By Rebecca Doulton
Watch complications shouldn’t look complicated, or appear so daunting that you would never dare touch them without the supervision of an expert, so as a master of presenting complications in an amenable and elegant manner, Patek Philippe features two of the most popular and useful complications in its new Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5905P.
For those of us who have difficulty remembering the date, an annual calendar is a godsend and will only need one correction a year, at the end of February. Chronographs are the most in demand complications on the market, and even if they are used to time a soft-boiled egg to perfection, or a lap at the racetrack, it is a function most men enjoy owning. Since the 1920s, Patek Philippe has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best makers of short-time measurement instruments - a precursor in combining chronographs with additional functions, such as the legendary Ref. 1518 wrist chronograph with a perpetual calendar of 1940, which is highly prized on the auction circuit.
The designers at Patek Philippe watches have succeeded in presenting the calendar information in an instinctive, logical way, with three small apertures at the top of the dial with day, date and month displays. The new watch is in fact inspired by its Ref. 5205 Annual Calendar, first presented in 2010, with its three annual calendar apertures. The novelty here is the incorporation of new colours for the dial - rich blue and black - and a larger 42mm case in platinum. To highlight the central chronograph functions of these men’s watches, a crisply graduated minute scale ensures precision readings, and a large 60-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock measures elapsed times. The applied white gold hour markers are crowned by a luminous dot for enhanced legibility in the dark, as is the centre ridge of the hour and minute hands with a coat of SuperLumiNova.
The 42mm case of these men’s watches has been crafted in solid platinum and it takes roughly two weeks to achieve the extraordinary sheen and smoothness that characterise the case, pushers, crown and lugs. Like all the manufacture’s platinum cases, a diamond is inserted in the case at 6 o’clock. Turning over, a round display back lets you admire the beautifully finished movement with its gold rotor and artistic decorations.