time-zone function is very useful in our mobile era, when people cross time zones almost as often as their grandparents crossed the street. The time-zone indicator is even more useful when it’s complemented by additional displays, such as a day-night indicator or a date display.
This is offered by the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, which debuted in 2015. From a functional point of view, this watch adds another practical feature: not only is there an alternately blue and white day-night indicator for home time, there’s also an identical day-night display for local time, i.e., wherever in the world the wearer happens to be at the moment.
The date is shown by a hand on a large subdial, which gives the face an attractive, symmetrical look. Finely decorated self-winding manufacture Caliber 324 S C FUS and a handsome 42-mm gold case lend a luxurious aura to this sportily designed pilots’ watch. ($47,630)
2. WORLD-TIME DISPLAY: WORLD-TIME WATCH REFERENCE 5230G
If you want to keep an eye on the time in several surfing regions or at various business locations, you need a watch that can simultaneously show the time in more than one time zone. Most such timepieces show the hour in the Earth’s 24 standard (full-hour) time zones. A good example is Patek Philippe’s world-time watch, which debuted in 1937 and has been released over the decades in numerous stylistic variations.
The newest model comes with a 38.5-mm white- or rose-gold case. Individually shaped and boldly angular hands rotate above the dial, which is elaborately guilloché-embellished and anthracite colored near the center. This latest incarnation preserves the simplicity of time setting: the traveler brings the desired time zone to the top of the dial by pressing the push-piece at the 10. Meanwhile, the 24-hour ring and the openwork hour hand jump along to stay in synchrony so all of the times are correct after the user has set the watch for a new time zone.
The central hour and minutes hands can be repositioned by pulling the crown outward and turning it: this causes only the 24-hour ring to turn along with the hands because the desired reference location should logically remain unchanged. As an aid to orientation, the nighttime hours from 6 pm to 6 am are printed against a black background on the hour ring. The functions are controlled by automatic Caliber 240 HU, for which the suffix “HU” stands for heure universelle, i.e., universal time. ($47,630)
3. ANNUAL CALENDAR: REFERENCE 5396G
Patek Philippe celebrated the 20th anniversary of its invention by debuting two variations of annual calendar Reference 5396 in 2016. This complication is only 20 years old because it was developed several decades after the premiere of its big brother, the perpetual calendar. The mechanism takes into account the various lengths of 11 months throughout the year, but requires manual correction on the last evening of February.
Patek Philippe provides the usual indicators for the date, the day of the week, and the month, along with a moon-phase display and a 24-hour indicator that share a subdial at 6. This 38.5- mm watch is available in white gold with a gray dial or in rose gold with a silvery white face. Each variation encases self-winding manufacture Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303. ($47,970)
4. CHRONOGRAPH: REFERENCE 5170R
If, rather than tallying the duration of your own marathon runs, you prefer to time a journey by rail or by car, then the inclusion of a chronograph function in an elegant watch like this one is the right combination for you. With the debut in 2009 of hand-wound Caliber CH 29- 535 PS, Patek Philippe launched its first manufacture, serially produced chronograph movement without other additional functions. This caliber premiered in a ladies’ watch, followed one year later by its debut in yellow-gold Reference 5170J for men.
The latter was subsequently augmented by white-gold versions. Rose-gold variations with black or classical silver-colored dials followed in 2016. Each model has a sleekly styled 39.4-mm-diameter case and a face with subdials positioned just south of the dial’s equator. Alongside these “simple” chronographs, Patek Philippe also offers chronograph watches with a split-seconds function, annual calendar, perpetual calendar, second time zone, and world-time indicator. ($81,080)