Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands-On

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands-On

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands On   hands on

Two high-complication steel "sport" watches from Patek Philippe were the major hits for the brand at the 2014 edition of Baselworld. People get a bit more excited about steel Patek timepieces because they have historically been keen to increase in value due to their rarity. Today, you don't frequently find complicated steel Patek Philippe timepieces, so the availability of two new ones gets collectors a bit excited. Today, we take a hands-on look at the new Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960/1A.

During the Baselworld 2014 show, we spent some time debuting and discussing the this new steel version of the 5960 here. In that piece you can read a bit more about the history of the 5960 series, as well as why this family is important to Patek Philippe. In short, when the 5960 collection debuted in 2006, it marked the first ever in-house made automatic chronograph movement–in addition to being offered in platinum. Interestingly enough, this new 5960/1A seems to mark the end of all gold or platinum 5960 watches that will be produced, "replacing" them as Patek Philippe describes it.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands On   hands on

So the end of the precious metal era of the 5960 picks up with the era of the high-end steel models. And what a way to introduce steel than with such a marvelous new dial. I am not always Patek Philippe's biggest fan but I offer praise where praise is due. Here we find a silvery opaline face with red accents and those marvelous black oxidized white gold hour markers and hands. I always take an opportunity to mention my appreciation of white-dialed sport watches. Patek gets it very right emphasizing both legibility and attractiveness.

White dials are all about high contrast when one wants to get it right. Black or dark colored hands and hour markers are necessary–and they are hard to get right much of the time. However, Patek Philippe's special technique in oxidizing white gold to make it black is highly effective in creating crisp, matte black elements that are both nice to look at and offer excellent dial legibility. The black and white dial mixed with the two added red chronograph hands makes for a highly contemporary dial that is unlike most Patek Philippe timepieces out there.

Patek Philippe originally debuted these types of black oxidized gold hands and hour markers in 2011 on the reference 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (hands-on here). They have proved so popular that since then there seems to have been at least one new Patek watch to feature these each year. For 2014, we get them on the 5960, which really alters the look of this watch–which itself has always proved to be a controversial design. In my opinion this is easily the most interesting and eye-catching 5960 watch yet.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands On   hands on

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands On   hands on

Upon inquiring with the brand as to the intention behind the novel dial design we are simply reminded that Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern's goal is to produce more watches that will appeal to younger people. Apparently the message that too few modern Patek's appeal to the new (in age or status) rich is resonating with Patek's management. It is true, aside from models like the Nautilus, there are very few Patek Philippe models suitable for what you might consider an active lifestyle.

The almost race-style dial of the 5960/1A makes it the type of watch you don't need to wear with a suit or formal attire. At 40.5mm wide the watch isn't huge, but it is totally within the range of what most under 50 people are wearing. Even the numerals and fonts used on the dial are more modern that one might expect from a Patek. To that we offer a big thumbs up.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960 Steel Watch For 2014 Hands On   hands on

11 comments
Panagiotis
Panagiotis

If this were ANY other brand I bet the critics would have torn it apart...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

How can PP make the 2 hand chronograph sub-dial in the 5980/1a Nautilus (http://www.ablogtowatch.com/patek-philippe-nautilus-chronograph-59801a-white-dial-watch-hands-on/) look so good and the same idiom look so bad on this piece?

I like the sporty color scheme just fine, but the proportions (too heavy handed) of the sub-dial dark ring and the frames around the date displays ruin it for me. I appreciate that the power reserve indicator is unobtrusive, but why does it have to look like a polarity indicator? Nice that they are trying to appeal to a younger demographic, but I wish they had done a better job with this watch.

Thanatos42
Thanatos42

The month display is out of proportion to the day display.  Unworthy of a $55k timepiece.

JonathanEpp
JonathanEpp

$54,800? Wow! Pretty sure the Rolex Sky-Dweller in solid white or yellow gold is a way better offering for your money.  Same'ish complications, and it is under $50,000 CDN in solid gold.

jesvtine
jesvtine

Really like the face, but that band looks terrible, I think.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

This, or six Zenith Chronomaster 1969 El Primeros? Not that hard, is it?

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I am also not a Patek fanboi, but this is a very nice piece. I've said it many times (go back through my historical comments if you don't believe me) that every man should have a white dialled watch on a bracelet, and if you've got the affluence, this one makes a compelling argument.

I have the utmost respect for my fellow blog regular Ulysses, but on this watch we part ways; I am very much a fan of the oxidized gold look, although I do think there is no reason for it to be gold. I like the unique shaped calendar windows, and I love the bracelet. I agree that it is almost too polished, like it's been chromed or something, but not to say it looks cheap. Because it doesn't. I bet it feels amazing on the wrist.

What I don't like is the red accents. They just seem contrived here. This is, in essence, a sport watch, so why always red? Blue or green would have been much nicer, and set the watch further aside from any true peers, and remain just as sporty. And also, as I have said before, I am not a fan of this chrono layout. I don't find it attractive, or intuitive. I've seen it referred to as 'the proper way to display a chronograph' but I just don't get it. Maybe I'm just too used to a bi or tri compax layout that this just looks like work to read it properly.

All in, my niggles are minor and I'd love to have this one in the stable.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I stand by my original comments on this watch.  It could have been amazing.  I still have a problem with the dial colour scheme, the wonky windows at the top, the oxidised hands which make them look like cheap ion-plated crap (covering up the luminous beauty of white gold, what's the point), and the ugly font used on that sub-dial.  The bracelet is so shiny it looks like it was dipped in lacquer.  Interesting, yes; eye-catching, certainly; beautiful, no.  It's a Patek - they have set themselves a rather high bar with their previous efforts so this thing really doesn't stand a chance of making the grade.


Oh yeah, i'm loving the Michael Jackson look.