Patek Philippe presents the new Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R, featuring the manufacture’s patented annual calendar mechanism from 1996.
Press Release details with commentary in italics.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R is a regular production timepiece, with a retail price of USD61,510.
Patek Philippe boasts one of the strongest ladies’ watch collection in all of watchmaking. The variety that the brand offers is truly impressive. While it would be simplest to relegate all women’s watches to quartz movement purgatory and sugarcoat them with a crust of jewelry, Patek Philippe strives to cater to the growing ranks of female watch enthusiasts. From perpetual calendars to minute repeaters, Patek Philippe’s ladies’ collection has enough firepower to rival the full portfolio of most watch manufacturers.
The annual calendar isn’t new to the ladies’ collection but with the introduction of the Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R, it will be the first time the complication graces the Aquanaut collection. One might think that Patek Philippe should’ve done this with the men’s Aquanaut instead, given the popularity of the watch. Perhaps the manufacturer is testing waters before bringing the annual calendar to the men’s Aquanaut. Whatever the reason (or lack thereof), the Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R is genuinely attractive – not just in its pleasing colour scheme, but also in the way the dial is laid out. The case isn’t prohibitively small either so it’s absolutely going to work on the average male wrist; think of it as a more elegant interpretation of the men’s Aquanaut.
Launched in 2004, the Aquanaut Luce collection – a feminine reinterpretation of the Aquanaut introduced in 1997 – is available in stainless steel quartz models with several dial colors and matching straps (5267/200A-001, 5267/200A-010, 5267 /200A-011) and in a rose gold self-winding model with a taupe dial and integrated strap (5268/200R-010). It also includes an Haute Joaillerie version combining the most sophisticated gemsetting techniques (5062/450R-001) and a very refined version with a bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds and a two-tone engraved mother-of-pearl dial (5072R-001).
For several years, Patek Philippe has been working to reinforce its ladies’ offer in the “casual chic” segment by endowing the Aquanaut Luce with various complications that are useful in everyday life. After the Aquanaut Luce Travel Time dual time zone watch Ref. 5269/200R-001 in 2021 and the Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” self-winding chronograph Ref. 7968/300R-001 in 2022, the Manufacture presents the new Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R-001, featuring the famous patented Patek Philippe Annual Calendar mechanism (1996) – a complete day/date/month calendar requiring only one manual correction per year, at the end of February.
The 39.9 mm-diameter case houses the new self-winding 26-330 S QA LU caliber, with central rotor in 21K gold and the additional Annual Calendar module with moon phases. Special feature of this watch: thanks to the inversion of the Annual Calendar module in the case, the calendar indications offer an unusual display compared to other Patek Philippe timepieces equipped with this complication. The date is displayed in an aperture at 6 o’clock, the moon phases in an aperture at 12 o’clock, the day and month in subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The extremely precise moon phase indication deviates only one day in 122 years from the true lunar cycle.
The architecture of the movement is based on the caliber 26-330, introduced in 2019 in the Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A-001 and featuring several technical innovations and optimizations for performance and dependability – including a patented anti-backlash wheel to prevent the seconds hand from vibrating, as well as a patented clutch wheel improving the efficiency and longevity of the self-winding function. The presence of a “stop seconds” (which instantly stops the balance when the crown is pulled into the handsetting position) allows adjustment to the nearest second. When the crown is pushed home, the mechanism gives a small impulse to the balance to set it in motion again.
The iconic design of the Aquanaut rose gold case and bezel with their rounded octagonal shape is enhanced by the contrast between polished and satin finishes. The model’s “casual chic” style is reinforced by the elegant blue-gray color adorning the dial and strap – a refined hue that already appealed to many women on the steel Aquanaut Luce 5067A-025 available from 2018 to 2019. The dial with the embossed Aquanaut pattern features rose gold applied Arabic numerals and baton-style hands, all with white luminescent coating ensuring excellent legibility. The integrated composite strap with the Aquanaut pattern echoing that of the dial stands out for its optimal comfort as well as its high resistance to traction, wear, salt water and ultraviolet rays. It is fitted with a patented Patek Philippe fold-over clasp secured by four independent catches.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R Specifications
|Movement||Caliber 26-330 S QA LU|
Annual Calendar self-winding mechanical movement with date
in an aperture and hand displays for day and month
|Diameter||30 mm (base movement 27 mm, additional annual calendar module with moon phases 30 mm)|
|Height||5.32 mm (base movement 3.32 mm, additional annual calendar module with moon phases 2 mm)|
|Number of parts||319|
|Number of jewels||34|
|Power reserve||Min. 35 hours, max. 45 hours|
|Winding rotor||Central rotor in 21K gold, unidirectional winding|
|Frequency||28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 Hz)|
|Balance spring||Spiromax ® (in Silinvar ® )|
|Balance spring stud||Adjustable|
|Crown functions||Two-position crown:|
• Pushed in: manual winding
• Pulled out: handsetting with stop seconds
• center hours, minutes and seconds
• day at 3 o’clock
• month at 9 o’clock
• date at 6 o’clock
• moon phases at 12 o’clock
|Correctors||• moon phases at 2 o’clock|
• day at 4 o’clock
• month at 8 o’clock
• date at 10 o’clock
|Hallmark||Patek Philippe Seal|
|Case||18K rose gold|
Sapphire-crystal case back
Water-resistant to 30 meters
|Case dimensions||Diameter (10 to 4 o’clock): 39.9 mm|
Width (3 to 9 o’clock with crown): 42.02 mm
Length (across lugs): 47.35 mm
Height (crystal to display back): 10.94 mm
Total height: 11.76 mm
Width between lugs: 21 mm
|Dial||Blue-gray embossed with Aquanaut pattern|
• Applied Arabic numerals in 18K rose gold with white
• Baton hour and minute hands in 18K rose gold with white
• Baton day and month hands in 18K white gold with white
• Seconds hand in Pfinodal with white luminescent coating
|Strap||Blue-gray composite material resistant to water, ultraviolet light|
and wear with embossed Aquanaut pattern matching the dial.
Patented Patek Philippe fold-over clasp in 18K rose gold
secured by four independent catches.