The new Patek Philippe Ref. 5960/1A Annual Calendar Chronograph in steel (the A of the reference number stands for the French word Acier), was for sure a big BaselWorld 2014 surprise for many. In fact, rarely Patek Philippe uses steel cases for its complication watches with the exception of the sporty Nautilus and Aquanaut lines.
The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph, launched in 2006 in a platinum case later followed by a rose gold version, was the manufacture's first self-winding chronograph and introduced a new, bolder style with its prominent monocounter and 6 o'clock and three large apertures for the calendar indications.
The 40.5 mm round case of the new 5960/1A is perfectly polished, just like the matching five rows bracelet. The sporty, even aggressive, look of the watch is determined by the new silvery-gray dial with its striking red accents.
The chronograph scale on the periphery of the dial, the three contoured frames for the calendar apertures, the eight pointed-baton hour markers, as well as the 12-hour counter scale at 6 o'clock are all made in black oxidised gold which create a three-dimensional effect in contrast with the silvery opaline background.
The hour and minute hands in black oxidised gold feature three facets to match the hour markers and have a luminescent coating to improve legibility at night. The brass hour-counter hand is black nickel-plated to match the applied counter scale while the large counterbalanced chronograph hand in steel and the small minute-counter hand in brass are bright red. A nice touch, the 1st day of the month is displayed in red, while the dates from the 2nd to the 31st days are displayed black on white.
The Patek Philippe CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H calibre - with flyback chronograph, annual calendar as well as power-reserve and day/night indications - beats with a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz), which assures a constant balance amplitude and thus high rate accuracy. A heavy central rotor in 21K gold winds the watch automatically.
The calendar automatically recognises months with 30 and 31 days and only needs to be manually corrected by one day on March 1 of each year. The correctors to change the indications are located on the side of the case.
Patek Philippe's new Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960/1A replaces all Ref. 5960 Annual Calendar Chronographs in gold and platinum. Its retail price is US$54,800.