The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time is a watch that exudes elegance, simplicity, and practicality. This ultra-sporty timepiece stands out in the Patek Philippe catalog, with its steel finish and rubber strap. The Aquanaut takes a more casual approach compared to other Patek collections, positioning itself as a formidable contender in the realm of sports watches.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time: A Background
While Rolex reigns supreme in the world of luxury watches among the general public, Patek Philippe has earned a prestigious reputation for designing timepieces fit for royalty. Even today, only the most seasoned watch collectors closely follow Patek Philippe.
During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Patek Philippe recognized an opportunity to expand its fan base. With the rise of new millionaires and their increasing disposable income, Patek Philippe unveiled a steel sports watch aimed at a younger audience – the Aquanaut.
The initial model, ref 5060A, was launched in 1997. Featuring a stainless steel finish, block dial, and a rubber strap (a first for Patek Philippe), it embodied the contemporary taste of watch enthusiasts. This was Patek Philippe’s first luxury steel sports watch in over two decades since the iconic Nautilus debuted in 1976.
Fifteen years later, in 2012, Patek Philippe introduced the Aquanaut Travel Time ref 5164A. With its sporty aesthetic and intelligently incorporated complication, the Aquanaut became a highly sought-after timepiece. The waiting lists grew exponentially as watch aficionados clamored to own a Patek sports watch.
Aquanaut Travel Time 5164/A
The first Patek Philippe Aquanaut to incorporate a complication was the ref 5164A in steel, which made its debut in 2011. The demand for dual-time watches is substantial, and Patek Philippe made it easy to read different time zones while preserving the casual luxury that the Aquanaut line epitomizes.
Designed for frequent travelers or businesspeople operating across various time zones, the Aquanaut Travel Time seamlessly integrates into the wearer’s daily routine. Its purpose is to be worn beyond formal occasions and blend effortlessly into everyday life.
In 2016, Patek Philippe unveiled an 18k rose gold edition of the Aquanaut Travel Time, ref 5164R. Both steel and rose gold variants remain in the Patek Philippe catalog, although acquiring one may require patience due to the long waiting lists.
Dial and Case
The dial of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref 5164 features an embossed black surface, adorned with white gold Arabic numerals. The stark white minute track encircling the numerals sharply contrasts against the black background. The embossed pattern of the dial harmonizes with that of the bracelet, creating a cohesive design.
The case is crafted from stainless steel, making it durable enough for daily wear without burdening the wrist. The case boasts a combination of polished and satin-brushed finishes, lending it an octagonal shape rather than the conventional round or square form.
The screw-down crown ensures water resistance up to 120 meters, allowing you to confidently wear this eye-catching timepiece in the pool or during a beach vacation.
Despite its size, the 40.8mm case is designed to sit comfortably on most wrists, aided by its shape and strap.
Dual Time Zone
What sets the 5164A apart is its dual time zone complication and the clever arrangement of its dial. In addition to the central hour, minute, and seconds hands, there is a fourth hand and two apertures that indicate whether you are reading the local or home time.
The hour and minute hands for the local time are bold and distinct, while the skeletal hour hand indicates the home time. Two apertures, located between 3 and 4 o’clock and 8 and 9 o’clock, display day and night in each time zone. White denotes day, while dark blue signifies night.
When you’re at home, the hands align vertically, maintaining the dial’s simplicity. A quick glance allows you to determine if it’s an appropriate time to contact home or if it’s better to wait a few hours to avoid disturbing anyone.
At 6 o’clock, a discreet sub-dial displays the current date based on your local time.
Pushers and Date Corrector
Adjusting the local time by one-hour intervals is a breeze with the pushers conveniently situated on the left side of the case. Unlike other complex dual time watches that utilize crown positions to set the new time zone, Patek Philippe designed the upper pusher to advance the local hour hand by an hour with a single press, while the lower pusher moves it back an hour.
The pushers exclusively impact the local time hand, leaving the skeletal home hour hand unaffected. When traveling, simply use the lower pusher when moving west and the upper pusher when moving east.
Simplicity is key, and Patek Philippe ensured that this watch is perfectly suited to its target audience. Similarly, changing the date is effortless. A small button at 4 o’clock on the case band allows for quick date correction.
Powering this remarkable timepiece is the automatic movement calibre 324 S C FUS. This movement incorporates the dual time zone, day and night indicators for both local and home time, as well as the local date. The transparent case back provides a glimpse of the 213 components and 29 jewels that ensure smooth operation. The watch beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and offers a 45-hour power reserve.
Patek Philippe refers to the strap as the “Tropical” strap. It is crafted from a supple, composite rubber that matches the embossed dial’s black hue. The strap’s embossed pattern complements that of the dial, resulting in a seamless design. The “Tropical” strap, made from 20 different materials, is resistant to saltwater, bacteria, and UV damage. Its name aptly reflects its suitability for sun-soaked adventures and aquatic activities.
The underside of the strap features the Aquanaut double deployant clasp in steel, prominently displaying the brand’s Calatrava cross emblem. This clasp is both secure and convenient. Accidental triggers are minimized, reducing the risk of dropping the watch when putting it on or taking it off.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time ref 5164: Final Thoughts
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref 5164 is not only a visually stunning timepiece but also a reliable companion for tracking time while traveling. The strap perfectly complements the sporty-elegant aesthetic while ensuring comfortable wear for extended periods.
Patek Philippe once again proves their ultimate expertise and craftsmanship with the ingenious design and robust build of the Aquanaut Travel Time. Owning a Patek Philippe watch is more than just a timekeeping investment – it’s an investment in unparalleled quality and sophistication. Discover the perfect Patek Philippe watch for your wrist at DHPL Travels.