Patek Philippe today announced the release of the Ref. 7234G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, a medium-sized version of the Ref. 5524G launched five years ago. The watch’s case size has a more unisex appeal, although Patek says it’s aimed at ladies. It is presented now with a white gold case and blue lacquered dial are very much like its big brother from 2015. This release follows on from the Ref. 7234R in rose gold that was released in 2018 and Ref. 7234A steel pilot’s watch with the sunburst blue dial released during the Grand Exhibition in Singapore.
To recap, the Ref. 5524G was unveiled at Baselworld and marked the launch of a new Calatrava Pilot family that has since added a clutch of new models including the ungainly Ref. 5520P-001 Alarm Travel Time from 2019. The Ref. 5524G was inspired by a pilot’s watch models that the venerable Swiss brand made in the 1930’s, although the two watches looked nothing like each other. Capable of showing two time zones, the watch was distinct and was nothing like the watches Patek had produced in the years leading up to this event. It stood apart from its sporty brethren – the Nautilus and the Aquanaut – and would soon become a popular choice with those looking for a luxury travel companion.
The new 7234G has a white gold case that’s 37.5 mm in diameter and 10.78 mm thick, placing it firmly in the realm of unisex watches. The round case has a slightly beveled bezel and the caseband merges seamlessly into the lugs. It has a screw-down crown and is water-resistant to 60 meters. The blue lacquer dial has large applied white gold numerals with SuperLuminova coating and the date is indicated within a sub-dial at 6 o’ clock. Instead of a 24-hour GMT hand, Patek uses two hour hands – one luminous and the other skeletonized - to display the dual time zones. The skeletonized hand indicates home time can be hidden (behind the luminous hour hand) when it’s not required.
Two pushers on the flank are used to move the luminous local-time hour hand clockwise (with the lower pusher) or counterclockwise (upper pusher) in one-hour increments. During these adjustments, the local time hand is disconnected from the movement, so the accuracy of time displayed by the minute and seconds hands is not compromised. Both time zones have separate day/night indicators (‘Local’ window at 9 o'clock for local time, ‘Home’ window at 3 o'clock for home time). The date advances in both directions when the local time is set so that no correction is needed here, although Patek provides a stylus to change the date via a recessed button on the caseband.
A patented safety system prevents any accidental adjustments of the local time setting. To actuate the pusher, one needs to unlock it first with a quarter turn. To unlock, simple turn in the opposition direction – the fluting on the bezel really helps here.
The watch is powered by the in-house movement 324 S C FUS. The self-winding mechanism has a gold oscillating weight with circular graining. The bridges are decorated with a côtes de Genève finish and has beveled and polished edges. It is made up of 294 parts and the escapement uses a Spiromax hairspring made of Silinvar, which is derived from temperature-resistant silicon. The movement has a maximum power reserve of 45 hours.
The watch is paired with a navy blue calf-leather strap and an additional vintage brown calf-leather strap, both with white gold prong buckles. The price of this watch is available on request.