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One for the Ages

Patek Philippe’s 5396R Annual Calendar strikes the perfect balance between the timeless and the timely

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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.

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