Patek Philippe is a renowned Swiss watch brand renowned for crafting exceptional timepieces since its establishment in 1839. Among its most sought-after watches is the Annual Calendar 5396, which boasts a sleek Calatrava-style case and an intricate annual calendar complication. This unique feature displays the day, date, month, moon phase, and a 24-hour indicator, and requires only one adjustment annually, at the end of February.
The 5396/1G-001 is a breathtaking version of this watch, with a luxurious 18k white gold case and bracelet and a mesmerizing blue dial. This masterpiece is a true testament to Patek Philippe’s commitment towards unparalleled horology and design.
Wristwatch Elegance: Style & Structure
This timepiece boasts a Calatrava-style case crafted from 18k white gold, measuring 38mm in diameter and 11.5mm in thickness. The five-row bracelet is expertly matched to the case, featuring a double folding deployment buckle. The blue dial is adorned with applied gold markers and transferred detailing, showcasing the day and month in windows at 12 o’clock, the date, moon phase, and 24-hour indicator in an aperture at 6 o’clock, as well as a centered sweep second hand.
The watch flaunts sapphire crystals on both sides, which allow for a clear view of the self-winding movement with an annual calendar and a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours. This timepiece’s design is both elegant and sophisticated, yet versatile and modern, featuring a classic Calatrava case with a sporty bracelet and a trendy blue dial. This watch caters to people who appreciate the convenience of an annual calendar, the beauty of a moon phase, and the precision of a Patek Philippe movement.
Its ability to match different outfits and styles makes it suitable for both formal and casual occasions.
Foundations of a Timepiece: Materials and Craft
This beautiful watch is crafted from 18K white gold, a luxurious and durable material that gives it a refined appearance. The polished finish on the case, bezel, and bracelet only adds to its elegant look. The dial features a striking contrast with its blue hue, accompanied by applied gold markers and transferred detailing.
The gold hands are shaped like a dauphine and match the classic style of the watch. The integral 18k white gold link bracelet is equipped with a double folding deployment buckle for a comfortable and secure fit. Sapphire crystal is present on both sides, protecting the watch from scratches and dust.
It’s water-resistant up to 30 meters, suitable for splashes and light rain, but not swimming or diving. The watch’s annual calendar function displays the day, date, month, moon phase, and 24-hour indicator on the dial. The annual calendar is automated, and it adjusts itself for months with 30 or 31 days.
However, manual correction is required once per year at the end of February. A central sweep seconds hand gives the watch a dynamic touch. This self-winding watch’s movement has a caliber 324 S QA LU 24H with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours. The movement is quite complicated and decorated, featuring a Gyromax balance, a Spiromax balance spring, and a 21K gold rotor. The display back provides a view of the movement, which enthusiasts will adore. Crafted with intricate functions and design, this watch is the epitome of sophistication and craftsmanship. It’s perfect for those who appreciate high-quality materials, precision, and elegance in their timepieces.
Movement and Accuracy
This watch features a remarkable mechanical automatic self-winding movement, boasting the precision of the renowned Patek Philippe caliber 324 S QA LU 24H. Its rhodium-plated design is adorned with fausses cotes embellishment and bears the prestigious Patek Philippe seal of quality. This sophisticated movement showcases an annual calendar function, effortlessly displaying the day, date, month, and moon phase, and requires only one annual adjustment at the end of February.
Additionally, it boasts a 24-hour indicator and a sweep seconds hand, providing an extra degree of useful functionality. With a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, this movement is reliable and accurate. It also features a clever hacking feature that halts the seconds hand when the crown is pulled out, ensuring consistent precision.
While there is no option for hand-winding, this timepiece is an outstanding symbol of excellence in watchmaking.
At the Heart of Time: Features and Complexities
This watch offers a range of impressive functions and complications, including an annual calendar feature, which automatically adjusts the date for months with 30 or 31 days, requiring only manual correction once a year at the end of February. The beautifully designed dial displays day, date, month, moon phase and 24-hour indicators, with the day and month shown in windows at 12 o’clock and the date, moon phase, and 24-hour indicator displayed in a subdial at 6 o’clock. Additionally, the watch boasts a sophisticated centered sweep second hand.
The watch is powered by a self-winding movement with a 21K gold rotor, providing a generous power reserve of 35 to 45 hours. The movement is visible through a stunning sapphire crystal case back. The white gold case measures 38mm in diameter, complemented by a five-row bracelet for an elegant aesthetic.
The blue dial with applied gold markers adds a touch of sophistication to the overall design. Would you like to learn more about the watch’s rich history, unique design features, or its current price?
Merging Style and Ease: A Comfortable Fit
The timepiece in question is a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary style. Its Calatrava-inspired case is paired with an eye-catching blue dial and a convenient annual calendar function. But it’s the white gold bracelet that really sets this watch apart, with its five rows of polished and brushed links that create a refined contrast.
The bracelet is comfortable and secure, thanks to the double folding deployment buckle. With a diameter of 38mm and a thickness of 11.5mm, the watch is versatile enough to suit most wrist sizes. It’s also water-resistant to 30 meters and has a sapphire crystal on both sides, allowing the wearer to admire the stunning blue dial and the intricate movement.
The dial is well-balanced and legible, with a centered sweep second hand that adds some dynamism. It also features windows for the day, date, month, moon phase, and 24-hour indicator. The movement is a self-winding caliber that boasts a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours and is highly decorated with a 21k gold rotor, a Gyromax balance, a Spiromax balance spring, and a Patek Philippe seal.
And don’t forget the annual calendar function, which displays the correct date regardless of the length of the month. In short, this timepiece offers both style and functionality, making it the perfect choice for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and elegant design.
Quantifying Quality: Price & Value in Perspective
The watch falls within the price range of $36,350 to $56,900, which largely depends on the seller, condition, and availability. It is categorized as a high-end luxury timepiece boasting impressive features like a moon phase, annual calendar, 24-hour indicator, and a stunning blue dial adorned with gold markers. Its self-winding movement has a power reserve of 45 hours and is considered a bit pricey when compared to similar watches in the same category.
Annual calendar watches are generally less expensive compared to their perpetual calendar counterparts that automatically adjust for leap years. Although this watch is quite expensive, other brands such as Omega, Longines, and Blancpain have annual calendar watches priced under $10,000 with different features, materials, and designs. In the end, the choice ultimately boils down to individual preference and budget.
Although the value for money of this particular watch is subjective, one cannot deny the sophistication, elegance, and craftsmanship that went into its making. It is a rare and exclusive model that showcases the innovation of its creator and may appreciate in value over time if well-maintained. If you’re in search of a watch that offers prestige, aesthetics, and functionality, then this watch may be worth considering.
However, if you prefer something that’s more versatile or affordable, there are other alternatives to explore. So, what’s your preference for an annual calendar watch?
The Good, The Bad: An Objective Analysis
The watch features a sophisticated self-winding movement with an annual calendar, displaying day, date, month, moon phase, and 24-hour indicators. Its Calatrava-style case is made of luxurious 18k white gold, beautifully complemented by its five-row matching bracelet. The bold blue dial is adorned with fine gold markers and intricate detailing, providing striking contrast with the white gold case and bracelet.
Additionally, the watch boasts protective sapphire crystals on both sides, showcasing its impressive movement. However, its high-end features come with a steep price tag ranging from $36,350 to $56,900. It has limited water resistance, rated at only 30 meters, and may not be versatile enough for casual or sporty occasions.
Plus, it requires manual adjustment annually at the end of February.
Clocking Out: Final Review
The Annual Calendar 5396 White Gold Blue Bracelet (5396/1G-001) is an exceptional watch, showcasing a blend of sophistication, practicality, and precise craftsmanship. Its white gold case and bracelet complement the blue dial with gold markers, while the self-winding movement features an annual calendar, moon phase, and 24-hour indicator. The watch boasts water resistance to 30 meters, a sapphire crystal, and a display back.
This timepiece is perfect for those who admire the classic Calatrava-style design and seek the convenience of an annual calendar with a once-a-year adjustment. Additionally, this rare and exclusive model from Patek Philippe has a high resale value, making it an excellent investment for potential buyers. However, it’s important to note that this watch may not suit everyone.
It comes with a high price tag of $56,900, and its 38mm diameter and 11.5mm thickness may not appeal to all wrist sizes or tastes. Some individuals may also find the dial to be too busy, displaying a lot of information in a small space. Therefore, we recommend this watch to those who are looking for a refined, versatile timepiece that can be worn on any occasion and appreciate the prestige and quality of Patek Philippe.
As for others, there may be more affordable and suitable alternatives in the market.