In 1996 Patek Philippe debuted 5035R, a user-friendly calendar watch that required adjustment just once a year. Some 26 years later this has served as a blueprint for an evolving family of annual-calendar timepieces released by the venerable watch house across the years, each offering a new perspective on the era-defining complication.
Among these, the 5396R – unveiled in 2016 in celebration of the annual calendar’s 20th anniversary – stands out. While remaining true to the essence of its beloved progenitors, there are subtle, next-gen nuances that render this incarnation equal parts timely and timeless.
The case of the ref.5396's two iterations – in 18k white gold (ref: 5396G) with a grey sunburst dial and in 18k rose gold (ref: 5396R) with silvery-white opaline dial – share the elegantly curved lines of the Calatrava, Patek’s iconic dress watch. Simultaneously, its prominently cambered sapphire-crystal glass lends the watch volume, and perfectly showcases the artfully updated dial.
The beautifully crafted dial of the ref.5396 boasts an upper aperture showing the day of the week and month, while the lower-aperture date display elegantly encircles the moon-phase indicator in a layout that echoes mid-century Patek Philippe perpetual calendars. The time, meanwhile, is indicated by Dauphine-style hands, which point to a wreath of crisp 18k-gold Breguet numerals and minute markers.
Through the sapphire-crystal caseback, wearers can witness the raw ingenuity of the watch’s self-winding mechanism, which allows for 365-days of calendar information and only requires an annual adjustment from February to March, while the moonphase only requires correction every 122 years – truly an impressive span for a remarkably handsome timepiece.
An additional note for those in Australia: J Farren-Price, proudly a family owned business since 1942, is the largest Patek Philippe salon in the southern hemisphere, with a brand partnership spanning over 40 years. There is no better place to purchase your next esteemed Patek Philippe timepiece than at J Farren-Price Sydney (80 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia) - explore the collection online.