Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce 5261R

Patek Aquanaut Luce 5261R

This one is an odd, and entirely fabulous duck. 

Fabulous because look at it, it’s the first annual calendar to grace the Aquanaut range, and in rose gold combined with an almost air-force blue dial and strap, its a very attractive model.

It runs the self winding calibre 26‑330 S QA LU which appears to be specific to this watch and provides 45 hours of power reserve. 

The dial is well balanced and easy to read with a moon phase at 12, month at 9, day at 3, and the date occupying the space usually dedicated to the 6 market. 

All in all, the symmetry is pleasing and the dial packs in a lot of information without feeling cluttered. 

The case is typically Aquanaut, with sapphire front and rear, and the ever recognisable octagonal bezel and “geosphere” patterned dial and strap. 

The odd part is as follows - this Aquanaut is part of the “Luce” sub-range, which is destined for women. 

While I am, and I cannot say this emphatically enough, DELIGHTED to see a watch designed for women that isn’t gem set, and isn’t powered by quartz, and DOES have a complication more sophisticated than a date display - I do wonder why a piece that is a hair shy of 40mm hasn’t been given a unisex designation, not for any other reason than this is a watch that is very likely to appeal to watch lovers across the board, and while my personal preference is to remove biological sex completely from the watch world because people should buy and wear what they love without constraint, there are corners of our universe that will discount an absolute peach due to its designation which is a real shame as this is an excellent size with very comfortable balance and heft regardless of who is wearing it. 

This brings me to a bit of a grizzle, which isnt particularly fair on this watch as its a beauty, but 30m water resistance in an “Aquanaut” is an oxymoron. 

Whether this is a result of being classed as a women’s watch (which traditionally offer much lower water resistance than their male counterparts) or as a result of the annual calendar movement being set via pushers which require holes in the case, it is, in a nutshell, splashproof only which is a real shame. 

That said, given that this is a rose gold piece, it’s probably eminently sensible to not treat it as a ruffty tufty diver anyway, as there are plenty of other pieces that can fill that role in a collection. 

If you’re looking for a precious metal piece that has a killer colour scheme and a useful complication, as well as being sized for pretty much any wrist out there, this Aquanaut Luce is going to be hard to beat.