Patek Philippe: A New, Complicated Wristwatch in a Simple Case

Patek Philippe introduced a new wristwatch, the Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A-001, at the Baselworld, a new function for calendar watches: The weekly calendar is a semi-integrated mechanism. In addition to the day of the week and the date it also displays the week number.
Patek Philippe has developed a broad spectrum of calendar functions, from the simple aperture date to the extremely complex secular perpetual calendar that is preprogrammed into the 28th century. For quite some time, the perpetual calendar has established itself as a genuine specialty of the manufacture. In 1996, the manufacture introduced the annual calendar, which only needed to be corrected once a year (on March 1), and in 2013 came another innovation with a instantaneous day-of-week and date display. Now, Patek Philippe is taking a step forward by expanding its collection of “useful complications” with the addition of a weekly calendar that displays the current week number. It is a decidedly practical function in a globalized world, even in the smartphone era.

The new¬†Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A-001 expresses its uniqueness with a silvery opaline dial and the unusual layout with five hands from the center – quite a rare configuration. The hours and minutes are indicated with Dauphine hands in blackened white gold. They feature two lapped facets, a perfect match for the applied baton indexes, also in blackened white gold. A slender counterbalanced hand tracks the seconds. The day of the week is displayed by a hammer-shaped hand with a red hammer head on a circular scale in the middle of the dial. A second hand of the same design delivers week number and month readings on two concentric scales at the periphery of the dial. these calendar indications are complemented by an aperture date at 3 o’clock. Another special feature: The typography created explicitly for this watch is based on the handwriting of one of the manufacturer’s designers and recalling an epoch in the not too distant past when notes were still written by hand.

With a diameter of 40 mm and a thickness of 11.18 mm, the new Calatrava is moderately proportioned. The case is made of stainless steel – a rarity a Patek Philippe. Also special is the ingenious construction of the bezel that extends over the two-tiered, gently curved strap lugs. The Calatrava Weekly Calendar Reference 5212A-001 features a box-type sapphire-crystal glass with a slightly cambered profile. The case is water-resistant up to 3 atm.

To display the day of the week and the number of the current week, Patek Philippe developed a totally new semi-integrated mechanism. The calendar displays advance semi-instantaneously in discrete steps to avoid energy consumption peaks. Corrections of the day-of-week and wek-number displays are performed with two push pieces recessed in the case flank at 8 and 10 o’clock. the date is corrected via the crown. Thanks to a fail-safe concept, such corrections can be performed at any time of day or night without risking damage to the movement.
The weekly calendar mechanism is not the only special feature of the Ref. 5212 – it is equipped with a completely new movement. It is based on the self-winding caliber 324 and sports several innovations and optimizations that improve its performance and dependability. Patek Philippe has also revised the automatic winding system.

The sapphire crystal case back reveals the refined architecture and meticulous finishing of the 26-330 S C J SE calibre.
The Calatrava Weekly Calendar Reference 5212A-001 is equipped by a light brown calfskin strap.

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