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Patek Philippe Unveils New Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Watch

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut was introduced in 1997 as a sporty and youthful alternative to the brand’s classic sports watch. In 2004, the Aquanaut Luce was added to the collection designed explicitly for women, featuring smaller case sizes, more colour options, and gem-set models that blur the line between a wristwatch and jewellery. While the initial Aquanaut Luce models were focused on aesthetics, Patek Philippe recognized that women also appreciate complications. The lineup has recently expanded to include more advanced models like a quartz Travel Time model and a mechanical clock. As part of the latest release at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, Patek Philippe has added the Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar reference 5261R-001, which boasts an advanced calendar complication but doesn’t include any diamonds or gemstones.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar reference 5261R-001 comes with a case crafted from 18k rose gold. The case has a familiar shape and profile that are symbolic of the Aquanaut collection. It measures 39.9mm in diameter (10 to 4 o’clock) by 10.94 mm thick, with 21mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug distance of 47.35mm. The watch has flat sapphire crystals on both the dial side and the screw-down display case back. A signed winding crown is at 3 o’clock, nestled between the Aquanaut’s signature large integrated crown guards.
The Patek Philippe annual calendar wristwatch features several small push-pieces located flush around the side of the case. These push-pieces set various displays for the movement’s annual calendar complication. Despite the additional push-pieces, the new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar ref. 5261R-001 is highly water-resistant. Although the watch is rated for a depth of 30 meters, it is designed to protect against the moisture that comes with daily wear and use. This ensures its functionality and durability.
The new Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar 5261R-001 has a blue-grey dial with an embossed “grenade” pattern, the Aquanaut’s signature. The minute track has applied 18k rose gold Arabic numeral hour markers filled with white luminous material. A rectangular date window, also framed in rose gold, is at 6 o’clock. As this watch is an annual calendar, two registers are dedicated to the day and month on the lower half of the dial. In addition, there is a moon phase indicator at the top, which overlaps the lower part of the noon marker.
In the middle of the watch face, there are three hands. The hour and minute hands are made of 18k rose gold and have white luminous inlays. The second hand is made of Pfinodal, an alloy of copper, nickel, and tin, and is finished with bright white material. The day and month registers have two smaller hands crafted from 18k rose gold. However, these two hands are finished in a luminous white material to provide a better contrast against the blue-grey dial.
The Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar 5261R-001 is powered by Patek Philippe’s Caliber 26-330 S QA LU automatic movement. The 34-jewel self-winding movement has a power reserve of up to 45 hours and features a Gyromax balance wheel with a Silinvar hairspring. The oscillator is fitted with a centrally-mounted oscillating weight crafted from solid 21k gold and signed with the Patek Philippe seal. The watch has a blue-grey rubber strap with an 18k rose gold folding clasp that matches the dial colour and features the Aquanaut collection’s signature pattern embossed on the outer surface.
The new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar reference 5261R-001 was designed specifically for women. However, its design is not overtly feminine, so many men might also want to own this compact annual calendar sports watch. Historically, many watch brands have offered different compelling options for women than men, often opting for stereotypically feminine colours, quartz movements, and diamond-set embellishments. Nevertheless, many women share the same taste in watches as men and prefer a slightly more compact case diameter without having their eyes appear dainty or with gemstones.
Patek Philippe has recently expanded its Aquanaut Luce collection with more advanced mechanisms—however, the latest model, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar, ref. 5261R-001 is the first complex timepiece that does not feature a gem-set bezel. This is a refreshing departure from the norm and helps significantly lower the watch’s cost. The official retail price of this new model is USD 61,506, which is still quite expensive, but it is important to note that it is roughly one-third the price of the chronograph version of the Aquanaut Luce, which features a rainbow-coloured gem-set bezel. Suppose you want to learn more about the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar, ref. 5261R-001, you can visit the brand’s website.

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