By Harlan Chapman-Green

“Hey, remember when we made a pilot’s watch? That went well didn’t it?”, the voice of Patek rings loud this year, and yes, we do remember when they made a Calatrava for pilots. Depending on where you were at the time, you would have witnessed a very different response. Undoubtedly, those who were able to go hands-on with the last iteration when it was launched in 2015 were blown away by Patek’s creativity and clever link to the past (Patek Philippe made watches during the Second World War). However, others who only got to see photos were a little bit miffed, some called it weird, others were confused by this apparently sporty turn for the company.

Some will chime in and say that no publicity is bad publicity, and I’d agree with them on that. Patek clearly had the same idea when they stuck with it and released yet more options for it. References 5524R and 7234R are the new entries into the world of Patek. They are both a version of the previous 5524G that appeared on the market three years ago, the 5524R is for gents while the 7324R is clearly meant for the gentleman’s female travel companion, a classic move from Patek. The white gold case has been replaced by rose gold, and instead of there being a blue dial it has now been turned a steady black.

In fact, apart from the case nearly all traces of colour have been removed for these watches, save of course for the tiny coloured dot of the ‘Home’ indicator located at 3 O’clock. These watches feature a complication that Patek has been tinkering around with for a little while now, the ‘Travel Time’. Essentially, the watch can record two separate time zones by the way of a second hour hand which is skeletonised for legibility. Rather than leave it at that, Patek also added day/night indicators for both the home and away time. I like the ease of use these watches offer to a traveller, they also save the complex thought processes and intense squinting one might otherwise use to tell the time with a world timer or a GMT watch. I played around with this calibre in a Nautilus case and it was fantastically smooth to use. I can’t wait to get a Fortnight Review with one of these. The price is 43,900 Euros for the gents and 39,700 for the ladies version.

Before you click away to read another of our great articles, did you notice that Patek Philippe now has an Instagram account? What’s a little odd is that I never even noticed that they didn’t have one before. Of course, with Patek being a popular name and a producer of recognisable products it has a hashtag on Instagram which is always populated with photos of people enjoying these watches. Now though, Patek shares its own story with us too. For more info, visit Patek Philippe online.