Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G shares much in common with its older sibling, the Ref. 5524G, albeit it is smaller, measuring just 37.5mm in diameter. The scale of this unisex watch will appeal to men and women who appreciate craftsmanship, complications and style.
Patek Philippe, the über-prestigious Genevan Maison, attracts legions of aficionados whose conversations are punctuated with reference numbers. Some clients have worked hard in order to fulfil their lifelong dream of owning a Patek, while others are serial collectors with a horological itch that regularly needs to be scratched. Historically, the brand is known for classical watches, some of which could even be described as a tad conservative.
However, in the last ten years I have witnessed Thierry Stern blindside the watch buying public with new and thought-provoking models. When Patek unveiled the Ref 5960/1 in 2014, a steel model with red detail, it surprised onlookers with its striking appearance. One year later, at Baselworld 2015, I remember hearing the gasps of surprise when Patek Philippe unveiled the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524G. Again, a model this model looks very different from its forebears.
The Ref. 5524G is larger than most other Pateks, measuring 42mm in diameter. Its styling was said to have been influenced by ‘the manufacture’s aviator’s watches from the 1930s’.
At the heart of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524G is the Calibre 324 S C FUS, a self-winding movement encompassing Patek’s legendary refined finishing. The model features a blue varnished dial, prominent modern-style hour and minute hands, gold applied numerals and a generous application of luminescent treatment. The highlight of the watch is its dual time zone mechanism, indicating local and home time, together with day/night indicators for the respective time zones.
Since the release of the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G in 2015, the model has subsequently been offered in rose gold. Furthermore, a limited-edition in steel was made to commemorate the Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore. Interestingly, what seemed like a radical departure for the brand in 2015 has now become yet another Patek classic and a worthy member of the brand’s collection.
Now, the esteemed Maison has unveiled the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G. It looks virtually identical to the Ref. 5524G, but is housed in a smaller 37.5mm white gold case. Although it is smaller, all the attributes of the 2015 model have been retained, including the sublime Calibre 324 S C FUS. Given the size is ideal for both genders, it is almost inevitable that demand for this stunning watch will outstrip supply.
The brand’s press information (September 2020)
The Ref. 5524 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time with a second time zone and an analogue date coupled to local time was launched in 2015 with a 42-mm white-gold case and a blue dial. It was followed in 2018 with a new interpretation in rose gold that was also available with a case diameter of 37.5 mm (Ref. 7234). Now, Patek Philippe is presenting this medium size for the original white-gold model as well.
The legibility of the blue varnished aviator-style dial was optimized with applied numerals in white gold recessed and filled with luminous coating and luminous hands in blued white gold. The skeletonized white gold hour hand for home time is white lacquered.
The self-winding calibre 324 S C FUS stands out with its very easily operable Travel Time display of a second time zone. The actuation of one of the two pushers in the left-hand case flank moves the local time hour hand forward or backward in one-hour steps without affecting the precise rate of the watch. During the process, the skeletonized hour hand keeps indicating home time. Both time zones are linked with day/night indicators in apertures at 9 and 3 o’clock. As long as the owner of the watch remains at home, both hour hands are superposed and look like one hand. The two time-zone pushers are equipped with a patented safety lock that prevents unintended adjustments of the local time setting.
The new Ref. 7234G-001 is worn on a shiny navy blue calfskin strap secured with a white-gold clevis prong buckle. It is reminiscent of the harnesses that allowed pilots to keep their survival kits readily deployable in emergencies. The watch is delivered with a second calfskin strap in vintage brown.
This new model complements the now pairable Ref. 5524G-001 with a diameter of 42 mm. The two rose-gold watches, Ref. 5524R and Ref. 7234R, remain in the collection.