With its new Ref. 5905P Annual Calendar Chronograph, Patek Philippe proves that refined combinations of trailblazing design and successful horological complications can result in totally new and distinctive timepieces. The metamorphosis begins with the dial that reflects the design of the Ref. 5205 Annual Calendar launched in 2010 but with new colors and further details is nonetheless original and unmistakable.
The outermost scale for the chronograph hand is adjoined by a crisply graduated minute scale. It is followed by a broad ring that accommodates the applied white-gold hour markers and – between 10 and 2 o'clock – the three aperture displays of the Annual Calendar. The date aperture at 12 o'clock is somewhat larger and embedded in a polished white-gold frame. At 6 o'clock, it is complemented by a large 60-minute chronograph counter and a small window for the day/night indicator just below the arbor of the hand. This configuration endows the technical aura of the Ref. 5905 with the timeless elegance of a typical Patek Philippe wristwatch. The hour and minutes hands that hover above the dial are fashioned in a novel Dauphine silhouette with three facets and a Superluminova coating on the center ridge. Together with the luminous 5-minute markers, they assure excellent legibility in the dark. The dial is available in navy blue and black versions: Blue underscores the elegance of the watch while black emphasizes its function as a technical time measurement instrument.
Both dials harmonize with the cool gloss of the prominent 42-millimeter platinum case. The round profiles of the bezel and caseband merge seamlessly with the gently curved lugs. The outer contours of the start/stop pusher, the crown, and the reset pusher are perfectly arranged along an arc parallel to the caseband. The case is crafted from solid platinum 950 in the manufacture's own ateliers and leaves nothing to be desired in terms of form and finissage. It takes nearly two weeks to produce a case. What starts out as a platinum bar cold-formed in a high-tonnage press ends up as a masterpiece that complies with all directives of the Patek Philippe Seal. And like all of the manufacture’s platinum cases, it features a flawless Top Wesselton diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock.
The round display back exposes the large and heavy 21K gold winding rotor which keeps the Annual Calendar Chronograph running continuously if it is regularly worn. It is artistically decorated as are the bridges – in this instance not with classic straight Geneva striping but instead with circular graining as an extension of the round pattern on the rotor.
It combines the function of a flyback chronograph with that of the annual calendar, two highly popular complications. The annual calendar is based on a patent granted to Patek Philippe in 1996. It is is a full calendar that automatically recognizes 30- and 31-day months. If the watch runs without interruption, only one manual correction is required each year at the transition from February to March. It displays the day of the week, the date, and the month, and it controls the day/night indicator. The chronograph mechanism of the new Ref. 5905P is just as modern. It remains true to the traditional column wheel for handling the start, stop, and reset commands. However, it controls the clamp of a vertical disk clutch rather than the lever of a horizontal wheel clutch. This solution is characterized by a high degree of reliability. It eliminates the risk of hand bounce or recoil when the chronograph is activated, because it does not rely on meshing wheels. Since the disk clutch works in a practically wear-free manner, the chronograph hand can double as a running seconds hand that does not negatively influence the rate accuracy of the movement. This is why the subsidiary seconds indication, commonplace in most chronographs, was omitted.
The new Ref. 5905 marks a further step forward in the evolution of Patek Philippe's Annual Calendar Chronographs: thanks to creative fine-tuning, it has a clearly distinctive new look. The manifestly elegant model with the blue dial comes with matching navy blue strap. A matt black alligator strap complements the version with the black dial. Both straps are secured with a platinum 950 prong buckle.