The return of the king diameter in the field of watchmaking

PATEK PHILIPPE
5269R – Aquanaut Travel Time
Quartz movement, rose gold, 30,000 francs

Let’s grant it the two tenths of a millimeter that separate this new Aquanaut from the 39 mm required for this family reunion. The eye won’t tell the difference, neither can we. This model is a precipitate of Patek Philippe spirit. Firstly, it’s an Aquanaut, a line born in 1997 as a response from Patek Philippe to its Nautilus, so as not to put all sport chic in the same case. This reference is equipped with a new quartz caliber, equipped with a dual time zone operated by the crown. Proof that the Geneva house takes care of quartz and makes it evolve. A message sent to female customers, more sensitive to practicality than male customers.

5269R – Aquanaut Travel Time. — © Patek Philippe

ROLEX
Perpetual 1908
Automatic movement, platinum, 29,600 francs

Platinum case on alligator strap. Glacier blue dial with guilloché grain of rice motif, bordered with sautéed guilloché fillets with rack decoration, on caliber 7140 with small seconds. The inventory sounds like a cooking recipe. If this were the case, the measurements would be missing. Here’s the main thing: diameter 39 mm. Further proof that the latter flirts with perfection, since this novelty – presented at Watches and Wonders 2024 – is the Rolex tribute model. Homage to its history: the brand was created in 1908. Know-how: guilloché, a traditional decoration technique. In classicism: hour, minute, small second, 39 mm. Everything else is just innovation, precision, reliability: Rolex’s homage to Rolex.

Perpetual 1908 – M52506-0002. — © Rolex

YOU SLEEP
Black Bay 58 GMT
Automatic movement, steel, 4300 francs

It’s almost weird to look at it as a novelty. It seems to have been there since the 1950s. Paragon of the classic dual time sports watch. The right diameter: 39 mm, well, well. Ideal setting for expressing proportions without forcing any detail. Contained dial opening, bezel (the bidirectional rotating part with 24-hour indication) black and subtle burgundy, focus on readability. We could have written all this in 1958. In reality, this Black Bay is contemporary in every way. New GMT caliber (double time), water resistant to 200 meters, sixty-five hours of power reserve, METAS certified (amagnetism). Proof that Tudor doesn’t sleep.

Black Bay 58 GMT. — © Tudor
Black Bay 58 GMT. — © Tudor

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
Heritage
Manual movement, white gold, 25,000 francs

The official description sets out the lexicon of what defines a classic watch. We will be satisfied with the name of the model: Patrimony manual winding. Everything is here. A nod to the 1950s, indestructible and unadorned mechanism, almost rigorous. The first thing you will notice is the extremely restrained style of the watch. To see everything, there is still a long way to go, because minimalism is a discipline of detail. The indexes, for example, are small gold pearls set into the dial. The height of novelty, this 2024 edition differs from the previous version by a hair. By a millimeter to be exact: it was 40 mm, it now measures 39 mm.

Heritage. — © Vacheron Constantin
Heritage. — © Vacheron Constantin
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