While we are not crazy about diamonds on men's watches here at WCL, when it comes to Patek Philippe it is a different story. After the release of the ref. 5396G-014 last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this reference, this year at Baselworld 2017, Patek released two new versions of the reference 5396 in 18K rose gold with blue dial. While the new ref. 5396R-014 sports a blue dial with gold markers, the ref. 5396R-015 we have here, comes with the same hue of blue as ref. 5396R-014 but with baguette diamond markers.
Featuring an in-line double aperture in the upper half of the dial that displays the day of the week on the left and the month on the right, the date display on the ref. 5396 is positioned in a large aperture at 6 o'clock. Together with the double aperture, it frames the 24 hour subsidiary dial with the moon phase display in the lower half of the dial to assure a visually balanced configuration. This layout is reminiscent of Patek Philippe perpetual calendars from the 1940s and 1950s, which regularly fetch top prices at auction. The main difference between the new ref. 5396G-014 and its predecessors is that the position of the analog date scale in the historic models is now occupied by the 24-hour indicator which doubles as a day/night indication.
The beating heart powering the new Patek Philippe ref. 5396R-015 is the automatic movement calibre 324 S QA LU 24H/303. This movement composed of 347 parts and 34 jewels provides a power reserve of 45 hours while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Additionally, the date and month indications only need to be manually corrected once a year at the transition from February to March, but this task takes only seconds, thanks to the small correctors in the caseband. The moon phase display requires even less attention. Thanks to its precise reduction wheel train, an adjustment by one day is needed only once every 122 years. This deviation is irrelevant in the course of a generation. But it does suggest h ow meticulously the movement was crafted.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the new Patek Philippe ref. 5396R-015 wears slightly bigger than its actual 38.5 mm size and more like a 39 mm watch. The watch is fitted with a gorgeous dark blue hand-stitched alligator strap with square scales and Calatrava fold-over clasp in 18K rose gold. As far as looks and wrist presence, you can't go wrong. While the diamond markers seem quite prominent on these pictures, they are not as much in the metal. Definitely a must have in any well-curated Patek collection.
Sticker Price $53,299 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.