One can wonder if Patek Philippe would have known that when they launched their very first annual calendar in 1996 that it would have become such a popular complication. Today, its popularity even goes beyond Patek Philippe itself, as many other brands have developed watches that feature this complication. For Patek Philippe, it has become one of their signature complications, and many of the watches fitted with it, follow the classic dial design for calendar watches. There is however one exception, and that is reference 5235/50R.
The 5235/50R is the latest version of the 5235, which saw the light in 2012 and was the very first regulator-style wristwatch that Patek Philippe has ever made. This means that the hours and seconds are located on a subdial of their own, while the minute hand is mounted in the middle of the main dial. The calendar functions are indicated through three windows, for day, date and month, spaced out in such a way that the dial has a symmetrical layout. This plays a key role in making this watch so visually attractive. Another aspect that contributes to this is the colors that Patek Philippe chooses for the dial; the black and anthracite give it a distinct appearance and offer a beautiful contrast to the rose gold case.
The appeal of the 5235/50R can not only be found in its unique complication or distinct dial, but also in its movement, which is visible to the see-through caseback. Caliber 31-260 REF QA is crafted with great care and dedication. It consists of 313 parts and offers a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement is powered by micro-rotor, which is made out of 22 karat gold. While this movement represents classic Swiss watchmaking at is finest, it most certainly has a modern edge. It is fitted with a Pulsomax escapement, Gyromax balance, and Spiromax balance spring, which are developed by Patek Philippe’s Advanced Research division to increase further the precision of a watch that dares to be different, even among its peers.