Patek Philippe has expanded its line of pilot-style watches with the launch of the new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. The 7234G-001, with its unique (and somewhat controversial) design, was introduced five years ago as the Ref. The 5524G was inspired by the manufacturer’s pilot’s watches from the 1930s and can be seen at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
The first model is housed in a 42mm white gold case with a blue dial and was introduced in 2018. The rose gold 5524R with brown dial and the Ref. 7234R, a medium-sized rose gold model, are suitable for women and men who prefer smaller watches.
The new Ref. 7234G-001 is offered in a medium white gold version ( ).
Its blue lacquered dial offers excellent legibility thanks to its applied white gold numerals filled with a white luminescent coating and wide luminescent baton hands made of blue white gold.
The self-winding calibre 324 S C FUS with its unidirectional 21-carat gold central rotor is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), it provides a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours.
The movement, made up of 294 components, has a practical “travel time” mechanism for indicating a second time zone. The system is easy to operate and was patented by Patek Philippe in 1959 and 1996. It features a hand two hours from the centre. The local hour hand can be adjusted by means of two buttons on the side of the left-side case, moving the illuminated local hour hand clockwise (lower button) or counterclockwise (upper button) in one-hour increments.
The hour hand with the skeleton continues to indicate local time. Both time zones have separate day/night indicators (local time at the 9 o’clock local window, local time at the 3 o’clock local window) to simplify time setting.
Both time zone buttons are equipped with a patented safety system that prevents accidental adjustment of the local time setting. Before they can be actuated, they must be unlocked for a quarter turn, which can be simplified by the delicate recesses. They must then be rotated a quarter-turn in the opposite direction again. The watch is water resistant to a depth of 30 meters / 100 feet.
The analog date at 6 o’clock displays the date in three-day increments to improve clarity without confusing the scale. A useful feature for travelers is that the date is always synchronized with local time, since the time zone button also increases or decreases the date if the local time hand goes clockwise or counterclockwise past midnight!
Paired with a navy blue calfskin strap and secured with a white gold U-shaped fork buckle, it comes with a second vintage brown calfskin strap.