This year a brand new complication for Patek Philippe as they present the new Calatrava Weekly Calendar ref. 5212A-001 with a semi-integrated mechanism displaying the current week number, in addition to the day and date. A particularly useful feature for the modern businessman. This stainless steel Calatrava Weekly Calendar with a 40 mm case also houses a completely new automatic movement with optimized performance. Patek Philippe has developed a broad spectrum of calendar functions, from the simple aperture date to the extremely complex secular perpetual calendar that is pre-programmed into the 28th century. The patented Annual Calendar, launched in 1996, triggered a small revolution as a full calendar that only needs to be corrected once a year on March 1. In 2013.
Things to Know About the Watch
The new Calatrava Weekly Calendar ref. 5212A features a gorgeous silvery opaline dial —almost beige— and the unusual layout with five hands from the central pinion. The hours and minutes are indicated with elegant dauphine hands in blackened white gold. They feature two lapped facets, a perfect match for the applied baton indexes in blackened white gold with four lapped facets each. 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.
The typography created explicitly for this watch is based on the handwriting of one of the manufacture’s designers; its letters and numbers are absolutely unique. Carefully printed in black, they add very personal and poetic notes to the dial of the ref. 5212, recalling an epoch in the not too distant past when notes were still written by hand in paper diaries.
The Case & Strap
With a diameter of 40 mm and a thickness of 11.18 mm, the stainless steel Calatrava case —a rarity at Patek Philippe— also stands out on account of the finesse of the bezel that extends over the two-tiered, gently curved strap lugs. The case is cold-formed in the manufacture’s ateliers with high-tonnage presses and then meticulously hand-polished by experienced artisans —a highly complex undertaking given the many sharp edges and angles. Its aesthetic appeal is inspired by the Ref. 2512, a one-of-a-kind piece made in 1955 and held in safekeeping by the Patek Philippe Museum. This kinship is emphasized by the reference number of the new Calatrava Weekly Calendar that consists of the same numerals in a different order. The vintage aspect is amplified by a box-type sapphire-crystal glass with a slightly cambered profile. The stainless steel snap back has a sapphire-crystal insert that allows the movement to be observed at work. The watch is delivered on a gorgeous honey brown calf strap with pin buckle.
The weekly calendar mechanism is not the only special feature of the Ref. 5212. Patek Philippe also endowed this watch model with a totally new movement based on the automatic calibre 324. It is the outcome of several years of development work. The new calibre 26-330 includes many optimizing features. The first innovation concerns the central seconds. To prevent the seconds hand from vibrating and to eliminate friction, the manufacture’s engineers decided against the habitual center second pinion with friction spring. They replaced it with an innovative system based on an anti-backlash third wheel. This patented component is made of a nickel-phosphorous alloy with the LIGA process (lithography, electroplating, molding) and then completed with a gold-copper-iridium coating. It features an avant-garde geometry with long split slotted teeth, each with a tiny integrated 22-micron leaf spring that engages with the second pinion teeth to suppress vibrations of the seconds hand without any prior adjustment work.
With its 304 parts, the all-new calibre 26-330 S C J SE is a perfect manifestation of Patek Philippe’s tradition of innovation. The sapphire-crystal case back of the new Ref. 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar reveals the refined architecture and painstaking finissage of the movement as prescribed by the Patek Philippe Seal.
To display the day of the week and the number of the current week, Patek Philippe developed a totally new semi-integrated mechanism with a height of 1.52 mm, containing 92 additional parts. Thanks to a special plate developed and produced for this specific mechanism, the movement remains very svelte.
A 7-point star on the hour wheel in the center of the movement controls the day-of-week display. Via a lever, a second 7-point star with an extended Sunday tip drives the 53-tooth week wheel. The calendar displays advance semi-instantaneously in discrete steps to avoid energy consumption peaks. Corrections of the day-of-week and week-number displays are performed with two push pieces recessed in the case flank at 8 and 10 o’clock. The date can be corrected with the crown pulled halfway out. Thanks to a fail-safe concept, the user can perform such corrections at any time of day or night without risking damage to the movement. The manufacture places great emphasis on convenience and user-friendliness. Pursuant to the international ISO 8601 standard, Patek Philippe chose Monday as the first day of the week rather than Sunday, which is commonplace in some countries. The first week of the year is the week that includes the 4th of January. The 53-graduation scale considers years with an extra week. This is the case every 5 to 6 years. The next occurrence falls in 2020.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Patek Philippe Calatrava Weekly Calendar ref. 5212A wears true to its size and with special presence. A new complication for Patek Philippe and a new way of displaying the usual information that is typically displayed using double apertures on annual calendars —plus getting the week number info as well.
A watch that is priced quite low for the amount of watch you’re getting. The new 5212A is a must have for any Patek lover or anyone else seeking a highly functional timepiece to wear for the rest of their lives without having to ‘break the bank’ by getting a perpetual calendar from this brand.
Sticker Price $33,454 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.