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Every modern gentleman should count at least one high-end mechanical dress watch in his collection, and the Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 offers exactly that. Sophisticated and refined, yet practical and functional, this stylish timepiece offers a level of versatility not often enjoyed by other dress watches. Whether you wear it every day, or only for special occasions, you can be sure the Ref. 5396, with its annual calendar and moon phase complications, will attract more than its fair share of compliments and envious stares.
If you’re new to the exclusive world of Patek Philippe, you may not yet be aware that the brand’s annual calendar timepieces are among some of the most sought after by collectors and connoisseurs the world over. The primary reason for this is because the Geneva-based Manufacture actually invented and patented the annual calendar complication in 1996, and it remains closely associated with the company to this day.
From a technical standpoint, the Annual Calendar sits somewhere in the middle, between a standard calendar display, which requires adjustment at the end of every month that doesn’t contain 31 days and a perpetual calendar, which only requires correction after the passage of a set period of years. As its name suggests, the Annual Calendar complication only requires adjustment annually, on the 1st of March to be exact. This is because the complex mechanical mechanism inside is capable of accounting for months that have 30 or 31 days.
On the Patek Philippe Ref. 5396, which pays tribute to the 20th anniversary of Patek Philippe’s patented annual calendar, the calendar indicators are displayed neatly in the middle of the dial. Beneath 12 o’clock, there is a set of twin apertures: the one on the left displays the day, whilst the one on the right shows the month. At 6 o’clock, the date is shown via a separate aperture.
What really draws the eye to the perfectly balanced dial, however, is of course the stunning moon phase display. This wafer-thin disc, cut from corundum crystal, is adorned with golden stars and two golden moons (although only one is ever visible at any point in time), set against a blue background representing the night sky. Wonderfully illustrated, it rewards closer inspection. Around the periphery of this sub-dial is a 24-hour time display, which serves as a subtle day/night indicator.
Presented in a discreet 38.5mm x 11.2mm round case crafted from 18k white gold, which pairs delightfully well with the silvery opaline dial, the classic design of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 is simply ageless. Inside the case is the legendary mechanical self-winding movement, Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303. Visible through the sapphire caseback, this beautifully finished movement is equipped with a central rotor hewn from 21k gold and features Patek Philippe’s patented Gyromax® balance and Spiromax® balance spring. Vibrating at 4hz, it offers a max power reserve of 45 hours.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 Annual Calendar with Moon Phase will make an excellent addition to any collection and is the perfect piece for creating a new family heirloom. It’s ageless design and exceptional quality of construction will ensure it continues to be enjoyed by generations to come.
Winsor Bishop are proud to be authorized agents for Patek Philippe in the UK. To discover this and other timepieces from the exclusive brand, please visit our flagship boutique in Norwich.