Patek Philippe CALATRAVA pilot travel time test

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time watch is designed to be the ideal companion for travelers. Does this model inspired by the little-known Patek Philippe pilot watch meet the requirements? Jens Koch of WatchTime USA explored the watch in this in-depth test in the WatchTime archive.

Patek Philippe has completely transformed one aspect of itself with Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. When the Geneva-based company launched its first platinum model in 2015, it caused a huge sensation. As a unique specimen, unlike the very popular sports models in its Nautilus and Aquanaut series, Patek Philippe is mainly known for its classic designs. Now, traditional brands like Patek Philippe can find inspiration from its rich history without having to create new things. Calatrava Pilot Travel Time originated in a little-known part of the company’s history-its own pilot watch. referee. The 5524R has eye-catching fluorescent numbers and hands, reminiscent of the design of Patek Philippe’s vintage aviator watches in the 1930s.

This so-called “GMT” function is very common in fine watches, usually with a dedicated 24-hour hand, adjusted in hourly increments through the crown. If the 12-hour hand can be adjusted independently, it proves that travel is more practical. But this means pulling the crown out to the proper position, which is not always easy. If you pull the crown out to the wrong position, you may end up changing the minute hand by mistake and lose the correct time. Moreover, the pointer of the second time zone can usually only be adjusted forward. For example, if you want to go to the next time zone to the west, you must move the hour hand forward 23 hours, which will cause the date to advance, and then you must also correct it by moving it forward by 30 days.

Unlike the white gold model with a matte blue dial and light-colored case, this 2018 rose gold model emphasizes elegance-the warm color of the case and the sunburst finish on the dial support the watch. And the gradient from brown to black, as well as other details, such as applied rose gold numbers and rose gold fork buckles with luminous coating. These functions combine to present a unique and elegant pilot watch. The retro-style numbers and the two crown-shaped buttons on the left provide additional features and indicate that this timepiece offers additional functions-in this case, an easy-to-use second time zone.

Patek Philippe found a solution to these problems. Essentially, this involves the two buttons of Travel Time, which allow the local time to be adjusted in two directions, and the two day/night indicators on the dial that can visually read the two times in a 12-hour format. In addition, when setting the local time, the date will advance in both directions, so there is no need to correct it here. Similarly, just like our example above, if you go to the next time zone to the west, pressing the upper button will correctly display the two time and date. Compared with the 24-hour hand of home time, Patek Philippe uses two 12-hour hands. The advantage is that it can “hide” the second hand when not traveling, making the dial cleaner and easier to read.

This is not the first time this movement uses this feature-it powers the classic Calatrava model and is used in combination with a chronograph for Aquanaut and Nautilus. Now, for the first time, Patek Philippe has equipped Calatrava Pilot with a system designed to prevent accidental time zone adjustments. The correction pusher can be locked in place by turning a quarter clockwise. Rotate a quarter counterclockwise to release them for use-a cool feature that gives the mover a mysterious aura. The risk of activating the button in the unlocked position is very low, especially since gold watches are not usually heavily used. If the quarter turn is too complicated, you can also leave the pusher in the unlocked position.

But the feel of pressing the push rod and bayonet lock is very comfortable, and it is hardly regarded as uncomfortable or difficult. Both are easy to use and work smoothly. The button has a good pressure point, so even without looking at the dial, you can easily judge when the hand is moving forward. Patek Philippe provides a special stylus for adjusting the date on a recessed button. We found that it is better to set the date using the local time pusher. This may take longer, but eliminates the risk of scratching the gold case with the stylus.

The crown has only one pull-out position, which simplifies the operation. Unfortunately, there is no hacking mechanism for more accurate time settings for travel time. best Patek Philippe has added this practical function to its newer movement-unfortunately it is not here, because the hands indicating the time are very easy to read. The high contrast and a large number of luminous coatings on the hour and minute hands and the digital hour markers ensure optimal legibility. The day/night indicators are clearly labeled and easily identified by color: dark blue for night and white for daytime. Sports view.

Due to the transparent sapphire back cover, there are many things to see on the back. The self-made movement 324 SC FUS equipped with an automatic winding device is equipped with a round grained gold oscillating weight. The splint is decorated with Côtes de Genève finish and beveled polished edges. The screw head is carefully polished internally by Patek Philippe. This once again explains why Patek Philippe watches need such a high price-each timepiece has an impressive hand-made and hand-modified.

Here are some highlights and innovations: Spiromax hairsprings are made of Silinvar, which is derived from high-temperature silicon with an oxidized outer layer. This makes the balance spring almost unaffected by the temperature between -10 and +60 degrees Celsius, which is produced using a photolithography process on a wafer-like integrated circuit. We have the opportunity to test this extremely robust spri

Wu. Unlike a metal spring, it can be pulled away from its original shape, but it will always return to its original shape. The impact has almost no impact. Only when the spring was almost completely straightened with tweezers, did it eventually break into many pieces.

From the relatively low power reserve of 35 to 45 hours, it can be seen that the basic movement itself is from the previous generation. For some time, Patek Philippe has been relying on the Gyromax balance wheel and fine adjustment through the balance weight, so that the hairspring can expand and contract freely to improve the effect. The Patek Philippe seal sets standards for decoration and sets strict specifications for rate accuracy. These watches must display an average rate result of -3 to +2 seconds per day. Their watchmakers adjust the watches in all six positions, which is rare in the industry. On the timing machine, Calatrava Pilot showed an excellent average speed of +1.5 seconds per day. The maximum deviation (8 seconds) between positions is only an average value.

But the finishing quality of the case, dial, hands and strap is excellent in every respect. Even if you use the watchmaker’s magnifying glass to observe carefully, you will find that the polished surface of the case is flawless, the dial has a fine sunburst finish, and a calfskin strap with perfect stitching, which wraps around the wrist very comfortably. Although the 42mm case diameter is large for Patek Philippe, it wears well on the wrist. The pin buckle matches the pilot’s watch scheme, which is beautiful and easy to use when fastened. Generally speaking, we prefer this type of fork buckle to most folding buckles, which are usually either pressed into the arm or difficult to operate.

A less exciting feature of Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is its price of $49,560, but this is still within the normal range of Patek Philippe gold watches with complications. For this price, buyers can rest assured to obtain excellent surface treatment and excellent value. Although Calatrava Pilot does not reach the same after-sale price as the steel Aquanaut Travel Time (almost twice the new purchase price), it will not immediately depreciate by 30% like other brands.

Our test watch convinced us in all aspects-its attractive, easily recognizable and slightly sporty design, practical and easy-to-use second time zone and clever lock button, as well as superb execution and every detail . There are no obvious weaknesses, and for travel, it proves to be easy to use and easy to read. The price is appropriate and justified by maintaining its high value. Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is worth recommending as an excellent travel watch, not just for air travel. Ref. 5370P-011


Manufacturer: Patek Philippe SA, Chemin du Pont-du-Centenaire 141, 1228 Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland
Reference number: 5524R
Functions: hour, minute, second, second time zone, day/night display of home and local time, hand date
Movement: Internal movement 324 SC FUS, automatic, 28,800 vph, 29 jewels, quick setting of the date via embedded buttons, balance weight on Gyromax balance wheel, Spiromax hairspring (Silinvar), Incabloc shock absorber, column wheel, Diameter = 31 mm, height = 4.9 mm, 35 to 45 hours power reserve
Case: Rose gold, flat sapphire crystal without anti-glare treatment, fully threaded back cover with sapphire crystal window, water resistance 60 meters
Strap and buckle: calfskin strap with rose gold prong buckle
Rate result (deviation in seconds per 24 hours):
Dial +6 dial down +2
Crown up 0
Crown down +1
Crown left +2
Crown right -2
Maximum deviation 8
Average deviation +1.5
Average amplitude:
Plane position 276°
Hanging position 249°
Dimensions: diameter = 42 mm, height = 10.8 mm, weight = 152 grams

Strap and buckle (maximum 10 points): exquisitely stitched calfskin strap with high-quality fork buckle 9
Operation (5): The crown and buttons are easy to use. A stylus is provided for the embedded date button. 4
Case (10): perfectly polished surface and neat locking button 9
Design (15): Patek Philippe has opened up a new path with this sporty pilot’s watch design. 14
Legibility (5): It is easy to read due to good contrast and large luminous coating. 5
Wearing comfort (10): The case, strap and buckle fit the wrist very comfortably. 10
Movement (20): Excellent decoration, fine regulator and patented silicon balance spring, but no hacking mechanism. 18
Scoring results (10): Six-digit adjustment, small deviations in the positive interval, but significant differences between each individual. 7
Total value (15): expensive but good value for money. Excellent ability to maintain value. 13
Total score: 89 points