Without a doubt the star at Baselworld 2016, the new Patek Philippe ref. 5930G World Time Chronograph, joins the ranks of one of the most fascinating horological complications ever created by Patek Philippe. Encased in a 39.5 mm white gold case with a striking blue opaline dial and blue leather strap, the new Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph ref. 5930G is not only extremely beautiful but also perfectly functional. A combination of two long-standing Patek Philippe specialties that true connoisseurs so far have seen only in a single piece from the 1940s, the World Time Chronograph brings the best from the legendary Genevan manufacture to the table.
To date, only a single other Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph is known, a one-of-a-kind piece crafted over 70 years ago. It is wristwatch No. 862,442 dated 1940 —part of the Patek Philippe Museum Inventory No. P996— featuring a dial with pulsometer and asthmometer scales, that probably belonged to a physician. The new Baselworld 2016 Patek Philippe ref. 5930 is the result of a long journey where the development of a chronograph faced the challenge of indicating all 24 time zones with a clean dial layout design.
While the traditional Patek Philippe ref. 5230 World Time does not have a seconds hand, the new World Time Chronograph ref. 5930 had to be fitted with a long trotteuse hand and a 30-minute counter at 6 o'clock.
Where conventional chronographs have a scale graduated in fractions of a second, the new Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph ref. 5930 has a moving city disk with 24 international time zones as well as a moving 24-hour ring on which the time is indicated for the city that stands directly above it.
Its blue opaline dial with hand-guilloché center and white gold applied hour markers with luminescent coating is simply the nicest blue dial we've ever seen. The texture on the guilloché pattern in the center of the dial is so nicely done and well texturized, that you can almost reach in and touch it as you stare at the watch in awe.
The 18K white gold case measuring 39.5 mm in diameter is exquisitely finished with satin-brushed strokes and highly polished areas in a symphony of contrasts and perfection. The World Time function is also very easy to use: The hour and minute hands indicate the time in the city and time zone whose name is shown at 12 o'clock. The time in the 23 other zones can be quickly and easily determined with the city disk and the two-colored 24-hour ring which instantly tells the user whether it is day or night in the respective city and time zone.
A look at the dial shows how seamlessly the two complications are integrated. The outermost display element in blue lists the 24 city names that each represent an entire time zone. It has been updated with new cities for some time zones —for instance Dubai instead of Riyadh or Brisbane instead of Nouméa— and takes into account the fact that Moscow changed its local time from UTC+4 to UTC+3. A small gap between the city disk and the 24-hour ring accommodates the seconds scale for chronograph measurements. It is a narrow white circular scale with fourth-of-a-second graduations. This subdivision reflects the movement frequency of 4 hertz —28,800vph—, which allows times to be stopped to an accuracy of one-eighth of a second.
The 24-hour ring, which continuously rotates counterclockwise, doubles as a day/night indicator. It has bright numerals on a dark background and a moon symbol for the nocturnal hours as well as dark numerals on a bright background and a sun symbol for the daylight hours. The center of the dial is designed along the lines of the World Time watch tradition sporting a subtle hand-guilloché decoration interrupted only by the 18K white gold index markers and the 30-minute chronograph counter. This subdial stands out with a delicate white-gold surround, the white minute scale, and the discreet circular-grained finish. The design is not only an artistic exploit but also assures optimized legibility.
When traveling from one time zone to the next, pressing the rectangular rounded pusher at 10 o'clock advances the city disk and the 24-hour ring counterclockwise in one-hour steps as well as the hour hand clockwise, also in one-hour steps. The correction is finished when the city name of the destination time zone is at 12 o'clock.
The pushers of the chronograph are also rectangular and rounded following the traditional cues of the Patek Philippe chronographs that along with the winglet-style lugs —a key design element of the 1940s and 1950s World Time watches— rise in all glory when looking at the case resting on its caseband with the crown up.
Powering the new Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph ref. 5930G is the new automatic Patek Philippe in-house movement calibre CH 28-520 HU. The movement is based of the automatic CH 28-520 PS chronograph caliber with column-wheel control and a vertical clutch as well as the proven World Time module based on a concept developed by Genevan watchmaker Louis Cottier in the 1930s. For this particular movement, the chronograph movement and the World Time mechanism were enhanced with extensive modifications. Axes were shifted, bridges thinned and newly designed, and component clearances changed such that the caliber CH 28-520 HU can legitimately be called a new movement. The movement, fully visible via the display case back, is composed of 343 parts and fitted with 38 jewels to provide a power reserve of 55 hours while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Additionally, the movement features the traditional uni-directional central rotor in 21K gold.
The new Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph ref. 5930G embodies everything that belongs to Patek Philippe's proud watchmaking heritage while featuring technical and functional innovations that make it a latest-generation movement. This also applies to its operation, in line with Patek Philippe's commitment to user-friendliness. The chronograph has a start/stop pusher at 2 o'clock and a reset pusher at 4 o'clock that also doubles as a flyback pusher. When it is pressed while the chronograph is running, the sweep hand flies back to zero and a new time measurement is started automatically. Because the chronograph hand is powered via a vertical clutch, it can also be used as a permanently running seconds hand without risking undue wear and without affecting the rate accuracy and power reserve of the watch.
The new Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph ref. 5930G-001 comes with a hand-stitched matte navy blue alligator strap with large square scales matching the dial. An 18K white gold Calatrava fold over clasp keeps the watch comfortably secured to the wrist. On the wrist, the watch wears more like a 40 mm watch and extremely elegant. The wrist presence is definitely out of this world and reserved for those that strive for the best. Functional, exceptional, elegant and masterpiece, are a few of the words that come to mind when thinking of this new Patek 5930.
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