The 5960 reference was a significant accomplishment for Patek Philippe as it was their first in-house self-winding chronograph. For Baselworld they have unveiled a new version, the 5960/1A in a steel case (signified by the A for acier – French for steel) Its set to replace all previous platinum and gold 5960 models.
The Patek Philippe stainless steel models were not regularly produced until 1976 when they introduced the Nautilus line, its slogan being: “One of the world’s most expensive watches is made of steel.” These stainless models have been quite sought after due their limited production runs.
The Patek Philippe 5960/1A the accustomed white opaline dial with the upper half containing an annual calendar that uses three apertures contrasted by black gold surrounds. These use black numerals except for the first of the month which is highlighted in red. Just below this at the 12′oclock position is a power reserve gauge. The unusual mono-counter style chronograph indicating both hours and minutes is at 6 o’clock and contained within it is a day/night indicator. Red is also used for the running chronograph and 60 minutes chronograph hands which are both highlighted by with signal red.
Powering the Patek 5960/1A is the completely in-house manufactured CH 28-520 IRM QA 24, the main section of the movement being made up of 302 parts plus the annual calendar module comprising a further 154 parts. It combines the classic column- wheel control concept with a contemporary vertical disk clutch that removes the chances of hand jump or recoil when the stopwatch function is running. The clutch is virtually friction-free, so that the chronograph hand can be used as a permanently running seconds hand if preferred. The annual calendar automatically identifies months with 30 and 31 days and only requires to be manually adjusted by one day on March 1 of each year.
The introduction of a lightweight, durable stainless steel case gives this latest version of the Patek Philippe 5960/1A Annual Calendar Chronograph a slightly more sporty character while retaining the classical elegance you associate with the brand. Its sure to be of interest to fans and new collectors alike. The retail price is $54,800 and it comes on the Patek “drop links” bracelet in stainless steel.