Watch of the Week: Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph

Ask people about their favorite Nautilus, and you can expect a variety of answers. Some prefer the original time-only model in steel; others want a moon phase or a precious metal. We fell in love, at its introduction in 2014, with the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Travel Time
It is still surprising that a watch that has so much going on can still look so pure and close to the original Nautilus, as sketched by Gérald Genta. The key here is the symmetry of the dial design: Two round subdials above each other at the median of the dial, with on each side a day/night indicator, one for home and one for local time. These subdials are by no means small, as they are clearly designed to be read with a high degree of ease.  By allowing the embossed horizontal pattern of the dial to go through the subdial  Patek achieved a visual symbiosis, that makes the Nautilus functional as well as beautiful.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Travel Time
Functionality is also at the forefront of operating the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph. The crown only has two positions: one to set the watch and one to wind it. Since it is fitted with an automatic movement, this means that the crown will be screwed down most of the time, taking full advantage of the watch 120 meters water-resistance. This is quite a feat since this Nautilus has four pushers. Two of them are obviously present on the right side of the watch and control the chronograph functions. The ones on the left are actually integrated into the famous case design. They allow for the second time zone, indicated by the skeletonized hand, to be moved one hour forwards or backward.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Travel Time
To prevent this from having a negative effect on the amplitude of the watch this function is insulated from the rest of the movement when the second time zone is changed. This is achieved by an innovative disk clutch, which also facilitates the chronograph, which features, of course, a column wheel. To achieve all this, Patek Philippe created a completely new movement for the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph, which can be admired through the glass case back of the watch. There you can also admire the 21K gold oscillating weight, which powers the movement.

It is the way in which Patek Philippe incorporated these two practical complications into the Nautilus that make this watch so special. It does not dilute the strong DNA of the original Nautilus, yet at the same time you do have a complicated watch around your wrist, with a technically advanced and impressive movement, making the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph pretty much the best in everything.

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