Do you remember when Patek Philippe introduced what it called a pilot’s watch? Yeah, so do I, I remember people’s initial reactions to it and boy, they were honest. To be fair to Patek, they didn’t actually name it a pilot’s watch, but the style is unmistakable. The brand hasn’t done much to the watch since its inception, except change materials and case sizes around as necessary. That’s what we see here as well; the new Calatrava Travel Time 7234G-001 is not a massive overhaul of the watch.
Patek Philippe has already done a his-and-hers collection with this design, so it’s unlikely that the 37.5mm x 10.78mm white gold case has been designed explicitly for women. Indeed, I’ve seen some other blogs refer to this new release as “gender-neutral” although I wonder exactly where that term fits with this. Nevertheless, the fact that women were interested enough in the design to warrant Patek Philippe releasing a matching pair is a good indicator of the unisex appeal of this timepiece. I know gentlemen who prefer sub-40mm watches and women who prefer watches larger than the typical range of women’s watches, so this could well be a goldilocks size.
The functions and layout of the watch remain unchanged, and operating the travel time complication should be a breeze. Pressing the top pusher on the left-hand side advances the hour hand forwards while the lower one moves it backwards. Moving the hour hand via the pushers reveals a white skeletonised hour hand which stays in place. When on your travels, this hand indicates the home time. Next to the centre pinion for the hands are two small cutouts above which the words ‘home’ and ‘local’ are written. These display whether it is day or night in your two selected timezones. When you’re finished setting the time, the pushers can be screwed down to prevent accidental changes.
Accompanying the travel time layout is a date subdial which keeps the blue lacquered dial clean. There’s plenty of lume on the watch, so reading the time in the dark should be easy. Inside the watch is the calibre 324 S C FUS which beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of 35-45 hours. Winding is done via a 21k gold rotor decorated with the Patek Philippe logo. The entirety of the movement has been decorated to the standards required for the Seal of Patek Philippe, which has been engraved onto this timepiece.
I like the fact that Patek hasn’t forgotten about this collection, it’s a rarity to see a Patek Philippe in the wild, and one of these is even rarer. The retail price is €42,890.