At Watches and Wonders 2023, Patek Philippe revealed the Aquanaut Collection’s first Annual Calendar. The patented Annual Calendar is a new and welcome addition to the Aquanaut Luce “modern casual chic” collection for women. Adding a non-gem-set model to Patek Philippe’s selection of complicated ladies’ watches, this rose gold timepiece features a blue-gray dial and matching strap.
The Aquanaut Luce collection, released in 2004, is a feminine reinterpretation of the original Aquanaut introduced in 1997. The collection features quartz watches in stainless steel with a variety of dial colors and matching straps (5267/200A-001, 5267/200A-010, 5267/200A-011), as well as a self-winding watch in rose gold with a taupe dial and integrated strap (5268/200R-010). In addition, there is a version with the most intricate gemsetting (Haute Joaillerie) (ref. 5062/450R-001) and a bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds and a two-tone engraved mother-of-pearl dial (ref. 5062/450R-002) for a more refined look (5072R-001).
Patek Philippe has spent a lot of time and effort improving its “casual chic” offering for women, and the Aquanaut Luce is a prime example of this. The new Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R-001, featuring the famous patented Patek Philippe Annual Calendar mechanism (1996) – a complete day/date/month calendar requiring only one manual correction per year, will be presented by the Manufacture following the Aquanaut Luce Travel Time dual time zone watch Ref. 5269/200R-001.
A brand-new, high-efficiency, self-winding movement
The new self-winding 26-330 S QA LU calibre, with central rotor in 21K gold, and the additional Annual Calendar module with moon phases are all housed in a 39.9 mm diameter case. This watch is unique in that the Annual Calendar module is inverted in the case, giving the calendar indications a different layout than in other Patek Philippe watches with this complication. A date aperture sits at 6 o’clock, a moon phase aperture sits at 12, and day and month subdials sit at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively. The moon phase indicator is so accurate that it only varies from the actual lunar cycle by one day every 122 years.
The calibre 26-330, first seen in the Calatrava Weekly Calendar Reference 5212A-001 and featuring a number of technical innovations and optimisations for performance and dependability (such as a patented anti-backlash wheel to prevent vibrations in the seconds hand and a patented clutch wheel to improve the efficiency and longevity of the self-winding function), serves as the basis for the architecture of the movement. To fine-tune to the nearest second, a “stop seconds” feature is included (which instantly stops the balance when the crown is pulled into the handsetting position). When the crown is pressed firmly, the mechanism sends a tiny jolt to the balance, setting it in motion once more.
The perfect balance of casual style and readability
The polished and satin finishes complement the octagonal shape and iconic design of the Aquanaut rose gold case and bezel. The steel Aquanaut Luce 5067A-025 is available from 2018 to 2019, and its dial and strap feature an elegant blue-gray colour that complements the model’s “casual chic” aesthetic. The rose gold applied Arabic numerals and baton-style hands on the embossed Aquanaut pattern dial are coated in white luminescent material for easy readability in any light. In addition to its high resistance to traction, wear, salt water, and ultraviolet rays, the integrated composite strap featuring the Aquanaut pattern echoing that of the dial stands out for its exceptional comfort. It has four separate clasps, including a Patek Philippe patent-protected fold-over clasp.
Patek Philippe sure knows how to add the casual chic to a timepiece!