“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Patek Philippe at Watches and Wonders 2023

Patek Philippe presented 17 novelties at the Watches and Wonders 2023 at all levels of complexity: grand complications, complications and time-only models. Beyond delivering the usual wow-factor, for the first time since I can remember, a watch brand managed to create a ladies’ piece that got pinched by the boys immediately.

The Patek Philippe booth is a world unto itself. Just like last year, it was visible from a distance. Once you’ve solved the puzzles and got through the gates, a reasonably quiet oasis (by Watches of Wonders standards) opens up with a waiting room and a circular display of exceptional pieces and the novelties. No matter how much time you spend inside, it is never enough to embrace the experience. This holds true for the windows as well as the touch and feel session for the novelties. 

The line-up in 2023 included models at all levels of complexity, but sharing the same demand for exceptional quality. Below is a selection of pieces made for everyday use.


Probably the most iconic line of Patek Philippe was extended by a number of new references this year.

Calatrava Date, Sweep Seconds Ref. 6007G

Based on the same calibre (Cal. 26‑330 S C) as my favourite from last year, the Calatrava 5226G – Time & Date, the manufacture presented the modern Calatrava Date, Sweep Seconds in three references 6007G-001, 6007G-010, 6007G-011 for yellow, red and sky blue colour versions respectively. The case is made of white gold and has the dimensions of 40mm in diameter and 9.17mm in height. The central ‘carbon’ motif on the dial continues on the strap as an embossed pattern.

Ladies Calatrava Joaillerie Ref. 4997/200R-001

In 2019, Patek Philippe renewed the Ref. 4897 ladies’ model from 2009. Adjusting to the changing tastes, the case was enlarged by 2mm to 35mm, and the movement was upgraded from the 4Hz handwound Cal. 215 to the 3Hz automatic Cal. 240. It came with a beautiful guilloché lacquered dial in colour choices of brown, midnight blue, cream and silvery grey. This year a new colour variation was introduced: purple guilloché waves run under fifty layers of lacquer matched with a rose gold case and rose-gilt powdered hour markers. The bezel is set with 76 IF Top Wesselton diamonds.

Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5924G

The company’s Pilot style watches were introduced in 2015 with travel time functionality. For the first time since the line’s debut, a chronograph function is added to the collection by keeping the original travel time function. It is provided by the automatic 4 Hz Calibre CH 28‑520 C FUS, which has powered the Nautilus 5990 since 2014, thus the dial layout is very similar but of course in different style. It features the date sub-dial at 12 o’clock, central seconds hand and a 60 minute counter for the chronograph display, solid sword-shaped hands for the local time and a skeletonized hand for the home hours. The local time is set forwards and backwards by the recessed pushers on the left side of the case. Day and night indication is at 3 and 9 o’clock. The timepiece was presented in two colour variations: the Ref. 5924G-001 sunburst blue-grey dial and the Ref. 5924G-010 khaki green lacquered dial, both in a 42mm diameter and 13.05mm high white gold case. 

Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Ref. 5225R-001

Another travel model, yet showing time in a 24-hour scale was introduced in the Calatrava family. Based on the 3.7mm thin 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement it enables indicating local and home time on a 24-hour scale. Setting the local time is far more user-friendly than on the previously shown Travel Time Chronograph. By pulling the crown to the second position, one can set the solid local hour hand bi-directionally clockwise and counterclockwise. The third crown position allows setting the time while stopping the seconds hand. The 42mm diameter and 9.85 mm high case is made of rose gold, just like the luminescent coated numerals and hour markers. With its thinness, legible and aesthetic face (although you need to get used to reading time on a 24h scale) and the easy adjustment, the timepiece is a perfect travel companion.


The same colour tones dominate the next novelty in the Complications family, the Flyback Chronograph, Annual Calendar Ref. 5905R. One of Patek Philippe’s most recognisable dial layouts characterised by the easily read large annual calendar apertures at the top third of the timepiece, the long indexes and the multi-purpose sub-dial at 6 o’clock has been around since the early 2000s. Depending on the reference, the sub-dial displays another time-zone and moon-phases (Ref. 5205) or chronograph elapsed time (Ref. 5960, Ref. 5905, Ref. 5961). Due to the metal selection (rose gold), the slightly warmer blue sunburst dial and the clearer sub-dial (60 minutes counter only), the 2023 Flyback Chronograph, Annual Calendar Ref. 5905R became a very elegant model. High chronometry is guaranteed by the 4 Hz self-winding Caliber CH 28‑520 QA 24H with 45+ hours running reserve.


The Aquanaut has been derived from the Nautilus in 1997 as a less formal, more sporty option. This was the first Patek Philippe timepiece to come with a rubber strap. This year’s novelties include a chronograph and two beautiful pieces primarily for women.

Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968R

Based on the same CH 28‑520 calibre family as the Flyback Chronograph Annual Calendar Ref. 5905R, the Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968R displays elapsed time in the same layout: a central flyback second hand and a 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. This version of the movement is identified as CH 28-520 C/528 and provides a date function on top of the column wheel driven flyback chronograph (activated by a vertical disk clutch). The case is made of rose gold and it measures 42.2mm in diameter and 11.9 mm in height.

Aquanaut Luce Ref. 5268/200R

The first Aquanaut for ladies was issued in 2004 and in the past almost two decades it has featured both mechanical and quartz movements. The name ‘Luce’ comes from the Italian word for light and refers to the reflections caused by gemstones that typically surround these models. The time and date displaying novelty Aquanaut Luce Ref. 5268/200R falls into this circle with its 48 diamonds on the octagonal bezel. The taupe coloured dial is embossed with the Aquanaut pattern, the numerals are gold appliqués. The dimensions of the rose gold case (38.8mm diameter, 8.5mm height) make it very comfortable to wear. The movement is the Caliber 26‑330 S C that also provides a date function displayed at 3 o’clock.

Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R

Being a Luce, but not sparkling via diamonds, the astonishing Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R has tricked us. Although intended for ladies, it got immediately noticed by the men in the room (including our photographer) with eyes wide open. The annual calendar function provided by the Caliber 26‑330 S QA LU surfaces over the Aquanaut’s typical embossed dial in two sub-dials (one for months, another for day of the week), a date aperture at 6 o’clock and a moon-phase indicator at 12 o’clock. The blue-grey and rose gold colour mix is fantastic and the different polished-brushed finished surfaces amplify the visual experience even further. No wonder that all human beings regardless of gender have jumped on it at the presentation.


The last piece in my selection is the Gondolo Serata Ref. 4962/200R. Patek Philippe created the Gondolo collection for models that do not follow the ‘normal’ round silhouette. The novelty is an elegant ladies’ piece with a curved, elongated shape that feels very comfortable on the wrist. Smooth warm tones dominate: it features a rose gold case with a solid case back, 94 brilliant-cut spessartites (orange-red form of the gemstone garnet) set in a gradient and a brown brushed and lacquered dial with matte floral motifs. It received a satinated calf-skin strap with a matching chocolate brown colour. It is powered by the Calibre E 15 quartz movement.

Photo credits: Loupiosity.com
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