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Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396G Review

Runner-Up Wrist Candy For Father’s Day

Okay, we admit it. Very few of us can afford to drop $2.25 million on a watch, And if we could why would we? So, perhaps this little gem that retails for $47,900 is more to your liking.

 Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396G

Retail Price: $47,900

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The Patek Philippe’s patented Annual Calendar, which only needs to be corrected once a year, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396 is available in 18K white gold with a dark gray sunburst dial and in 18K rose gold with a silvery white opaline dial.

Both models of the 5396 look familiar yet at the same time appear to be totally new. Familiar because of the style elements that have been appreciated for years, and new because these elements have never before been combined in this way. The first element is the shape of the case with its inimitable Calatrava personality, another beautifully refined facet that dates back to the Model 96 in 1932, when the Bauhaus “form follows function” principle was memorialized in horology. Its success was so persuasive that the Calatrava today is deemed the archetype of all classic round watches. In the new 5396 Annual Calendar, the round of the case also merges gracefully with the strap lugs, and a smoothly polished bezel frames the dial. The sapphire-crystal glass is prominently cambered, endowing the watch with volume and a highly modern look.

A familiar new face

The glass showcases a dial that perfectly reflects the timelessness of this watch: It features familiar elements that have been subtly refined and recombined. One of them is the in-line double aperture in the upper half of the dial that displays the day of the week on the left and the month on the right. The date display of the 5396 is positioned in a large aperture at 6 o’clock. Together with the double aperture, it frames the 24-hour subsidiary dial with the moon-phase display in the lower half of the dial to assure a visually balanced configuration. This layout is reminiscent of Patek Philippe perpetual calendars from the 1940s and 1950s, which regularly fetch top prices at auction. The main difference: On the face of the 5396, the position of the analog date scale in the historic models is now occupied by the 24-hour dial, which doubles as a day/night indication.

The time is indicated in the crisply legible classic fashion: A peripheral circle of small gold minute markers frames the sculpted applied Breguet numerals in 18K gold. They harmonize gracefully with the Dauphine-style hour and minute hands as well as with the long, slender sweep seconds hand. As sleek and clear-cut the Dauphine hands may appear, they rank among the more challenging styles as regards craftsmanship. Their sharp center ridges and the polished bevel flanks that taper into the tips will forgive neither the slightest tolerance deviations in production nor a misstep when the hands are fixed to the arbors.

One watch, two distinctively different versions

The two models of the new Patek Philippe 5396 Annual Calendar differ not only in terms of case and dial colors, they also project two distinctly different personalities. With its silvery white opaline dial and color-coordinated numerals, markers, and hands, the 18K rose gold version is the epitome of classic elegance. It is worn on a shiny chocolate brown alligator strap provided with an 18K rose-gold Calatrava fold-over clasp. The 5N nuance of rose gold was chosen because its somewhat deeper red hue echoes a traditional aura.

The 18K white-gold version has a very modern and technical look with a dark galvanic gray dial featuring a sunburst finish that produces a mystical luster. Its appeal is emphasized with applied Breguet numerals, markers and hands in 18K white gold. The matt black alligator strap with large square scales is secured with a Calatrava fold-over clasp in 18K white gold.

Gentlemen: Make your choice.

The Watch:

  • Annual Calendar
  • Day, date and month in apertures
  • Moon phases and 24-hour display
  • Sweep seconds hand
  • Dial: charcoal gray sunburst, gold applied Breguet numerals
  • Alligator strap with square scales, hand-stitched, matte black, fold-over clasp
  • Fold-over clasp
  • Sapphire-crystal case back
  • Water resistant to 30 m
  • White gold
  • Case diameter: 38.5 mm

Caliber:

  • Mechanical self-winding movement
  • Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303
  • Annual Calendar
  • Moon phases
  • Height: 5.78 mm
  • Jewels: 34
  • Bridges: 10
  • Balance: Gyromax®
  • Vibrations/hour: 28 800 (4 Hz)
  • Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal
  • Day, date, month in apertures (in-line apertures)
  • Center sweep Seconds hand
  • Diameter: 33.3 mm
  • Parts: 347
  • Power reserve: Min. 35 hours – max. 45 hours
  • Balance spring: Spiromax®

 

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