Editor’s Pick: Patek Philippe at Baselworld 2019
Patek Philippe, more than any other watch maison, rarely produces anything entirely new, the extent and richness of its back-catalogue means that it is both almost impossible and entirely un-necessary. Better and more interesting is to recombine different elements of existing designs, that way you produce watches that are both new and that fit with the past, which explains the pick of the 2019 collection, the 5235R Annual Calendar Regulator.
First seen in 2011 as a Patek Philippe Advanced Research project, the watch showcased new silicon-based components in a design derived from early precision clocks that favours the minutes and seconds over the hour. For 2019 it returns with a rose gold and graphite design that balances warmth and cool to excellent effect.
Reference 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar in steel
Newer but with a more vintage feel is the 5212A Weekly calendar that uses the sort of hand drawn lettering that you might see on pre-CAD technical drawings. While it’s an intriguing design and a novel complication for Patek (with all the indications bar the date coming from the central axis), the detail collectors latched on to is that the watch is in a steel case which is rare for Patek.
The simplest update was the introduction of a khaki Aquanaut in white gold (5168G) which was both surprisingly bold for Patek and perfectly in tune with the brand. §