In the context of its 20th anniversary Patek Philippe has chosen to attribute its “Aquanaut” collection with other precious metal options and some futuristic enhancements. And what better stage to celebrate such an occasion than at Baselworld 2017.
After 178 years of uninterrupted success to celebrate two anniversaries, while debuting new innovations in the horology industry is quite an achievement by Patek Philippe, for which to be proud of.
The 42mm case on this Aquanaut is made of 18k white gold which can be interpreted as having added a “jumbo” size to this model line. After all this version is based on the original 1976 Nautilus that had the same size and was nicknamed “Jumbo”, being referred to as so, till this day by informed collectors.
Other than that Patek has preserved its recognizable octagonal bezel with vertically satin-finished flats and chamfered polished flanks. Also features a transparent case back to view the inner movement with its heavy 21k gold central rotor, decorated by an exquisite perlage around its ball bearings.
Time is exhibited on a checkerboard pattern blue dial matching the blue tone found on its strap. But, it’s not a static blue, the color actually gradually phases from a brighter lighter blue at the center, to a dark blue, almost black as it moves towards and reaches the surrounding bezel. Patek Philippe has kept the circling minute index markers, plus white Arabic numerals to tell time. These Arabic numerals, each five-minute index markers and the sharp-tipped baton hour, minute hands: have all received a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. There is also a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
This “Patek Philippe Aquanaut” (Ref#: 5168 G) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 324 S C, with 29 jewels, 213 components and 28,800 Vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 45 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watch is a night blue composite strap embossed with the typical Aquanaut pattern and secured to the wrist by an 18k white gold fold over clasp, with a Calatrava cross engraved on it.
But, much more deserving of praise and acknowledgment is the true host of this 20th anniversary celebration in the form of the new “Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time’ for Patek’s “Advanced Research Limited Edition” model line. It all began in 2005 when Patek Philippe began to launch limited-edition wristwatches with the peculiarity of being endowed with one or several avant-garde technologies. So, this year to coincide with the anniversary celebrations they have decided to bring an innovating limited edition Aquanaut to the market.
Its researched advancements on this timepiece can be admired in the form of: an innovative Spiromax® balance spring made of Silinvar® in addition to the outer boss that further improves isochronism, which allows for an impressive rate accuracy with a tolerance of only -1 to +2 seconds per day. Patek has also optimized its time-zone setting with a flexible mechanism, thanks to their advanced research engineers with Professor Simon Henein at the helm. Besides holding the chair for micromechanical engineering at Patek Philippe, Professor Simon Henein, is also in charge of horological development at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the Instant-Lab in Microcity, which is the EPFL development center for micro-technology in Neuchâtel.
Video courtesy of: Patek Philippe
The 40.8mm case is made of 18k white gold with a sapphire case back, which allows to see this innovative inner mechanical movement in action. There are two pushers on the left side of the case that control the settings. If a user happens to travel across several time-zones, they can adjust the ‘local time’ by swinging the hour hand forward or backwards in one-hour steps. While doing this it’s also possible to set the day/night indicator, or even change the date. Orientation wise, if you’re traveling east the pusher at 8 o’clock adjusts the ‘local time’; while traveling west you’d use the pusher at the 10 o’clock position. Water-resistance on this timepiece can reach up to 120 meters (393 feet).
Time is exhibited on a checkerboard pattern blue dial matching the blue tone found on its matching strap. And just like the previous described Aquanaut this is not a static blue, with the color gradually phasing from a lighter blue at the center, to a dark blue, almost black as it moves towards and reaches the surrounding bezel.
It utilizes the Arabic numerals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11 and 12; while the others have been cut to allow space for other complications. There is a date sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. And you can also visualize two markers towards the sides: one for ‘home time’ towards the 3 o’clock position and ‘local time’ towards the 9 o’clock position. These assist in providing a second time-zone, plus they serve as a day/night indicator.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research
This “Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research” (Ref#: 5650 G) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 324-S-C-FUS with 29 jewels, 294 components and 28,800 Vph. This movement contains two major innovations in the form of: an optimized Spiromax® balance spring with an inner boss; and a flexible mechanism for the time-zone settings. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 45 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watch is a night-blue strap, with an embossed pattern similar to the checkerboard motif on the watch dial, secured to the wrist by a three-part fold-over clasp in 18k white gold. This watch will be a limited edition of only 500 manufactured pieces.
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