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First Impressions: Patek Philippe Singapore 2019 Limited Editions

by Frank Chuo on October 7, 2019

Patek Philippe Singapore 2019 Limited Editions

For the occasion of the Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019 held from 28 September to 13 October 2019, Patek Philippe has created six watches in limited editions that are reserved exclusively for the markets in Southeast Asia. These timepieces range from sports watches to grand complication pieces, and all feature aesthetics pertaining to Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. The inscription ‘PATEK PHILIPPE SINGAPORE 2019’ is engraved on the case back of each of these watches.

Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5167A-012

The simplest of all the new offerings, the Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Special Edition – limited to 500 pieces – features minute markers, a seconds hand, and a strap in fiery red. The justification behind this aesthetic change relates to the fact that the colour red symbolises good fortune in many Southeast Asian cultures. As it was with the Aquanaut with orange trimmings, this red variant has also received its fair share of criticism upon release, with many saying that it is very un-Patek. We, however, feel that if there ever was a watch for Patek Philippe to play around with colours, it’d be the Aquanaut. And honestly, the Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Special Edition looks mighty sharp in red.

You might also like to read our review of the Anniversary Aquanaut Ref. 5168G released in 2018 and in this year’s khaki green Aquanaut Ref. 5168.

Aquanaut Luce Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5067A-027

The Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Special Edition is accompanied by its more feminine partner, the Aquanaut Luce Singapore 2019 Special Edition – limited to 300 pieces. The strap of this latest Aquanaut Luce is also red in colour, although it is of a darker shade to the men’s special edition. The signature embossed dial of the Aquanaut Luce, rendered in red, is exceedingly striking. For better legibility, the seconds hand and minute markers are white, while the hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers are lumed. Another key difference between the Aquanaut Luce and the men’s Aquanaut is the 46 diamonds set into the bezel of the former. Overall, the Aquanaut Luce Singapore 2019 Special Edition looks youthful and sporty – though with a quartz movement, it is destined to be more of an accessory than an object of horological fascination.

The Luce is the feminine Aquanaut, featuring striking diamonds.

Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 7234A-001

Also chosen for a makeover on the occasion of the Grand Exhibition is the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Singapore 2019 – limited to 400 watches – comes in a medium format (37.5 mm in diameter), stainless steel case which makes it very wearable and versatile. The novelty of this special edition is twofold: the dial comes in a blue-grey hue, evoking the Southeast Asian sea view (at least according to Patek); and the embossed blue calfskin strap, which is a first for Patek Philippe. Suffice to say, the Ref. 7234A-001 is one of the less risque offerings of the lot. Its colour palette is safe and pleasant, and is befitting of the more casual nature of the watch.

You may also want to read our review of the Calatrava Travel Time.

World Time Chronograph Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5930G-011

The Singapore special editions take a hard turn for the complicated with the World Time Chronograph. First introduced in 2016, the watch is now reissued in an eye-catching, black-red colour combination where the red dial centre gradates to black in the periphery. In homage to the city-state, the name Singapore has replaced Beijing on the timezone city ring, which is black in colour with white print on it. Another novel aesthetic introduced to the World Time Chronograph Singapore 2019 Special Edition is the red stitching on the matte black leather strap. Together, these changes certainly make the watch appear noticeably “sportier” than its predecessor. This is something the purists will lament, but the more adventurous among us will appreciate.

You may also want to refer to our hands-on review of the catalog edition of the World Time Chronograph Ref 5930.

World Time Minute Repeater Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5531R-010

Climbing up the complication ladder, next we’ve got what is the dressiest, most traditional looking watch of the six special editions: the World Time Minute Repeater Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5531R-010. Debuting in 2017 at the Patek Philippe Exhibition in New York, the watch was later added to the regular collection in 2018. The Singapore 2019 Special Edition is limited to five pieces that stand out with a cloisonné enamel dial depicting a map of Singapore. And like the Ref. 5930G-011, the name Singapore replaces Beijing on the city disk. Patek Philippe makes the best minute repeater wristwatches in the world, and the most beautiful world timers. Combining the two complications into a limited edition timepiece that fully retains all of Patek’s traditional values was always going to be a winning move. You can bet your horses that these watches have all been accounted for.

We also covered the World Time Minute Repeater Ref. 5331 in detail.

Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5303R-010

For the pièce de résistance, Patek Philippe presents the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Special Edition Ref. 5303R-010. This 12-piece limited edition watch is bound to polarise with its dialless design. Interestingly, despite the openworked dial, the manufacturer opted against flipping the tourbillon cage to face the front. As such, only the back of the cage can be seen. The bridges in the movement have been gilded in 5N rose gold, setting them apart from the steel components. Meanwhile, the rose gold case features a cambered and polished bezel, as well as intarsias in white gold; they display arabesques and latticework on the flanks of the case band and on the lugs. The slide for the minute repeater is also rendered in white gold. Paying tribute to Singapore, the hour circle is a red-lacquered sapphire-crystal ring decorated with white stars that recall the flag of the city-state. To complete the look, the shiny black alligator strap is decorated with red stitching. From a technical perspective, the watch is clearly a powerhouse. The chimes of the minute repeater resonate clearly with supreme musicality, which is typical from Patek Philippe. The design aesthetics, however, will undoubtedly divide opinions. The red hour circle with white stars; the dialless architecture; the rose gold-plated bridges; the two-tone touches on the case; the exposed, back-facing tourbillon; the engraved “TOURBILLON” inscription on the bridge – these will all take some getting used to.

The Ref. 5303 is a world premiere. We have a brief impressions of the earlier Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 5016.

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