Patek Philippe added the first chronograph-equipped model in its sport-luxury Aquanaut family in 2018, delivering it in a steel case, a gradient black textured dial, and a choice of robust rubber straps. This year, the manufacture adds more color and a higher echelon of luxury to the model, with two new references in white-gold cases and two popular, contemporary colorways, midnight blue and khaki green.
The white-gold cases of both new references of the Aquanaut Chronograph (Ref. 5968G-001 in midnight blue, Ref. 5986G-010 in khaki green) measure 42.2 mm in diameter and 11.9 mm thick and sport the gently-rounded octagonal bezel that is emblematic of the collection, itself drawing influences from Patek Philippe’s more upscale Nautilus family. Alternating satin- and polished finishes adorn its surfaces and flanks, its two-position screw-down crown helps ensure a water-resistance of 120 meters, and its sloping lugs integrate seamlessly into the color-coordinated strap. The crown is embedded between the shoulders of a curving crown protector, which in turn is bordered on each side by two elongated chronograph pushers.
Both dials feature the familiar embossed pattern of the Aquanaut range; the midnight blue dial has a sunburst finish that shades from blue in the center to black at the edges, while the khaki green dial has a more matte, varnished surface. White gold is used for the applied Arabic numerals and indices and the baton hour and minute hands, all of which are coated with Super-LumiNova. Like their 2018 predecessors, the dials feature a 60-minute chronograph-counter subdial at 6 o’clock subtly shaped to echo the softly curved octagon shape of the bezel, and distinguish the chronograph indications (the central sweep seconds, the 1/4-second scale on the flange, and the hand and indices of the 60-minute subdial) in contrasting white. The date appears in a small window at 3 o’clock.
On display behind the sapphire caseback is Patek Philippe’s manufacture Caliber CH 28-520 C, with automatic winding and an integrated flyback chronograph function that combines a classic column-wheel control with a modern vertical disk clutch. The latter device is virtually friction-free and prevents the chronograph hands from bouncing and rebounding when the stopwatch is started and, as an added bonus, allows the center-mounted chronograph hand to also be used as a continually running seconds hand. Thus, using the flyback capability while the chronograph is off allows the user to synchronize the watch with a time signal in the manner of a stop-seconds or “hacking” function. This capability also explains the absence of a small seconds subdial on the dial for running seconds. The 21k gold decorated rotor is etched with Patek’s Calatrava cross emblem.
The dial’s embossed checkerboard pattern is echoed on the matching-colored strap, which Patek says is made of an ultra-resistant composite material that can withstand extreme wear and ultraviolet radiation. It fastens to the wrist with a patented fold-over clasp, made of 18k white gold like the case, which is secured by four independent catches. Both versions of the new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph are priced at $69,194.