Unveiled at the Watches and Wonders Geneva 2023 event, this new Patek Philippe Calatrava model comes with the Travel Time dual time zone function and a distinct 24-hour display.
Among the numerous complications available in the Patek Philippe collections, the exclusive Travel Time system for the display of a second time zone (with two center hour hands, one of which can be adjusted backwards or forwards in one-hour steps) has met with great success, owing to its ease of operation and excellent legibility.
This complication exists in various Patek Philippe models, such as the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time (References 5524G-001 and 5524R-001), Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph (5990/1A-011 and 5990/1R-001), Aquanaut Travel Time (5164A-001 and 5164R-001), Aquanaut Luce Travel Time (5269/200R-001), Grand Complication Alarm Travel Time model (5520P-001), Annual Calendar Travel Time (5326G-001), and Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph Models 5924G-001 and 5924G-010.
The new Calatrava Travel Time model boasts an original display of local time and home time by two center hands turning on a 24-hour circle. The manufacture has already used 24-hour displays in the past, notably on the Chronometro Gondolo watches produced in the early twentieth century for the Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau. One of these, a pocket watch made in 1905, is now exhibited in the Patek Philippe Museum.
For the new Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time watch (reference 5224R-001), Patek Philippe has reinterpreted this type of indication in a resolutely modern spirit. The dial features noon at 12 o’clock, rather than at 6 o’clock as is usually the case, thereby ensuring excellent legibility throughout the daytime hours.
Inside this new watch beats the 31-260 PS FUS 24H self-winding movement. To create this horological marvel, Patek Philippe’s engineers took the 31-260 ultra-thin self-winding base caliber and added a 24-hour mechanism and a Travel Time mechanism.
This movement, launched in 2011 in the Annual Calendar Regulator Reference 5235 (caliber 31-260 REG QA) was entirely reworked in 2021 for the In-Line Perpetual Calendar Reference 5236P-001 (caliber 31-260 PS QL).
It was given an operating frequency of 4 Hz (28, 800 semi-oscillations per hour), a 20 per cent increase in barrel-spring torque, a mini-rotor in platinum (heavier than gold) boosting the winding power and a reduction wheel that uncouples the self-winding mechanism when the watch is being manually wound and thus reduces wear.
In 2022, Patek Philippe reworked this movement again for the Annual Calendar Travel Time Reference 5326G-001 (caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H) and developed several innovations, leading to eight patent applications.
The new caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement housed in Reference 5224R-001 benefits from three of those patents, aimed at optimizing efficiency, rate accuracy, durability, safety and ease of use.
Visible through a transparent sapphire-crystal back, the new self-winding caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement with mini-rotor in platinum makes it possible to provide a case whose elegant finesse (9.85 m high) is perfectly suited to a Calatrava model.
To preserve the sleek lines, Patek Philippe also replaced the traditional correction pushers for local time on the left-hand flank of the case with a patented correction system using the crown pulled out to the intermediate position (backwards and forwards adjustment in one-hour steps). This device is modeled on the one used in 2022 in Reference 5326G-001.
The fully polished rose-gold case, 42 mm in diameter, was inspired by that of the Calatrava Weekly Calendar Reference 5212A-001 launched in 2019 and is distinguished by its curved two-tier lugs.
The navy-blue dial shines by its elegance and legibility, enhanced by a double railway-track scale for the hours and minutes. The 24-hour display, with its alternating Arabic numerals and hour markers and its cabochon 5-minute markers, represents a total of 44 rose-gold appliques – polished together to obtain the same brilliance and applied individually by hand.
The Travel Time dual time zone is displayed by three syringe-shaped hands in rose gold, with a luminescent coating for the local hour hand and the minute hand and a pierced center for the home hour hand.
Refined finishing touches create beautiful plays of light on the dial: a circular striated center, a circular satin-finished hour circle and a snailed small-seconds counter with a rose-gilt outline.
A navy-blue calfskin strap with a nubuck finish and contrasting cream stitching echoes the color of the dial. It is secured by a prong buckle in rose gold.
Patents of the caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement
Several Patek Philippe patents are applied again in this new caliber, including –for the time zone component –three patents from the caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H (Reference 5326G-001):
Time setting with three crown positions (Swiss patent CH 716383 B1 published 29.07.2022)
This time-setting system has a lever with three positions that can deactivate certain wheels as long as they are not performing any correction. This reduces energy consumption and wear of the respective wheels. The result is a gain for the balance amplitude (rate accuracy) and for reliability.
Linear time-zones spring (European patent EP 3650953 B1)
This system consists of a star-wheel and a jumper spring. It allows a strong torque increase between the local-time hour wheel and the home-time hour wheel –thus providing the user with more precise information.
Inertial delta (European patent application EP 3822711 A1)
This mechanism offsets the inertia difference between a heavier and a lighter wheel. When the time zone is being corrected in either direction, it prevents an unintended forward or backward misalignment of the time displays (home time, local time, minutes). This increases the accuracy of the displays.
Model: Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Reference 5224R-001
Caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H
Self-winding mechanical movement
Travel Time dual time zone with local time and home time on a 24-hour display
Diameter: 31.74 mm
Height: 3.7 mm
Number of parts: 240
Number of jewels: 44
Power reserve: 48 h
Winding rotor: Mini-rotor in platinum, unidirectional winding
Frequency: 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 Hz)
Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
Balance spring stud: Adjustable
Pushed home: manual winding
Pulled to middle position: setting of local time in either direction in one-hour steps
Pulled out all the way: simultaneous setting of home time, local time and the minute with “stop seconds” function
Local time on a 24-hour scale and minutes from the center
Home time (second time zone) on a 24-hour scale from the center
Small seconds at 6 o’clock
Patek Philippe Seal
18K rose gold
Sapphire-crystal case back
Water-resistant to 30 m
Case dimensions: Diameter: 42 mm
Height (from crystal to display back): 9.85 mm
Total height: 10.2 mm
Width between lugs: 21 mm
Navy-blue with contrasting finishes (center with circular striation, hour circle with circular satin finish, small seconds counter finely snailed with rose-gilt outline)
Applied Arabic numerals, baton-style markers, and cabochon 5-minute markers, in 18K rose gold with a luminescent coating
Syringe-shaped local hour hand and minute hand, in 18K rose gold with a luminescent coating
Pierced syringe-shaped home hour hand (second time zone) in 18K rose gold
Sword-style small-seconds hand in white gold coated with white varnish
Navy-blue calfskin with a nubuck finish, contrasting cream hand stitching and a prong buckle in rose gold