With the new Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, Patek Philippe rounds out its watch family that is inspired by the manufacture’s aviator's watches from the 1930s. The very typical and highly recognizable design was launched five years ago and has already established itself as a modern classic. Today, the pilot-style livery comes to the fore in the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time watches with two time zones (in white or rose gold and with two case sizes) as well as in the Alarm Travel Time, a grand complication with a 24-hour alarm, not counting several limited editions.
In 2015, Patek Philippe surprised aficionados by launching a watch with a highly unusual design as regards the prominent case as well as the dial with large white numerals and luminous hands that contrast crisply against the dark background. With its name and functional features, the timepiece recalled the first aviator's watches. Patek Philippe also took inspiration from two aviator's watches that had been crafted in the manufacture in 1936 and are now exhibited at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. They were very special siderometer (hour-angle) watches that allowed pilots to easily, precisely, and swiftly determine their current positions. The Ref. 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time was a remarkable homage to aviation pioneers and the grand epoch of aerial conquest to which the Genevan manufacture can take credit for many contributions.
A watch for travelers of the modern era
By far not content simply with a new edition, Patek Philippe paid tribute to its own heritage with a highly contemporary interpretation of the icon. Instead of black, the usual dial color of aviator's watches, a very special and elegant blue was chosen, offering an excellent contrast for optimized legibility. The siderometer architecture became obsolete with modern navigation aids, providing space for a function that is much more useful for modern-day travelers: the display of a second time zone made possible by the exclusive Travel Time mechanism. This easily operable system was patented by Patek Philippe in 1959 and 1996. It is characterized by two hour hands from the center. The local-time hour hand can be adjusted via two pushers in one-hour steps. The date is synchronized with local time.
The inception of a family
The emergence of this new face in the Patek Philippe collections was highly successful with men who appreciated a decidedly technical timepiece with a grand taille diameter of 42 mm, all the more as it featured all the facets of artisanship, precision, and timeless elegance of a typical Patek Philippe watch. It also marked the birth of a new family of timepieces with an eminently recognizable design. In 2018, Patek Philippe reinterpreted the original Calatrava Pilot Travel Time with a rose-gold version and a brown dial. In the same year, the manufacture launched the rose-gold model in the medium format (37.5 mm) that was destined for feminine wrists but also welcomed by men who prefer somewhat smaller watches. In 2019, the pilot style took center stage again with the Ref. 5520 Alarm Travel Time grand complication.
It combines the display of two time zones with a 24-hour alarm mechanism. The family also includes the two limited editions that were presented on the occasion of the Patek Philippe exhibitions in New York in 2017 (Ref. 5522A) and Singapore in 2019 (Ref. 7234A).
With these introductions, pilot-style watches in just a few years established themselves as key models of Patek Philippe’s collections. They subtly embody the combination of tradition and innovation shared by all of the manufacture’s watches, presenting themselves as new classics of contemporary timepiece design just like, before them, the inscrutable Golden Ellipse as well as the iconic Nautilus and Aquanaut. This success will be underpinned by the launch of the new mid-sized Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in white gold.
New Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time A medium format for the white-gold model
As a medium-sized version of the Ref. 5524G launched in 2015, the Ref. 7234G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time has a diameter of 37.5 mm to fit women’s and men’s wrists. The round Calatrava case in white gold is sleek with a flat and slightly beveled bezel as well as a caseband that merges almost seamlessly with the strap lugs.
The blue lacquered dial, inspired by aviator's watches, is highly legible even in the dark thanks to applied white-gold numerals filled with a white luminous coating and broad luminous baton hands made of blued white gold. The face is decidedly technical yet timelessly elegant.
The self-winding caliber 324 S C FUS movement consists of 294 parts and features the exceptionally convenient Travel Time system for displaying a second time zone. All it takes is the actuation of one of the two pushers in the left-hand case flank to move the luminous local-time hour hand clockwise (with the lower pusher) or counterclockwise (upper pusher) in one-hour increments. During such adjustments, the local time hand is disconnected from the movement, so the accuracy of time displayed by the minute and seconds hands is not compromised. The skeletonized hour hand continues to indicate home time. Both time zones have separate day/night indicators (LOCAL window at 9 o'clock for local time, HOME window at 3 o'clock for home time) to simplify time setting on the go and to prevent unintentionally waking up loved ones with a phone call in the middle of the night. As long as the watch owner is at home, the two hour hands are superposed.
The two time-zone pushers are equipped with a patented safety system that prevents unintended adjustments of the local time setting. Before they can be actuated, they must be unlocked with a quarter turn, which is simplified by delicate fluting. Afterwards, they must be locked again with a quarter turn in the opposite direction.
The analog date at 6 o'clock shows the date in three-day increments to improve legibility without cluttering the scale. A useful feature for travelers is that the date is always synchronized with local time because the time-zone pushers also increment or decrement the date if the local time hour hand passes midnight either clockwise or counterclockwise.
The new Ref. 7234G is worn on a shiny navy blue calfskin strap secured with a clevis prong buckle in white gold. It is reminiscent of the harnesses that allowed pilots to keep their parachutes and survival kits readily deployable. The scope of delivery includes a second calfskin strap in vintage brown with contrast stitching much like the belts for classic pilot overalls.
This wristwatch for ladies and gentlemen comes in addition to the Ref. 5524G with a diameter of 42 mm, making an ideal pair. Both formats of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time are also available in rose gold with brown black-gradated dials (Refs. 5524R and 7234R).
Further pilot-style watches by Patek Philippe
Watches with two time zones and local-time date
Ref. 5524G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time As the first pilot-style model (2015), this watch combines a 42-mm white-gold case with a blue lacquered dial featuring white-gold applied numerals and luminous hands in blued steel. Its caliber 324 S C FUS movement shows the time in a second time zone with a filled hour hand while the pierced hour hand indicates home time. The analog date at 6 o'clock is synchronized with local time. The watch has a brown calfskin strap with a clevis prong buckle.
Ref. 5524R-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time This timepiece from 2018 is a reinterpretation of the original design of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in a 42-mm rose-gold case featuring a brown dial with a black gradation to the outer periphery. The self- winding caliber 324 S C FUS displays a second time zone and the date coupled with local time. The dial has applied numerals and broad baton hands in rose gold with luminous coatings. The calfskin strap in vintage brown is secured with a rose-gold clevis prong buckle.
Ref. 7234R-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time As the mid-size version of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, the Ref. 7234R-001 (2018) has a diameter of 37.5 mm. It was developed to address the preferences of women and those of men who favor slightly smaller formats. Its rose-gold case frames a brown dial with a subtle black gradation as well as applied luminous numerals and hands in rose gold. The calfskin strap in vintage brown is secured with a rose-gold clevis prong buckle.
Ref. 5522 Calatrava Pilot New York 2017 Special Edition This watch with hours, minutes, and seconds was launched in a limited edition of 600 pieces on the occasion of Patek Philippe’s “The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition New York 2017”. As a special feature, its 42-mm case is made of stainless steel, a rare case material for watches outside of the manufacture’s casual sports collections. The inimitable blue color of the dial recalls the livery of American fighter planes in the 1930s. The self-winding caliber 324 S movement can be admired through the sapphire-crystal back decorated with the engraving “PATEK PHILIPPE NEW YORK 2017”.
Ref. 7234A-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Singapore 2019 Special Edition Launched in a limited edition of 400 pieces on the occasion of the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019”, this exclusive mid-size version (diameter 37.5 mm) of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time stands out with a steel case, a blue-gray dial reminiscent of Southeast Asia’s maritime landscapes, and an embossed blue calfskin strap. The sapphire-crystal case back reveals the self-winding caliber 324 S C FUS movement and bears the inscription “PATEK PHILIPPE SINGAPORE 2019”.
Ref. 5520P-001 Alarm Travel Time As a travel companion par excellence for globetrotters (launched in 2019), this self-winding grand complication features the exclusive Travel Time time-zone system with a 24-hour alarm mechanism that strikes a classic gong with a hammer and digitally displays the alarm time. To achieve this, the manufacture created a totally new integrated movement with 574 parts. Four patent applications were filed for the alarm mechanism. The functional logic has been carefully thought through to simplify the operation of the watch as much as possible. Various safety and isolating mechanisms prevent damage to the movement as a result of incorrect manipulation.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G-001
Movement: Caliber 324 S C FUS Self-winding mechanical movement, two time zones (local time and home
time), separate day/night indicators for local and home time, analog date synchronized with local time
Diameter: 31 mm (basic movement 27 mm, calendar/time-zone module 31 mm)
Height: 4.9 mm (basic movement 3.32 mm, calendar/time-zone module 1.58 mm) Number of parts: 294
Number of jewels: 29
Power reserve: Min. 35 hours, max. 45 hours
Winding rotor: Central rotor in 21K gold, unidirectional winding Balance: Gyromax®
Frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 Hz) Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
Balance spring stud: Fixed
Functions: Two-position crown: – Pushed in: To wind the watch
– Pulled out: To set the time
Displays: Local-time hour hand (upper hand, filled) and minute hand from the center
Home-time hour hand (lower hand, skeletonized) from the center Sweep seconds hand Date hand at 6 o'clock
Aperture displays: - Day/night indicator for local time at 9 o'clock (LOCAL)
- Day/night indicator for home time at 3 o'clock (HOME)
Correctors: Date at 6 o'clock
Pushers: Increment local time in one-hour steps at 8 o'clock
Decrement local time in one-hour steps at 10 o'clock
Patented safety system: Locks pushers with a quarter turn
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal
Case: 18K white gold, sapphire-crystal back, water-resistant screw-down crown
Water-resistant to 60 meters
Case dimensions: Diameter: 37.5 mm Height (crystal to display back): 10.78 mm
Width between lugs: 18 mm
Dial: Brass, lacquered blue Applied Arabic numerals, 18K white gold with Superluminova coating Baton hands for hours and minutes of local time in blued white gold with
Superluminova coating Baton hand for hours of home time in skeletonized white lacquered white gold
Seconds hand in steel with Superluminova coating Leaf-shaped hand for the date, white lacquered
Strap: Calfskin, shiny navy blue, clevis prong buckle in 18K white gold
Delivered with a second calfskin strap in vintage brown with contrast
stitching, clevis prong buckle in 18K white gold