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Review: Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 Annual Calendar with new dials featuring Breguet numerals

by  on April 14, 2016
Reviews
Overview
Brand

Patek Philippe

Complication / Type of Watch

Annual Calendar, Date, Day, Month, Moonphase

Recommended Retail Price

CHF 42,300

Positives

Has the full package, good finishing, quality brand name, useful complication. It is also potentially highly collectible in the future because of its special font. Not commonly used on regular models, the Breguet numerals are usually reserved for grand complications or special order pieces.

Negatives

Some may find the dial awfully cluttered. There is simply too many things going on and too little space left. The older variant with index markers may be a better choice in that respect.

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Movement
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Bottom Line

Typical Patek Philippe, not exceedingly exciting, but still a beautiful watch nonetheless.

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Patek Philippe releases the new dial variants to the Ref. 5396 Annual Calendar. Available in 18 K white gold and 18 K rose gold, the new annual calendars are beautifully made classic timepieces that as Patek Philippe would say, heirlooms in its own right.

 

patek-5396-wg

Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 Annual Calendar in 18k White Gold with new sunburst gray dial featuring Breguet numerals

 

The Case

The watches are cased in precious metals namely white and rose gold, and are sized at 38.5 mm in width and 11.2 mm in height. The case construction is the usual 3 piece, with bezel, central body with lugs and a case back. Sapphire crystal is used on both sides with anti-reflective treatment. The thin crown is engraved with the Patek Philippe seal and is fittingly sized for the classic timepiece.  Completely polished, the classic annual calendar exudes an elegance and luxuriousness matching to the price it commands. The case construction is simple and utilitarian without much fanfare.

 

patek-5396-blackdial-detail

A close up feature of the brass base, galvanic gray sunburst dial.

 

patek-5396-oblique

Patek Philippe Ref. 5396 Annual Calendar in 18k Rose Gold with new white dial featuring Breguet numerals

 

The Dial

The dial on the white gold variant is made from a base brass material and finished with a galvanic gray sunburst effect. On the other hand, the dial on the rose gold variant is a silvery white opaline. The applied Breguet numerals, minute markers and hands are cast in gold and exquisitely finished at every angle. That said, some may find that among the other modern annual calendars, 5205, 5146, comparatively the dial on the new Ref. 5396 seems very cluttered with the vertical layout. Some of us thought that the index markers on the older variant were more fitting for the dial in its struggle for space. However, we also share a view that this new variant is a special one, and possibly rare in time to come, given that the Breguet markers are not commonly used on regular models and are usually reserved only for grand complications or special order pieces.

 

patek-5396-dialup

The annual calendar has its hands and numerals in 18 K rose gold set to a silvery white opaline dial.

 

patek-5396-back

The caliber 324 S QA LU 24H housed in the new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref. 5396 with Breguet numerals

 

The Movement

Patek Philippe uses the caliber 324 S QA LU 24H in the 5396; a self-winding annual calendar movement complete with a day-date-month complication as well as a 24 hour display and a moonphase. Comprising 347 parts, the 34 jewels movement has approximately 40 hours power reserve and beats at 4 Hz. The movement is also fit with external push piece adjusters at positions 2, 4, 8 and 10. The finishing of the watch is typical of Patek Philippe’s quality manufacture, while not as beautiful as our favourite ‘German silver’ movement finishing, the Cal. 324 still bears all the features worthy of fine watchmaking. The bridges are lined with Cotes-de-Geneve and  the lower base plates treated with perlage.

 

patek-5396-back-detail

Classically finished Caliber 324 with the usual Cotes-de-Geneve, anglage, and polished screw holds.

 

patek-5396-wrist

Final wristshot with the Patek Philippe 5396 which measures 38.5 mm and priced at CHF 42,300.

 

All in all, we find the Patek Philippe 5396 with Breguet numerals an interesting upgrade to the older variant. The watch is priced at CHF 42,300 and is without doubt a great addition to any collection.

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