Patek Philippe debuted a string of new releases at this year’s Watches & Wonders. The absolute highlight is a duo of watches introducing a new retro-inspired aesthetic for the brand that looks amazing. The first is the Annual Calendar Travel Time ref. 5326G from the brand’s Complications collection. The second is the Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5226G. Both watches are characterized by a new Calatrava case that is simply spectacular. On top of that, both models have a vintage look that has tons of retro charm combined with a modern execution. Let’s take a closer look at these two timepieces.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G
The first of the two watches is the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time ref. 5326G. This watch is part of the brand’s Complications collection, which is home to a number of brilliant timepieces featuring some amazing complications. But Patek Philippe is breaking new ground with the Annual Calendar Travel Time. It is the first time that the brand has combined an annual calendar with a travel time complication displaying the time in a second time zone. The ingenious technical wizardry is paired with great retro-inspired design, resulting in one of the best travel watches currently available.
The watch features a brilliantly executed, 41-mm white gold case with a “Clous de Paris” hobnail pattern on the case band. This pattern is characteristic of the brand and creates a spectacular overall look. The white gold case contrasts beautifully with the textured charcoal gray dial inspired by vintage camera bodies. All of the other elements on the dial are executed in a fantastic contrasting beige tone. The annual calendar elements are perfectly integrated, from the date and moon phase indicators at 6 o’clock and the day/night indicators for local and home time at the center of the dial, to the day and date indicators at 12 o’clock. The dial is equally charming and highly legible. Be sure to note the brilliant skeletonized home time hand in lacquered beige. As you would expect from Patek Philippe, every last detail is just as impressive as the overall result.
Patek Philippe equips this watch with their self-winding Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H. This in-house movement has eight different patents and introduces a new way of operating the complications. The famous Calatrava Pilot Travel Time models feature big pushers to adjust the home time back and forth in one-hour increments. For this new Annual Calendar Travel Time, however, you can set both the home and local times by pulling the crown out to the first and second positions, respectively. It’s an ingenious mechanical solution that ensures the watch can do without big push-pieces, maintaining a cleaner overall style. This stunner of a watch is priced at $76,882.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5226G
The second of the two releases is the Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5226G. This is a new addition to the Calatrava collection and is essentially a simpler version of the new Annual Calendar Travel Time. That being said, calling this timepiece simple is hardly doing it justice. This brilliantly-styled watch features the same Calatrava-style case as its sibling. The main difference here, however, is its size: It is both a tad bit smaller at 40 mm and substantially thinner at 8.53 mm (compared to the 11.07 mm of the Annual Calendar Travel Time). It likewise features the stunning “Clous de Paris” hobnail pattern on the case band for some visual fireworks.
The watch features the same textured charcoal gray dial, but the lack of integrated complications makes the overall style of the dial a lot easier on the eye. All in all, it is a very balanced and visually stunning timepiece. The watch boasts the same 18K white gold applied Arabic numerals and equally stylish syringe-style hands. It also features a date window at 3 o’clock with a black background and beige text. To top it off, Patek Philippe has made the black band on the outside of the dial wider and integrated a modern minute track for an extra visual sparkle.
Inside the case, you’ll find the in-house caliber 26-330 S C. This self-winding movement is beautifully executed and displays the time and date. The new Calatrava ref. 5226G definitely brings something new to the table. It is less formal than many of the other watches in the collection, but still has a lot of vintage-inspired charm, which quite possibly makes this one of the best watches in the whole Calatrava range. The ref. 5226G is priced at $39,033.
My Take on the Patek Philippe Releases
Overall, I think Patek Philippe did really well with the release of these two new models. They introduce a more casual aesthetic to the Calatrava line that still looks very classy. Personally, I like both of these watches a lot better than most of their peers. The unique combination of an annual calendar and a travel time complication make the Annual Calendar Travel Time ref. 5326G a brilliant traveler’s watch that is hard to beat, both in terms of style and mechanical ingenuity.
While the Calatrava ref. 5226G may seem a lot simpler, it has just as much charm. I have always liked the Calatrava collection, but no single watch ever really stood out for me. That has certainly changed with the introduction of the 5226G – I love everything about this watch! It is now my favorite Calatrava and one of the best Patek Philippe watches overall, in my opinion. Kudos to Patek Philippe for creating these two amazing timepieces that are early Watches & Wonders highlights for 2022.