Famed for the wide range of innovations and complications that they have introduced to the watchmaking industry, Patek Philippe's pedigree as perhaps the most highly esteemed watchmaker is of no doubt to anyone. Amongst their litany of complications lies their patented annual calendar, a halfway house between the more straightforward complete calendar and the hyper-complicated perpetual calendar. First released in 1996, their first Annual Calendar, the ref. 5035, was Patek's acknowledgment that an in-between needed to be established.
Released in 2005, the Annual Calendar ref. 5146G is a modernized version of its predecessor with an updated 39mm case design. However, it is classical in its styling with a round shape, domed bezel, undulating lugs, and polished surfaces. Standing at just 11.5mm thick with gently sloped lugs, the ref. 5146G wears snuggly as its profile hugs the wrist allowing its brown alligator strap to drape over one's wrist and close comfortably with its signature Patek Philippe fold-over clasp.
Perhaps the ref. 5146G's most distinguishing feature is its beautiful and distinctive cream lacquered dial. Modernizing the ref. 5035's roman numeral dial in lieu of a design that has remained in style today, the ref. 5146G features applied Arabic numerals at 3, 9, and 12 with stick indices elsewhere, blending legibility with a clean look to match its otherwise clutter-free dial. Intelligently laid across its cream dial, the ref. 5196G houses two sunken subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock with the day and date displays and a subtle power reserve indicator at 12 o'clock with a moon phase display mirroring it at 6 o'clock, rounding off an incredible symmetrical case design with an equally symmetrical dial layout.
Powering the ref. 5146G, we find the Patek Philippe in-house cal. 324 S IRM QA LU automatic movement proudly displayed behind its exhibition caseback. Decorated to the exemplary high standards we expect from Patek, the cal. 324 features labyrinthine architecture with a 22ct yellow gold winding rotor sitting atop its finely finished bridges, gears, screws, and jewels. A wonderfully designed timepiece from inside to out, the ref. 5146G is a perfect reminder of why Patek Philippe is so highly regarded as a luxury-focused watchmaker dedicated to creating timepieces, unlike any others on the market.