Patek Philippe unveils the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G
Five years after the launch of the Ref. 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, Patek Philippe has unveiled a more diminutive-sized version of the watch. Aimed at women, although the watch definitely has a unisex appeal, the new Ref. 7234G in white gold follows on from 2018’s Ref. 7234R in rose gold and the Ref. 7234A steel pilot’s watch with the sunburst blue dial released during the Grand Exhibition in Singapore
It was at the annual Baselworld watch exhibition in 2015 that we first got a glimpse of the Ref. 5524G, a sporty Calatrava model that was supposedly inspired by a lesser-known pilot’s watch the Swiss brand made in the 1930’s, although the 5524G looked nothing like the 1930’s timepiece. It was unlike Patek’s more celebrated sports models – the Nautilus and the Aquanaut – and after the initial outrage from collectors who questioned Patek’s legitimacy in making pilot’s watches, the watch’s sales fared fairly well for the brand. The 5524G also marked the launch of a new Calatrava Pilot family that has since expanded to seven references including today’s release and the ungainly Ref. 5520P-001 Alarm Travel Time from 2019.
The new 7234G has a white gold case that’s 37.5-mm wide 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 30 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 skeletonised - to display the dual time zones. The skeletonised 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). 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 watch is powered by Calibre 324 S C FUS which is made up of 294 parts. The self-winding mechanism has a gold oscillating weight with circular graining that amasses a maximum power reserve of 45 hours. And as is typical of a Patek Philippe movement, the bridges are decorated with a côtes de Genève finish and has beveled and polished edges. 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.