Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph 5924G-001

Patek Calatrava Pilots Travel Time 5924G-001

This one is a lovely Patek, which tends to quite undeservedly fly under the radar. 

Patek isn’t usually associated with pilots watches, with that particular segment of watch collecting usually being covered by the likes of IWC and Zenith, but in 2015 the brand dipped their toes into the air rather than water with reference 5524G. 

Reception was mixed, largely because the release was unexpected and those used to either fainting at the Nautilus or marvelling at the Grand Complications didn’t really know what to do with a precious metal sort of sports watch designed for pilots that also had a travel time complication. 

Basically, nobody was expecting a Patek Sky Dweller and didn’t quite know what to make of it. 

Nonetheless this addition to the Calatrava line continued to bubble away almost behind the scenes and a new pair of pilots, this time with both travel and flyback chronograph complications were released in 2023. 

One variant was introduced in military toned khaki, and one in an almost petrol-like sunburst blue grey, and its the grey we’ve got our hands on for this review. 

Its a very pleasing chunk of 42mm white gold case with sapphire front and rear, really well lumed arabic numerals, and features a date sub-dial at 12 and small seconds at 6. 

Both the main and sub-dials are highlighted with silvered rings, which make for an absolutely lovely contrast and in my opinion make this dial the slightly more interesting option over its completely monochromatic khaki sibling. 

As per usual, local and home time (and day or night) is indicated through cut outs in the dial, and the hands on this piece are finished in bright white for super legibility, a hallmark of a pilots watch.

Local time is shown on the main handset while home time is taken care of by the skeletonised “gmt” hand.

The case is rated to 30m WR which is a bit on the paltry side, but explained by the two holes on the left side of the case. 

One for correcting the date, and one for setting the travel time function. 

Patek provides a “pokey” tool for this, but at a push (see what I did there) a cocktail stick will also have the desired effect should you be travelling separately from your toolbox. 

The chronograph on this one is a “Flyback” which can be stopped and reset using just the lower button, the movement sports a column wheel and vertical clutch which means that if you’re not a fan of using small seconds for reference, you can keep the chronograph running with no loss of power or timekeeping.

The watch is mounted on a really soft navy blue calfskin strap which tones in really well with the dial. I think it works far better as a casual piece on calf but my guess is it wouldn’t do too badly at a black tie bash if it made an appearance on alligator as the watch is such a hybrid between smart and sports. 

The only gripe that I have with this one is that the sub-dials cut considerably into the 12 and 6 markers, to the point that only a quarter of the numbers remain. Bah.

Realistically though, I don’t think it would be possible to design such an informative and legible dial without taking over some marker territory with the subs so I concede that a bit of give and take has to occur to pack all of the details in without the end result feeling like beans in a can. 

Overall, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph is a great piece by Patek. Its generously sized so nothing feels cramped and it is supremely legible, as a pilots should be, and the white gold adds a lovely weight to the piece without making it appear unbalanced or top heavy. 

The two complications are USEFUL rather than present just to flex manufacturer prowess, and if I had to think of a complication combo that I would personally use most during life, it would be this pair. 

It’s also, not your usual Patek, and I think that can sometimes be a really positive thing if you want to move away from the mainstream must have’s and wander off into your own horological direction. 

It runs exactly the same movement as the venerable Nautilus 5990, but at an entirely different, and infinitely more accessible price point.