A Globetrotter’s Constant Companion: The Patek Philippe Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

For the ardent traveler who is always on the road but likes to keep an eye on their homeland, the new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time offers the perfect combination of style, mechanical excellence and effortless functionality

With a history spanning almost two centuries, Patek Philippe has a veritable treasure trove of archival designs that the brand draws on for inspiration even as it continues to innovate and introduce new breakthroughs. Interestingly, among the manufacture’s historical timepieces on display at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, there are two aviator watches from 1936. Yes, while “aviation” and “aviator watches” might not be the first to come to mind when one hears the name “Patek Philippe,” the brand actually played a significant role in the golden age of aviation.

This legacy in aviation resurfaced in 2015, when Patek Philippe introduced the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524G-001. It would be an understatement to say that the watch caused quite a stir when it launched: It featured a prominent white-gold case and luminous hands contrasting crisply against a blue varnished dial. In short, it was considerably unique compared to Patek Philippe’s prevalent watches. More importantly, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time drew attention to the brand’s history in the world of aviation, appealed to fans of pilot watches and basically became an instant classic.

The next incarnation of this new design came in 2017 with the limited-edition Ref. 5522 Calatrava Pilot which was showcased at Patek Philippe’s “The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition” in New York. Then in 2018, there was the Ref. 7234 in rose gold and 2019’s Ref. 7234A, another limited-edition piece launched at the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition” in Singapore.

This story continues this year with the release of the Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time.

Once again, this is a watch inspired by aviator watches, as seen in the contrast between the hands and numerals against the dial to ensure clear legibility. In this case, the Ref. 7234G-001 features white gold applied numerals, filled with luminous coating, along with blue white gold luminous local time hands. These elements stand out really well against the blue varnished dial, which, in turn, contrast nicely against the 37.5mm case in white gold.

Rounding up the Ref. 7234G-001’s aesthetic package is a shiny navy-blue calfskin scrap designed in reminisce of the harnesses worn by pilots. A second calfskin strap in vintage brown is also provided.

The second part of the collection’s name, by the way, refers to the Travel Time system. Essentially, this complication shows a second time zone that allows globetrotters to keep an eye on what time it is back home—thereby allowing one to easily tell at a glance if it’s a good time to make a call and avoid waking up family members who might be sound asleep half a world away.

The Travel Time system is part of the Ref. 7234G-001’s Caliber 324 S C FUS self-winding movement and is designed with convenience and foolproofness in mind. Local time is set using the two pushers on the left-hand side of the case: The lower pusher moves the local-time hour hand clockwise in one-hour increments while the upper one moves it counterclockwise. Interestingly, when the wearer is adjusting local time, the local time hand is disconnected from the movement. This ensures that the watch stays accurate. Furthermore, there’s a patented safety lock that will prevent unintended adjustment of local time.

Finally, to make telling what time it is back home even easier, the Ref. 7234G-001 features separate day/night indicators. There is the LOCAL window at 9 o’clock for local time and a HOME window at 3 o’clock for home time.

So, whether you’re looking for an eye-catching timepiece with a touch of history or a trusty companion for long journeys far away from home, Patek Phillipe’s Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is definitely worth a close look.