Part of the classic Calatrava dress watch collection yet fitted with the useful dual time complication, the Patek Philippe 5134 offers both elegance and practicality for frequent flyers. Also known as the Calatrava Travel Time, join us as we highlight the history, design, and technical features of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5134 watch.
Brief History of the Patek Philippe Travel Time
In 1958, Patek Philippe introduced its very first dual time wristwatch in the form of the ref. 2597. Designed by Louis Cottier, the same man behind the Patek Philippe World Time blueprint, the ref. 2597 featured a “Heures Sautantes” (“jumping hand” in French) system. The dial included a separately adjustable jumping hand in addition to the standard hour and minutes hand. The case included two pushers on the left-hand side of the case where the top button advances the jumping hour hand forward, while the bottom button moves it back an hour. This meant that wearers could easily adjust local time while keeping home time the same.
Fast forward to 1997 and Patek Philippe unveiled a modern version of that vintage watch called the Calatrava Travel Time ref. 5034 as part of what the brand called “useful” or “small complications” family. The watch retained the trio of hands at center complete with the jumping hour hand activated by a duo of pushers on the case, but also added a small seconds subdial and a 24-hour subdial.
2001 ushered in the Patek Philippe 5134 Calatrava Travel Time models, which replaced the previous 5034 references. The Travel Time ref. 3134 watches were in production until 2008, after which Patek discontinued them. These days, the Travel Time complication can be found on a range of different Patek Philippe watches such as the Aquanaut, the Nautilus, the Calatrava Pilot, and ladies’ Calatrava models.
Patek Philippe 5134 Calatrava Travel Time Design
The Calatrava 5134 features a 37mm round case, along with the duo of buttons on the left-hand side and the winding crown on the right-hand side. The gracefully tapered lugs slope beautifully around the wrist for a comfortable fit. Topping the watch is a prominent smooth bezel framing the dial.
Patek made the 5134 in four case materials: platinum (5134P), white gold (5134G), yellow gold (5134J), and rose gold (5134R). All versions are fitted with elegant leather straps with matching deployant clasps. While there are different dial styles to choose from with a variety of hand shapes or hour marker designs, the layout remains the same on all Patek 5134 watches.
There are three hands at the center (2 hour hands and one minute hand) but the jumping hand can hide the other hour hand if the wearer chooses to. There’s a 24-hour subdial at the top that indicates reference time, which is coupled to the jumping hour hand. There’s also the running seconds subdial at the bottom and a railroad-style track running around the periphery.
Using the Calatrava Travel Time Ref. 5134
The Travel Time can simultaneously display the time in two different time zone with the two hour hands at the center of the dial. Flip the watch around and you’ll see the hand-wound Caliber 215 PS FUS 24H via the sapphire exhibition caseback. Mechanically complicated yet supremely user-friendly, this movement makes the Travel Time a breeze to operate.
First, press the top button on the left-hand side of the case to advance the jumping hour hand so that both hour hands are superimposed. Then, pull out the winding crown and set home time (making sure that you have the correct hour showing on the 24-hour subdial). Turning the winding crown moves the minute hand, both hour hands at the center, and the 24-hour hand in the subdial.
Then, when you travel, simply push either of the buttons on the left-hand side of the case (the push piece at 8 o’clock moves the local hour hand forward and the one at 10 o’clock to move the local hour hand backward) to set the hour hand to local time. Press it as many times as the number of time zones you cross. Jumping the local hour hand does not disturb the home (reference) hour hand.
Now you can read local time via the jumping hand and home time via the other hour hand (along with the 24-hour dial to indicate whether it is currently day or night at home).
A handsome and practical dual time timepiece to own, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time 5134 is a fantastic companion for those who travel frequently and like to do it in style.