Patek Philippe’s third wave of watch launches in the year 2020 is quite the unexpected one, as it announces today a white gold variation of their 37.5mm Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, the reference 7234G. Therefore, we now have both the 42mm ref. 5524 and the ref. 7234 now in the catalog in white and rose gold.
It, however, needs to be stated that while the 2018 5524R and 7234R were essentially the same watch in terms of colors, differing only in their specific dimensions, the 2015 ref. 5524G and the 7234G are in different shades of blue. But before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s remind ourselves of some facts and figures.
Regardless of all the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time variations are powered by the self-winding Caliber 324 S C FUS. The movement enables a dual time zone mechanism to indicate local and home time. Local and home time are further aided by the day/night indication in apertures. Local date on the timepiece is indicated using the subdial at 6 o’clock.
Don’t let the extra pushers alarm you, they are meant to make the operation and setting of the watch a lot simpler. The crown at 3 o’clock can first be used to set your home time. Adjustments to the local time indicator (the non-skeleton hour hand) can be made in one hour increments forward using the pusher at 8 o’clock and backwards using the pusher at 10 o’clock. A small recessed pusher situated on the side of the case at 6 o’clock can be used to adjust the date subdial.
1. Hour hand for local time (solid)
2. Hour hand for home time (skeletonized)
3. Minute hand
4. Second hand
6. Day/night indication for home time
7. Day/night indication for local time
Functionalities aside, perhaps what people most recall about the watch when it was initially launched in 2015 is just how divided it had made the watch collecting community. But those sentiments aside, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time has clearly done well for itself since, such that Patek Philippe has gone the mile to develop a collection around it.
The maison gave us a time-only take on the watch in 2017 at the New York watch exhibition (600 pieces), in a limited run. In 2018, we saw Patek Philippe announce their newly minted Instagram account with the launch of the 5524R and 7234R. Patek Philippe also produced a unique titanium 5524T Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in 2018 for a charity auction held by Christie’s. In 2019, we saw the announcement of the four-pusher 5520P, which was followed shortly by the steel 7234A at the Singapore watch exhibition. And now finally we have the white gold 7234G.
It is a little unfair to say the 7234G is a diminutive sibling of the ref. 5524G. Because we can see that the later watch is in a darker shade of blue and even the luminescent coating on the large Arabic numerals is darker.
And with that we round up Patek Philippe’s wave of launches, no. 3, in 2020.
Self-winding Caliber 324 S C FUS; two time zones: local and home time; indication Local and home day/night indication in apertures; local date by hand; running seconds; power reserve: 35-45 hours
37.5mm in white gold; 10.78mm height; water resistant to 60m
Blue varnished, gold applied numerals with luminescent coating; local time hand: baton-style in blued white gold with luminescent coating; home time hand: skeletonized baton-style in white gold white lacquered
Calfskin, shiny navy blue (original fitting); calfskin, vintage brown (additional strap); clevis prong buckle