Celebrating 20 Years of Annual Calendar.

In 2016, Patek Philippe’s patented Annual Calendar, which only needs to be corrected once a year, is celebrating its 20th anniversary...

The original idea for the Annual Calendar was an industrial factory clock used in Germany and built during the 1980s, but the idea was never developed. Since the Patek Philippe annual calendar was patented in 1996, this practical and elegant solution endorsed the idea that the calendar only needs to be adjusted once a year on March 1 to accommodate the variable duration of February.

Therefore the Annual Calendar automatically displays the month, the day of the week, and the correct date of months with 30 or 31 days, but the watch does not “understand” leap years as with a perpetual calendar. To correct the date you would normally use the “correctors” (“pushers”) at the side of the case, but it can also be done using the crown. Since its introduction into the collection, the fusion of tradition and innovation has been popular with watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Various annual calendars are presented in today’s current collection.

The Reference 5146, the classic model for men, has a legible dial with sub-counters for the day of the week, month and an aperture for the date. In contrast to this the Ref. 5205G houses an annual calendar mechanism, which is indicated discreetly through the apertures on the dial, embodying the classic symmetry Patek is renowned for. Its self-winding mechanism, visible through the crystal case back, enables the wearer to appreciate the complexity of the movement and is complimented by the concave bezel and lugs which are delicately hollowed, a signature design detail which is only visible to the wearer.

The technical sophistication of the annual calendar mechanism is combined with refined beauty displayed for ladies. The gently rounded Ref. 4947 stands out with a waveshaped caseband that sparkles with an array of graduated Top Wesselton diamonds. No fewer than 388 diamonds are set in the case of the Haute Joaillerie Model, Ref. 4948 with both models complimented by previous mother-of-pearl dials.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the annual calendar, Patek Philippe has launched a new model of this convenient and user-friendly complication. The dial has been subtly reworked in charcoal grey with breguet numerals to compliment the 21 previous models that have been presented since 1996.

If you would like more information on the above models or any Patek Philippe timepieces please contact or team at the showroom on 01202 558 928 or email patek@franses.co.uk