4 May 2016
In 1996, Patek Philippe patented its Annual Calendar: a new and useful complication able to distinguish automatically between months that last 30 or 31 days, leaving just the end of February when the watch has to be adjusted manually to move on to March 1. To mark the 20th anniversary of that invention, which has in the meantime been taken up by all haute-horlogerie watches, the manufacturer has brought out the new Reference 5396: classic in its aesthetics, but innovative in its mechanism. The rose (or white) gold case, in Calatrava style, has a diameter of 38.5 mm and a silvery opaline (or black) dial that provides a large amount of information with extreme clarity: at 12 o’clock, in two apertures set side by side, the month and the day of the week; at 6 the date indicator, again in a small window; the 24-hour display with a hand and the phases of the moon in a special subdial. The mechanical self-winding movement, obviously made in-house, uses silicon components. And it needs to be adjusted by hand just once a year for the calendar function, and once every 122 years for the moon-phase function—operations that can be carried out easily by means of the small correction push pieces set on the case middle. It also has a certified accuracy of between +3 and -2 seconds a day, as required by the manufacturer’s protocol. In fact the watch carries the Patek Philippe Seal, a sort of self-certification that guarantees the quality, or rather the excellence of all its products.