In 2017, Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is celebrating its 20th birthday. For the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut collection, the manufacture is presenting the Aquanaut Ref. 5168G in 18K white gold. With a diameter of 42mm, it introduces a new “Jumbo” size to the line. The new Ref. 5168G is the first men’s Aquanaut wristwatch in 18K white gold. But as with the other Aquanaut models (and the sibling Nautilus watches), the design of the gently rounded octagonal bezel with vertically satin-finished flats and chamfered polished flanks remains unchanged. The night blue hue of the dial and the strap is new as well. Additionally, the night blue color of the dial gradates from bright in the center to black toward the outside as was the case with the Ref. 5164 Aquanaut Travel Time in rose gold. The embossed checkerboard pattern provides a backdrop for the applied, Superluminova coated Arabic numerals in white gold (as are the 18k white gold applique five-minute markers).
The second debut is the Aquanaut Ref. 5650 “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” in white gold in a limited edition of 500 watches. The partially-open dial showcasing one of the mechanical innovtions provides for a somewhat controversial look from the conservative Patek brand.
The flexible mechanism of the time-zone setting device is visible in a dial aperture:
Launched over 15 years ago, the Patek Philippe Advanced Research program stands out with two major innovations. As Patek notes:
The first one is the Spiromax® balance spring with a new geometry that in addition to the outer boss (for improved isochronism) now also has a boss at the inner end. It delivers a noteworthy improvement of isochronism in vertical positions. The second innovation relates to compliant (flexible) mechanisms made of steel. They replace mechanical articulations with filigreed leaf springs in crosswise arrangements. The result is a time-zone setting mechanism that reduces the number of parts from previously 37 to 12. It is not only thinner but also works without lubrication and wear.
As a world premiere, both innovations are integrated in the Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650 “Patek Philippe Advanced Research”. It debuts in a limited edition of 500 watches in 18K white gold.