In what has to be one of the fastest years ever, we have gone from looking at Patek Philippe’s 2021 novelties to being thrust head-first into another annual showing of models and novelties from watchmakers all across the globe at Watches and Wonders 2022. Of course, as expected, the big guns have shown up and are stealing the limelight, one brand, in particular, being Patek Philippe, with 12 stunning inclusions to their catalog.
Perhaps the single-most appreciated novelty from Patek this year was the new Calatrava ref. 5226G, and its sibling, the Complications ref. 5326G. Both vintage-inspired pieces, these 18kt white gold stunners sport grey textured dials with a black gradient rim inspired by vintage cameras, applied Arabic numerals, and syringe hands complete with faux-patina. Worn on beige calfskin leather straps and featuring Clous de Paris hobnail texture across their white gold mid-cases, these two watches are intricately and elegantly constructed, as we would expect from Patek.
While the Calatrava ref. 5226G is just a time and date-only variant, the Complications ref. 5326G is, as its name suggests, complicated. An annual calendar with a travel time complication – a first for Patek, it is powered by the brand new micro-rotor cal. 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H movement, which takes Patek’s revered level of watchmaking to whole new levels.
With the ref. 5326G out of the way, we have six new Complications models to discuss. These are the ref. 5172G, the ref. 5205G, the ref. 5231G, the ref. 5230P, the ref. 7130R and the ref. 7121/200G. All stunning watches, the clear theme across these six models is the world time complication, with three of the six sporting the iconic function. These are the ref. 5231G, the ref. 5230P and the ref. 7130R. While these watches all look incredible, they are predominately restyled variants of old, with little in the way of new technological or horological innovation. The star of the show is the ref. 5231G, which sports an incredible Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial depicting Oceania and South-East Asia.
The other three complication models feature a blend of complications, such as a chronograph – the ref. 5172G with a stunning salmon dial and white gold case, a moon phase – the ref. 7121/200G with a beautiful blue dial and an annual calendar – the ref. 5205R. Offering a new colorway to the Annual Calendar ref. 5205 collection, the ref. 5205R features a gorgeous 40mm 18kt rose gold case with a beautiful olive green sunburst dial with a black gradient rim. A collector favorite since its launch in 2010, the ref. 5205 has just received what will probably be its most popular variant yet.
The Grande Complications
Beyond the new complication models, we have the true heavy-hitters, the three brand new Grand Complications. Ranging from the Perpetual Calendar ref. 5320G to the Chronograph Perpetual Calendar ref. 5270P to the biggest of them all, the Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar ref. 5374P – Patek has just about every base covered.
The Perpetual Calendar ref. 5320G is a new white gold rose-gilt opaline dial variant of the ref. 5320 collection with grey gold applied Arabic numerals. First launched in 2017 and famed for its vintage aesthetic and multi-stepped lugs, stepped bezel, and incredibly legible dial, the ref. 5320 is a true art-deco-inspired beauty, and this new variant only builds upon that aesthetic.
Another expansion of a previously launched collection is the new Chronograph Perpetual Calendar ref. 5270P. First launched in 2011, this collection became an immediate hit. With its superb lacquered green black-gradient rim dial, this new variant is perhaps going to exist among the most popular in the collection. Powered by the incredibly complex cal. CH 29-535 PS Q movement, the ref. 5270P stays within the mechanical boundaries set by its siblings but with an updated aesthetic that will undoubtedly go down well with collectors that are lucky enough to get their hands on this incredible watch.
Last but certainly not least for the additions to Patek’s family of Grande Complications is the mind-blowing Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar ref. 5374P. Featuring a 42mm platinum case, it sports 228 baguette-cut diamonds (11.62 ct) and 13 baguette-cut sapphires (0.72 ct) across its construction for a mind-bendingly bright display of opulence. Keeping things consistent with a blue-lacquered black-gradient rim dial, the ref. 5374P is utterly incredible.
With sapphires as hour markers, this watch has it all. However, while its perpetual calendar displays are complex looking, the star of the show is undoubtedly the minute repeating movement, the cal. R 27 Q. Finished to only the highest standards, this immaculate movement looks just as stunning as the dial-side of this incredible watch as it effortlessly juggles two of watchmaking’s most complex complications at once.
Last but certainly not least, Patek have also added to their iconic female-oriented Twenty-4 collection with the ref. 4910A. The only stainless steel novelty this year, no Nautilus ref. 5811, yet unfortunately, the Twenty-4 features a new sunburst olive green dial and diamond-set brancards and is certainly a stunning timepiece that women will be happy to wear.