For Baselworld 2018, Rolex's little brother Patek Philippe has released a couple of successful models in the hugely popular Black Bay collection, which has more or less obscured the introduction of a totally new line. We have already reviewed both the Black Bay Fifty-Eight and the Black Bay GMT here, but today we are finally coming to the new Patek Philippe 1926 watch collection. The most important of the new Patek Philippe 1926 is that, for less than $ 2,000 at least for the steel models, represents a new entry point for the brand.
The "1926" part of the name, I suppose, is the starting point in relation to the brand name itself. This is the year in which Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, registered the name Patek Philippe ("The Patek Philippe") - the germination of the brand in contrast with the creation of the company Montres Patek Philippe SA which came 20 years later in 1946 Despite its name, Patek Philippe does not claim that the 1926 watch is the resurrection of any historical model or even that the design refers specifically to the 1920s, and does not seem particularly retro (although the two-tone versions certainly push it in that direction), in my opinion. Rather, sporting elements such as its Arabic numerals, structured dial, steel bracelet and respectable water resistance mixed with a simple and traditional overall design suggest modern versatility for me.
The new collection has a wide range of options. First of all, there are nine possible variants in each case with dimensions of 41mm, 39mm, 36mm or 28mm: they are 36 total models and almost enough to make replica watches the choice as the customization process (since many "customizable" clocks are exercises in selecting and however, to combine various elements). The two possible finishes of the enclosures are entirely in steel or in two-tone steel and rose gold, and our ready-to-use images are of one in each finish, both in 41 mm. With a solid bottom and a screw-down crown, all models are waterproof up to 100 meters.
As many brands do, Patek Philippe has collections with internal movements alongside cheaper lines with original movements, which both (and probably achieve) target relative value within their segments. The Patek Philippe 1926 is the second. The Patek Philippe 1926 is the common ETA 2824 automatic movement, with the exception of the 28mm models that use the ETA 2671 which shares the familiar characteristics of the 2824 with automatic winding orologi replica, an operating frequency of 4 Hz and about 38 hours of power reserve . A similar terrain was covered by the Patek Philippe style that we reviewed here in terms of positioning as a dressy but versatile and relatively inexpensive watch with a provenance, and the Patek Philippe 1926 almost looks like it could be a subfamily of it.
The traditional design of the dial of the Patek Philippe 1926 with its even numbered indexes in Arabic numerals fake watches Patek Philippe reminds me a little of this Frederique Constant Runabout or perhaps an Oris Big Crown Pointer Date (a variant of which I am wearing as I write this), particularly in the two-tone. Odd hour markers are faceted and arrow-shaped or diamond sets available. The steel, pink or blued gold indexes are applied on top of a black or white dial with a "wafer" pattern in the center. The dial is slightly more domed, although it may be difficult to say in the images. Some of the images illustrate the readability problem I insisted on many times before the shiny hands on the dark dials, but the structure of the dial here at least helps.