HANDS-ON: Two, Out-Of-This-World, Steel Pateks From Baselworld 2014.

Who could argue that Patek Philippe has produced many the world’s most exquisite watches? Whether it may be the 3940 in white gold, the steel 1518, or the first Nautilus, reference 3700/1A, this colossus of a brand has manufactured an abundance of truly exceptional timepieces. The basis of my visit with Patek was to take a look at two very special, very desirable pieces from Baselworld, watches that I believe will go down in history as nothing short of spectacular.

Usually when the words “high-end” and “sports watch” arise in a conversation amongst collectors, you will find that, almost ninety-nine percent of the time, someone will involuntarily blurt out “Nautilus.” And yes, it’s been proven. In this Baselworld novelty, Patek has amalgamated two entirely disparate wristwatches in one bad-boy time machine (The “Travel Time” and the Nautilus Chronograph 5980). Honestly, I have a bit of a soft spot for the 5990. I don’t know if it’s the classic, jumbo case size or simply the practicality of the watch’s complications. As per the travel time complication, there are two uber-cool day-night indicators for both the home and local time zones. Unlike most sports watches, this Patek’s case is sealed up with a sapphire crystal caseback, yes, you heard me right, a crystal caseback, not steel. Though Patek gives the go ahead to take this watch a good one hundred and twenty meters deep, or approximately four hundred feet, I would not recommend this due to the lack of screw down pushers. For $57,300, The Watch Adviser’s advice would be to put your name on the “I’d like to add a 5990 to my collection” list, ASAP.

For all we know, this watch could turn out to be the next 1526. And there’s no reason it couldn’t. Just think, it’s complicated, it’s one hell of a handsome watch, and, most importantly, it’s steel. Patek’s 5960/1A is refined and perfect for any occasion, but it is on par with the 5990 when it comes to sportiness. In contrast to most of Patek’s calendar watches, the 5960 is set with a steel bracelet that is probably light enough to exercise in, and features luminous hands, something never-before seen in a Patek of this ilk. The movement is a caliber CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H, basically an awesome piece of gears, rubies, springs, and wheels that includes an annual calendar, a fifty-five hour power reserve and a self winding, in-house chronograph with a day-night indicator that is quite similar to the one in the 5990. Patek has announced a price of $54,800 for this wristwatch.

Whether you go for the supposedly dive-worthy Nautilus or the eye-catching annual calendar and chronograph combo watch, you’re getting an unbelievable value for your money. For more information on these two phenomenal watches, or for the rest of Patek’s 2014 collection, please visit: www.patek.com.

Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)