Some say, Patek Phillipe is disappointing with only one new caliber for BaselWorld 2014.
Some say the most coveted brand in luxury watchmaking did not deliver to dazzle fans even though this is their 175th Anniversary.
But all we know is, the new Patek Philippe 5990/1A Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph is a magnificent piece of watchmaking.
In this review, we talk about the 5990/1A Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph. The Nautilus range is one of the most interesting within Patek’s enormous offerings. But until recently this line of mainly steel and sporty watches the watches were devoid of complications safe for the calendar features (power reserve, moonphase, date and annual calendar being the only complications offered) The lack of complication is perhaps due to the fact that the case design, originally done by Gerald Genta, was complex, and as the Nautilus was a sporty watch, required it to be water resistant to 120m. But in the 5990, the Nautilus comes not only with the inhouse Patek Philippe chronograph with column wheel, but also with a two timezone function.
The dial is the typical Nautilus dial, with black with a slight bright-dark gradation from the middle to the periphery and features the familiar horizontally embossed Nautilus pattern accentuated with ten applied luminous hour markers in 18K white gold.
Wth addition of the travel time function, a second hour hand is provided. When not travelling, both hands are synchronized one above the other. When the user travels to another timezone, a push on one of the pushers, now designed as part of the “wing” on the left side of the case allows the “Local” time to be advanced or retreated in one hour steps. The pushers are designed such that they retain the original look of the Nautilus.
The movement is the new CH 28-520 C FUS movement equipped with a flyback chronograph mechanism and two timezone function. In a traditional column wheel design the column wheel activates a lever which causes the chronograph train to engage with the fourth wheel, transferring power to the chronograph train. However, in the Patek design, this movement uses a disk clutch as a go between the column wheel lever and the chronograph train. The column wheel activates a disk clutch, which, when closed, transmits power from the fourth wheel to the chronograph train, and when opened interrupts the power, stopping the chronograph train. Patek claims this allows the chronograph mechanism to be left on without any adverse effect to the movement, and prevents jerking or jumping of the chronograph seconds hand during activation of the chronograph pushers. This feature first appeared in the CH 28-520 which was used in the Patek Philippe 5960.
The movement is also equipped with the patented Patek Spiromax hairspring made of Silinvar – Patek speak for silisium.
In typical Patek Philippe style these days, the movement comes with the inhouse Patek Philippe Seal of quality.
We think this is a beautiful and elegant timepiece. One which is built in the best traditions of high watchmaking and yet rugged enough for everyday use, and practical enough for travelling with two of the most useful complications: a second timezone and a chronograph. What do you think?
Great review, Peter. And one of the only Pateks to really grab my attention in the last few years…and with my two favourite complications. Beautiful.
Thanks for your comments GB, certainly valid. But I do not find the dial cluttered at all. I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
The dial is certainly well balanced, but I have always found the Nautilus to be most beautiful when plainest. I must admit the button integration is masterful. Thank you for the wonderful review!
While the chronograph mechanism is nice, I find the addition of the travel time makes the dial too busy. It just feels like Patek is trying too hard to usurp the would-be customers of the 5164 with the 5990/1A. I’m huge fan of the 5980 and think it’s the pinnacle of the Nautilus line- simplicity and function. The 5990/1A is certain to be a tremendous hit of PP, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t do it for me.