March 19, 2019
by Bilal Khan
New for 2019 is the Patek Philippe 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar watch, which debuts a new calendar function that displays the week number in addition to the day of the week. The watch comes in a steel case, which is always of note when we are talking about Patek Philippe. It’s another “quirky” Calatrava watch like the 6006G that goes a bit off the beaten path from the watches that Patek buyers demand most.
Keeping with ISO 8601 standards, Patek chose Monday to be the first day of the week, rather than Sunday, and the first week of the year is the one that includes January 4th. You’ll notice there are 53 week indicators on the inner ring, which takes into account those years that are 53 weeks long, rather than 52. The year 2020 will be one of these, so good timing.
To achieve this new complication, Patek Philippe modified the caliber 324 to create the new caliber 26-330. Measuring 26.6mm-wide and 4.82mm-thick, this new movement is about 1.5mm thicker than the base caliber 324. Beyond the weekly calendar complication, Patek made some refinements to the movement, including replacing the center second pinion and friction spring with a LIGA-fabricated system based on an anti-backlash third wheel. This boasts long split-slotted teeth that interact with the second pinion teeth in order to minimize the second hand from vibrating.
They also reworked the self-winding mechanism to improve efficiency and longevity. The movement operates at 28,800 vph and has a power reserve of between 35 and 45 hours. There are more developments to the movement that we will get into further detail on once we get hands-on with the piece.
The Patek Philippe 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar watch steel case measures 40mm-wide and 11.8mm-thick. Note the two-tiered lugs, which I can’t wait to see in person. Looking inward at the silver opaline dial keeps the months at the outer ring, weeks at the inner ring and then a break for the hour indices, which surround the day of week central dial. What I actually first took note of was the typography Patek used on the dial, and I was pleasantly surprised/amused to learn that it is based on the handwriting of a designer from the manufacture. The font is what I picture as being immaculately handwritten.
I love seeing pleasantly idiosyncratic releases from brands like Patek Philippe. This is a steel Calatrava that’s not a limited edition, and it debuts a new movement. It’s rare that all these circumstances would come together in one watch. I think the heart of the watch actually lies in the typography of the dial, and we will share our hands-on images with you soon. The price for this watch is 29,500 CHF. You can learn more at patek.com