Patek Philippe is giving us a nice surprise with 8 new models that have just been unveiled in October. And the year is not over! This schedule of presentations, spread throughout the year, reminds us that the overwhelming majority of brands no longer focus solely on major trade shows but now take care to ensure an almost continuous media presence from January to December. The most strategic watches even tend to be presented outside trade fairs as if to avoid being drowned in the flood of press releases. This is the case of Patek Philippe in this regard since the watch that succeeds the Nautilus 5711A, the reference 5811G is part of this fall offer. Yet, despite the release of this icon among icons, the watch that caught my attention the most is the reference 5935A automatic World Time flyback chronograph.
As this reference indicates, it is an evolution of reference 5930 which was already one of my current favorite Patek Philippe because it combines two complications that I really appreciate: World Time and the chronograph. The 5935A is thus part of this approach with 3 main modifications.
The most noticeable is the enlargement of the case. The reference 5935A has a diameter of 41mm or 1.5mm more than the 5930. This enlargement makes sense because due to the complications present, the dial of the 5930 tends to be very busy. The dial of the 5935A obviously retains this characteristic but the feeling is that it appears more airy, especially at the level of the ring of time zone reference cities. The other virtue of this change is that the 5935A appears to be more slender since its thickness is identical to that of the 5930 (or even slightly lower: 12.75mm vs 12.86mm). This is felt when the watch is put on the wrist.
The second modification is of strategic importance. The case is made of steel. Apart from the fact that this makes it possible to offer a more attractive price (63,400 euros, which will not make the subject of availability any easier, quite the contrary), the 5935A is part of the Geneva manufacturer’s desire to offer more watches with a versatile character, adapted to our lifestyles today and to reduce the influence of the Nautilus and other Aquanaut in the catalogue. It is interesting to note that this 5935A, which combines two useful complications in the sense of Patek Philippe, benefits from a steel case while the piece that succeeds the Nautilus 5711 (3 hands therefore) is offered in white gold. A kind of world upside down compared to the practices of the house and which demonstrates a great intelligence in the management of the collections. Note that the waterproofness remains at 30m and it would have been interesting to be able to take advantage of the opportunity to increase it a little.
We find the traditional pusher at 10 o’clock which allows you to change the reference city for universal time:
The last significant modification concerns the decorative style of the dial. I find the famous “carbon” pattern of the famous Calatrava 6007A and it seems to me clearly associated with steel cases while embodying a more contemporary aesthetic approach. The other particularity lies in the pink gold Opalin color which brings a lot of elegance to the whole. In any case, I appreciated the contrast between the warm color of the dial and the neutral rendering of the case. Point to highlight: the minute counter has been reworked to make the graduations more readable. It’s an excellent idea since I’ve always found this counter a bit too small on the dial of the 5930. It’s still modest in size but it’s definitely more readable.
The architecture of the 28-520 HU movement is open, which makes it very pleasant to observe:
The movement that drives the 5935A is the same as that of the 5930, namely the caliber 28-520 HU. It is obviously a member of the family of automatic chronograph calibers 28-520 and which derives its specificity from the addition of the world time complication. However, in order to obtain optimal integration and to position the peripheral ring of reference cities, the hour counter has been removed. I remind you that in its original configuration, it is a mono-counter, the hands of the minute and hour counters being coaxial. The original minute counter is 60 minutes, it is 30 minutes with the 5930/5935 which makes sense for obvious reading reasons. Its power reserve is around 55 hours for a frequency of 4hz. The quality of execution scrupulously follows the standards of the manufacture and even if personally I prefer manual chronograph calibers, the caliber 28-520 HU offers a very open architecture which makes it possible to observe many details. The oscillating weight is central, which is different from other world time watches (5230/5231) which are powered by the caliber 240 micro-rotor. Finally, I should point out that the 5935A does not have a permanent second hand, but for those who need it, it suffices to operate the flyback chronograph.
So I really liked the 5935A. Steel suits it perfectly, especially in the spirit of a travel watch. The more up-to-date stylistic approach makes the piece very elegant, perhaps paradoxically, and the suppleness of the calfskin strap mounted on a folding clasp contributes to wearing comfort. In any case, I am delighted to see more references benefiting from a steel case and the 5935A constitutes a judicious choice within the framework of this orientation of Patek Philippe. Finally, the combination of the two useful complications reinforces the quality of the watchmaking content. I find the price relevant in this context. But we all know that unfortunately there will be very few chosen ones.
+ the choice of steel that is appropriate with this reference
+ the enlargement of the case which fluidifies the lines and airs the dial
+ the color of the dial
+ the combination of two useful complications
– the minute counter, even if it is more readable, remains small
– the waterproofness remains at 30m