I remember when Patek first released the Pilot-styled Travel Time wristwatch, which caused quite a bit of debate. As I’ve noted in the past, there are always one or two watches that enthusiasts, collectors and people like me are captivated by – regardless of whether those reasons are good or bad. And when Patek Philippe introduced a Pilots watch in 2015 it was of course done with the usual Patek panache.
The Calatrava Pilot Time Travel is a very bold timepiece from Patek; with its brutish yet sophisticated looks, it is what I would call a definite conversation piece as it so unlike Patek. The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time has enriched the venerable Calatrava line. For 2023, they’ve taken it a step further by adding a Flyback Chronograph function, making it even more useful.
The Travel Time function is none to unusual, we saw it utilised at Basel 2014 by Patek in the new Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph 5990/1A, we have also seen it in the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A. The new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Flyback utilises the base movement self-winding calibre CH-28-520 atop the FUS – Travel Time mechanism (the exact same movement used the in the 5990). A rather ingenious movement, operated by the two screw-down pushers on the side of the case, when the local-time hour hand is moved forward or backward in one-hour increments, an isolator uncouples the time-zone mechanism from the going train. This prevents the degradation of the amplitude of the balance and allows it to continue oscillating at a regular rate. Also incorporated into this calibre is an analogue date function, as well as day/night indicators. Turning the ref. 5924 over the sapphire-crystal display back reveals beautiful details such as the chamfered bridges with Geneva striping, the circular-grained 21-carat gold rotor with perlage in the centre, snailed flanks, and of course the Calatrava cross. As with all their manufacture movements, Patek assure high dependability as well as the rate accuracy tolerance of -3/+2 seconds per day as specified by their mark of excellence, the Patek Philippe Seal.
The case on the Calatrava Pilot Time Travel measures an extremely wearable 42mm. The white-gold Calatrava style case is flat and slightly inclined; the case band merges elegantly with the lugs that secure the strap bars. Unlike the 5524, the two time-zone push-pieces are integrated to the case band and are positioned at 8 (+1h) and 10 o’clock (-1h). The chronograph push-pieces are positioned at 2 & 4 o’clock, which are fluted for a slip-free grip and add a technical look that suits the design of a precise measuring instrument. The case has been perfectly paired on vintage-style blue or olive calfskin with contrasting topstitching and white-gold clevis prong buckle – depending on which dial colour option you choose.
The dial of the 5924 features large applied Arabic numerals in white-gold and broad baton-style hands with Superluminova coating. In the typical Travel Time style, which as mentioned we’ve seen in the 5990 and 5164, the home-time hour hand is skeletonized and remains discreetly in the background. It is hidden beneath the prominent local-time hour hand assuming local and home times are identical. At 9 and o’clock 3 are separate day/night indicators that are assigned to both time zones and an analogue date at 6 o’clock, which displays the date in 3-day increments. Up the top at 12 o’clock is the date register, and down at 6 o’clock is the running-seconds sub dial. Creating the backdrop for all of this is either a blue-grey or khaki green sunburst dial. The khaki green dial features a tone-on-tone finish, while the blue-grey features a white minute track and white ringed sub dials.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Flyback Chronograph ref. 5924G is available with a blue-grey or khaki green dial and is priced at £60,950. For more information visit patek.com.