In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the bestselling complications to be issued by Patek Philippe. The luxury Swiss brand released a revamped version of their reference number 5396, “Annual Calendar” model, for 2016.
From its original debut back in 1996, glimpsing at the 1999 version that had a diamond between its lugs. Passing through 2004 when they swapped a 3 Hz movement, for a 4 Hz movement and added the: annual calendar, moonphases and a 24-hour indication. And even the year that followed saw Patek Philippe usher out a new “Annual Calendar” with a bigger case, a ladies version and a limited edition named “Advanced Research” they fitted with the first silicon-based escape wheel.
Finally 2010 would mark their first Nautilus model to also include an annual calendar, which has now been incorporated into 20 distinct models. The following video gives us a glimpse into the evolution of their patented “annual calendar” along these years.
Video courtesy of: Patek Philippe
The dial and case are available in two distinct options for this timepiece, either a: silver dial with a 18k rose gold case; or a dark grey dial on a 18k white gold case. And there’s not much more to mention about this 39mm round case, with a smoothly polished bezel. Patek Philippe has left the case quite identical to previous versions. There are a total of four correction push-pieces to set each specific function: date is at 4 o’clock, month at 2 o’clock, moonphase at 8 o’clock and day at 10 o’clock.
Once we flip this watch around we can find a transparent caseback, which allows us to observe the calibers inner movements. There is a registered Gyromax balance and adjustable Spiromax balance spring. As well as a 21k gold central unidirectional winding rotor, with the Patek Philippe seal engraved on it.
Time is told via Breguet styled Arabic numerals and gold dauphine hands. Breguet numerals are usually reserved for limited edition timepieces, but they’ve been added here in an impressive solid 18k rose or white gold. And together with the dauphine hands matching the gold on each corresponding case, manages to pull off a classic Patek Philippe look, circa 1950’s. No doubt one of the major differentiating factors found on this timepiece, compared to older versions.
There are two twin apertures for the day and month and a date aperture located at the 6 o’clock position. A moon-phase display is also located over the 6 o’clock position and circled by a 24-hour dial that can double as a day/night indicator. Also small circles serve as minute index markers, forming a ring around the whole dial.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar
This “Patek Philippe Annual Calendar” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 324 S QA LU 24H, with 34 jewels, 347 moving parts and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 35 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 30m (96 feet.) Mounted to the watch is either a brown or matt-black Alligator strap, with large squares and secured by a Calatrava fold-over clasp in 18k rose gold or 18k white gold, depending on the chosen version.
Rose gold & silver dial (Ref#: 5396R-012)
White Gold & dark grey dial (Ref#: 5396G-014)
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