Aficionados will no doubt already be familiar with the recently released Ref. 5235 Annual Calendar Regulator from Patek Philippe – the storied brand’s first ever piece to feature a regulator dial. Like all good Pateks (is there such a thing as a bad one?) the dial design is clean and easy to ready yet still retains a high-level of visual appeal, drawing the eye without the usual fanfare other brands are forced to rely on. Add to that the confidence you feel in buying from one of the best watch-makers in the world and this really becomes an acquisition you don’t need to think twice about – assuming you can get your hands on one.
Perfect First Time, Every Time
Although this design is a first for the brand it fits so perfectly into the existing collections that you’d swear they had been making them forever. Note the classic style cues and high-level of finishing, trademark characteristics and just two of the many features that make these timepieces so desirable. What is interesting as well is that even though the regulator dial is a very traditional design this one somehow has a slightly more modern feel to it which in my opinion is a good thing. Perhaps it’s the liberal use of blue I’m not sure but something definitely feels different, albeit the notion is a subtle one.
For those not overly familiar with regulator dials a brief explanation should suffice; they are typically characterized, much like this piece, by a sweep minute hand, a subsidiary hour dial at 12 o’clock and a seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. What makes this particularly timepiece really attractive however is the addition of one Patek’s most popular complications, the Annual Calendar, displaying the month, day, and date in separate apertures around the dial.
It is what’s powering those complications however that has really caught my eye.
Hiding beneath this gorgeous but simplistic dial is the all new caliber 31-260 REG QA, the first ultra-thin self-winding Patek Philippe movement with a mini-rotor. It is also the very first totally new basic movement designed to accommodate Silinvar® components: the escape wheel and the lever of the Pulsomax® escapement as well as the Spiromax® balance spring are all made from this modern silicon-based material.
What is perhaps more exciting though is the fact that Patek has created this new movement to be the benchmark for future developments. Somewhat ironic really when you consider that this caliber itself was inspired by the legendary caliber 240 which would have been the ideal choice for this new timepiece as it called for a very thin self-winding movement but for the fact its subsidiary seconds dial is positioned at 5 instead of 6 o’clock. Although it was launched all the way back in 1977 the 240 movement is only 2.53 mm high and still ranks among the thinnest self-winding calibers on the market.
Just imagine what creation this superb new caliber may itself inspire in thirty years time!
The Final Word
Classic good looks and superior attention to detail make this another instant winner for Patek Philippe, a brand well known for setting trends as opposed to following them. The thin case and highly legible dial make this the perfect accompaniment for any tailor-made Italian suit and yet it wouldn’t look out of place on the polished deck of your luxury yacht either.
Gentleman, this could be love at first sight.
For more from Patek Philippe please visit their official website: www.patek.com