Patek Philippe Chronograph Annual Calendar 5960/1A Watch In Steel

Patek Philippe Chronograph Annual Calendar 5960/1A Watch In Steel

Patek Philippe Chronograph Annual Calendar 5960/1A Watch In Steel   watch releases

For top-tier brands like Patek Philippe, exotic materials such as gold, in all its hues, and platinum are almost exclusively used when it comes to their more complicated models, while steel is primarily reserved for the sportier and/or simpler pieces, like the Nautilus and the Aquanaut. The irony this creates is that once steel–this most ordinary material–is coupled with a flagship reference, it immediately gains a status of desirability, due to it being systematically ignored in the past. In this environment exotic pales into usual, and ordinary becomes special. At Baselworld 2014, Patek Philippe has announced that it terminated the manufacturing of its very complex–and equally desirable–annual calendar automatic chronograph Reference 5960 in any and all precious metals, and from now on will offer it exclusively in stainless steel. That is a bold decision to make, and one that likely caught even the brand's more cult followers off-guard.

As we were undertaking the research for our article about Patek Philippe's rarest and most expensive watches ever, we clearly saw that a previously ignored or scarcely available material can play a key role in multiplying the value of just about any reference. Whether that will be the case with the 5960/1A and the other piece Patek announced in steel (namely the 5990/1A), only time will tell, but for now let's see step-by-step what this 2014 novelty offers.

Patek Philippe Chronograph Annual Calendar 5960/1A Watch In Steel   watch releases

The 5960 is an important reference in Patek history as it was the brand's first in-house automatic chronograph–an important achievement in any brand's lifetime. It offered a rather unusual "mono-counter" layout at 6 o'clock with indications for the chronograph hours and minutes, as well as a day-night indicator, while in the upper circumference of the dial it featured three apertures for the date, day and month displays of the annual calendar. As far as aesthetics are concerned, this new steel version offers a number of subtle, yet effective changes over its more precious predecessors.

In essence, the result is a somewhat more casual, dare we say sportier appearance, something that is a fairly unusual sight in the case of a reference which albeit always had some modern flair working for it, had also always stayed on the more formal side of things. The fonts used for the numbers of the chronograph subdials have been changed from the previously rather formal, and certainly more restrained-looking style, to a more modern alternative, which with its luminous paint definitely plays an important role in spicing things up quite a bit. The hands were redesigned too: done in black oxidized gold, they feature three facets to match the hour markers and also have a healthy amount of luminescent coating to improve legibility under dark conditions.

Patek Philippe Chronograph Annual Calendar 5960/1A Watch In Steel   watch releases

Furthermore, all date apertures are now surrounded by distinctive applied frames, also in black oxidized white gold, while the chronograph's display also sports black appliques, designed to further enhance the depth of the dial, and also to add some "visual heft" to the subdials. Speaking of which, as a slight yet considerable difference on the steel model, the chronograph's hour counter has been moved from its previous location to the circumference of the subdial, while the two 30-minute scales of the chronograph have replaced it on the concentric circles of the subdial. Again, a subtle modification, but one that lends the entire chronograph-section a more balanced look.

10 comments
Hacker4748
Hacker4748

Shiny beauty. Never been much of a classic Patek fan but this one really deviates from what I perceive as "classic Patek". The price is also not bad for a Patek, even though I still cannot afford it. :-)

emenezes
emenezes

The fit and finish seem to be superb, but the design seems to be rather off.


I love complications, but not when they overwhelm the design.  It's not the case here, with the calendar fitting neatly together and harmonizing with the rest of the dial (though are the outer edge of the windows of a larger radius than the scale?).  The day/night indicator is pretty discreet.  I can always do without the power reserve indicator, but at least it's rather conspicuous.


I also like how the chronograph hours and minutes were grouped in a single dial.  However, afraid of giving away my OCD tendencies (then again, aren't all watch lovers a bit OCD?), hours should have a small hand and the inner scale, minutes a long hand and the outer scale.


But I'm afraid that it's the details that marr its promising design.  As others said, the fonts are... meh, if not too busy.  The shape of the main hands are uninspiring, however the chronograph hands look much better, with a theme that should have carried over the main hands.  BTW, does the chronograph minute hand also double as seconds hand when the chronograph is not reset?


From Patek Philippe or at this price, I'd expect a watch near perfection, alas it ain't.

marbstiu
marbstiu

If this was released in the "Only Watch" auction people wouldnt complain as much

marbstiu
marbstiu

at least now the day and month are equidistant from each other, unlike the previous gold / plat versions

spiceballs
spiceballs

Lovely strap, crown and case but have to agree - face, "could try harder".

pinkdela
pinkdela

Not bad, not great either. A very mediocre offering, White and red dont work for me in this one. The case is really nice, even if it´s a little big for me,  I would prefer it at 38mm. But the dial seems to busy and the red details are not in harmony. The bracelet is a major deception on my point of view. This was full of good intentions but failed in the conception.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

The case shape is beautiful and elegant.  The movement complications are numerous and all inside a very neat looking package.  The dial design, however, is a bit all-over the place.  Sub-dial font is quite ugly and I swear i've seen it used on many a Zenith.  The curvatures of the upper part of the day and month windows don't appear to match the overall curve of the dial - seems a bit sloppy.

DavidasaurusRex
DavidasaurusRex

I really wish Patek used a different typeface for the day/month. It is horrible. The subdial is too crowded and looks hastily designed. Patek really dropped the ball with this watch.

Boothby17
Boothby17

I have to say I prefer the platinum version with the grey dial, then again who wouldn't. I'm not a massive fan of the red on a patek, it's like the one they did for the onlywatch auction last year. Patek should stick to classical elegance, something they do like no one else can

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Nice, but it's never been on my lust radar; I don't actually have a lot of appreciation for that consolidated chronograph. I do love the date layout though. But what's the deal with black oxidized gold? Seriously. Are the hands also made from pure mermaid eyelids, but they decided to paint them? I have a distaste for that kind of throwaway luxury: if you want a gold watch, have a gold watch. But what's the point in ruining a precious metal like that? So you can just tell people it's gold? Please.

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