Arguably the most interesting new reference in Patek Philippe’s 2023 line up is the Calatrava 24-Hour Travel Time Ref. 5224R, a watch that took inspiration from a 24-hour Chronometero Gondolo pocket watch that was made for Gondolo & Labouriau in 1905. While most GMT watches with a 24-hour format has the 24-hour marker located at 12 o’clock, the ref. 5224R was designed with noon located at 12 o’clock and the 24-hour numeral at six o’clock for more intuitive reading, enabling daytime hours to be conveniently read on the upper half of the dial and nighttime, at the bottom.
Executed in a striking contrast of rose gold with a brilliant blue sunburst dial, the ref. 5224R has a slightly larger case diameter than the Travel Time Annual Calendar ref. 5326, measuring 42mm versus 41mm for greater legibility. It features a stepped case with two-tier lugs inspired by the ref. 5212 Weekly Calendar. It adopts a modern, digital typeface for the numerals which are bookended by traditional railroad tracks for the hours and minutes on a dial swept by SuperLuminova-filled syringe hands that recall those of vintage chronographs of the 1950s and 1960s. The dial’s centre has a snailed texture and is intersected by a small seconds counter at six o’clock. The Travel Time system essentially features an additional GMT hand that is independently adjustable both forward and backwards via the crown in the intermediate position.
In terms of height, it comes in at just 9.85mm as it relies on the ultra-thin base calibre 31-260. Characterized by a platinum micro-rotor and a gear train arranged in a crescent shape, the calibre has been used sparingly throughout the years despite its impressive construction, appearing in just three models thus far – the Annual Calendar Regulator ref. 5235, the Perpetual Calendar ref. 5236 and the Calendar Travel Time ref. 5326. The 31-260 PS FUS 24H has an added Travel Time mechanism while the motion works have been converted to display time on a 24-hour scale. Notably, a patented mechanism comprising of a star wheel and a jumper spring were added to the local time hour wheel such that it increases torque to drive the home time hour wheel.
The movement is fitted with a Gyromax balance that is attached to a Spiromax hairspring, and in contrast to the ultra-thin cal. 240 beats at a higher frequency of 4Hz and delivers a 48-hour power reserve.
Movement: Self-winding Caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H; power reserve of 36 hours
Functions: Travel Time dual time zone with local time and home time on a 24-hour display; small seconds
Case: 42mm x 9.85mm; Rose gold; Water-resistant to 30 m
Dial: Navy-blue with contrasting finishes (center with circular striation, hour circle with circular satin finish, small seconds counter finely snailed with rose-gilt outline)
Strap: Navy-blue calfskin with a nubuck finish, contrasting cream hand stitching and a prong buckle in rose gold
Price: EUR 57,630