Annual calendars were a popular complication among the new watches introduced at this year’s Baselworld watch fair, and now Patek Philippe has introduced a new steel-bracelet version of the one from its luxury-sport Nautilus collection. (The first Nautilus Annual Calendar was launched in 2010 with a leather strap.) The Patek Philippe Reference 5726/1A Nautilus Annual Calendar, which has a steel case and choice of black or silvery white dial, contains Patek’s manufacture Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H, a self-winding movement that powers all the watch’s timekeeping and calendar functions, including a 24-hour time indication and moon-phase display.
The familiar Nautilus dial, with its horizontal embossed pattern, has the day of the week and month displayed below 12 o’clock in twin in-line apertures. The moon-phase and 24-hour indicators are combined in a subdial and overlap the date window at 6 o’clock. The gold hands and applied hour markers on the model with the white dial are blackened to make them easier to read in daylight. On both models, the hands and hour markers have luminescent coating for legibility in the dark.
An annual calendar differs from a perpetual calendar in that it compensates for the length of every month except February, after which the date will need to be reset, whereas a perpetual calendar adjusts for the length of all 12 months, including leap-year Februaries. The popularity of annual calendars may owe to the fact that they are a more “accessible” high complication than perpetuals, which are extremely challenging to make and thus incredibly expensive. This Nautilus Annual Calendar is priced at $47,600, whereas prices on Patek Philippe’s perpetual-calendar watches can approach, or exceed, $100,000. (Click on the images below for larger images.)
Movement: Patek Philippe 324 S QA LU 24H, automatic; diameter = 36 mm; thickness = 5.78 mm; 347 parts; 34 jewels; 10 bridges Gyromax balance; 28,800 vph; Spiromax balance spring; central winding rotor in 21K gold, unidirectional winding; 45-hour power reserve; Patek Philippe Seal
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; annual calendar with day of the week, month, and date; moon-phase indication; 24-hour time indication
Case and bracelet: Stainless steel, diameter = 40.5 mm, thickness = 11.27 mm; sapphire crystal front and back, screw-down crown, water-resistant to 120 meters; on stainless steel bracelet with Nautilus fold-over clasp.
Dial and hands: Black or silvery white dial on brass plate; gold applied hour markers with white luminescent coating; day, month, and date apertures; 24-hour and moon-phase subdial at 6 o’clock
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