Was recently in Asia and Europe (including the Basel World show) and this lovely Patek Philippe 5164A Aquanaut Travel Time accompanied me faithfully and accurately the entire time.
What I love about this watch, in addition to its low profile good looks (it doesn’t scream “look at me! I’m a Patek!”) is the amazingly simple and useful dual timezone complication with day and night indicators for local and home time. You can learn more about all the details at the Patek Philippe website but let me just sum it up: Easy to use, highly functional, handsome, accurate, and a pleasure to wear.
The movement is a version of the now workhorse caliber 324 and beats the previous iterations of Patek’s Travel Time watches that were hand winding. Coincidentally, my good friend in Switzerland and I were discussing how cool it would have been had Patek originally put the movement in a Nautilus case and lo and behold a few days after our chat, Patek premiered the new Nautilus 5990 Travel Time Chronograph!( http://www.patek.com/contents/default/en/5990_1A_001.html ) Personally, I think this watch is not something I would have done (combining travel time with a chrono) as it just looks too busy and possibly confusing, but then again I’m not Thierry Stern (see my paparazzi shot of T.S. below sneaking a smoke break during the Basel show between halls 1 & 2). I really don’t like the fact that Patek’s automatic chronographs (5980, 5960) do NOT have a running seconds hand and can only have one when the chrono is activated, thus also starting minutes and hours counting. I think the Travel Time is great as-is and with a continuous sweeping seconds and the globe-like detail in the date ring, which reinforces that travel theme. I see their target clientele is getting younger, hence all the new doo dads in steel sports watches. But then again, perhaps I’m a bit prejudiced. Anyway, my 5164 is going to see many more miles in the future!
This was my first ever visit to Switzerland and the Baselworld exhibition! It’s sensory overload and even if you’re an incurable WIS, you’ll grow weary of all the booths and watches there. I did manage to spot some celebs of both the watch world and Hollywood, which was good fun.
By the way, I do highly recommend a visit to Switzerland. A lot of the country is like a post card of how one imagines Europe to be (since Switzerland wasn’t razed by bombing during WWII). Lovely cities, nice people and efficient transportation everywhere! In addition to Basel, I also visited Schaffhausen (IWC and Moser & Co.), Zermatt to view the famous, non-Disney Matterhorn and a few towns in between. I made new friends there and I’ll definitely go back one day in the near future.