Undoubtedly one of the highlights of Baselworld 2015 and one that has everyone talking, because the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, reference 5524, is the first Patek Philippe pilot’s watch for quite a time, and because it naturally resembles pieces by other brands with a strong tradition in the pilot’s watch sector. “It looks just like an IWC” was the most frequently-heard comment from journalists there. (Scroll down to the bottom for a comparison).
The Patek Philippe Pilot Travel Time adds a useful function to the basic pilot’s watch, an indicator for a second time zone. Patek Philippe’s patented two-time-zone mechanism enables the local-time hour hand to be moved forwards or back in one-hour increments using the two pushers, and when this is done, the local hour hand is disconnected from the going train. So precision is improved because you don’t stop the balance when changing local time. The watch fits the automatic calibre 324 S C FUS, with sweep seconds hand, and a subdial for the date. The date is adjusted by means of a corrector pusher on the caseband between 6 and 7 o’clock. The movement can be seen through the transparent caseback, with the customary superb finish of all components.
Dark blue dial
Unlike most pilot’s watches that are black, this piece has a dial in dark navy blue lacquer, with large applied Arabic numerals in while gold with generous SuperLuminova coating, as on the baton-style hands for local time. The home time is skeletonized and designed so that when the watch is set so that local time and home time are the same, the home time hand is below the local time hand.
Dual day/night indicator
There are two day/night indicators with small circular windows, one at 9 o’clock for local time, and one at 3 o’clock for home time.
Patented pusher lock
The time-zone adjustment pushers have a safety lock to prevent accidental adjustment of the local time hour setting. To be operated, the pusher is released by a quarter turn, and after adjustment, they can be locked with a quarter-turn in the other direction.
Case and strap
The case is 42 mm in diameter, 10.78 mm thick, in white gold. The strap is in vintage brown calfskin with top stitching, with a white-gold clevis prong buckle.
The Calibre CH 324 S C FUS movement has 294 components. It is automatic, with a rotor in 21-carat gold, and it runs at 28,800 vph, 4 Hertz.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, reference 5524, costs 42,000 Swiss francs.
Comparison between the new Patek Philippe pilot’s and IWC
Below, IWC, IW500419 Big Pilots St. Exupéry in platinum:
Below, the new Patek Philippe Pilot’s Watch:
Below, a vintage IWC: