Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph

Patek Philippe now supplies Aquanaut with chronograph movements. The complex function of this movement is very suitable for the company’s increasingly young and energetic series. But how does it perform in real life? We conducted an in-depth review from the WatchTime archive (original photo by Patrick Mökesch).

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut was first launched in 1997. It was the Twenty-4 launched in 1999 and one of the latest Patek Philippe series. The CH 28-520 C movement that powers the watch is almost 10 years younger-the first chronograph. Nautilus-style octagonal bezel.

The Aquanaut series chronograph, our test watch, has a striking orange “tropical” strap made of modern composite rubber that is resistant to sea water and ultraviolet rays, and is combined with a new double folding clasp. With four independent buckles and two side buttons, its patented design provides extremely high reliability and easy operation. It has two spring bars attached to the end of the strap, so the strap must be trimmed according to the size of the wearer’s wrist-such a powerful action, there will be no mistakes. On different occasions, Patek Philippe also provided an additional black strap for the Aquanaut chronograph.

In order to increase the stability of the wrist, the end of the watchband on the watch case is not only fixed by a traditional spring bar, but also by two pins that extend into the main body of the watchcase from the end of the watchband. Therefore, Patek Philippe recommends that the belt be replaced by an authorized maintenance person, which will limit its ease of use.

But why change the belt? We found that the orange strap highlights the colorful accents of the chronograph function on the dial; the slender chronograph hand protruding from the center of the dial; the meeting minutes are handed over to the dial at 6 o’clock; the 4-Hz chronograph around the dial Markers and elapsed minutes markers around the sub-dial. It adopts the same shape as the round octagon of the frame. On the other hand, the design of the strap surface is well integrated with the relief relief on the Aquanaut main dial, which refers to the Earth’s coordinate system. The light shines on the sunrise surface of the dial, so it sometimes appears dark black and sometimes light gray. The applied Arabic numerals, 12 markers, two bold baton-shaped hands for the hour and minute hands are made of platinum and have a luminous coating. Therefore, the time is easy to read regardless of day or night, thanks to its strong Black and white contrast and glowing green glow at night. The orange brass hands of the chronograph function are painted, without luminous accents, but they point precisely to the chronograph scale on the dial.

The CH 28-520 C self-winding movement combines classic cylindrical gears with modern vertical disc clutch controls to ensure high precision. This is Patek Philippe’s only chronograph movement with this kind of clutch. It is designed to prevent any forward or backward jumps of the stopwatch hand when it is engaged, and it runs so smoothly that the centrally mounted second hand can also be used as a permanent second hand, which is why the Aquanaut chronograph does not have a separate second hand. The flyback function can accurately set the watch to the second. You can set the stopwatch pointer in the ongoing measurement to zero without resetting it, and restart it immediately. Of course, this can also be achieved by precisely starting the chronograph at the time signal. The only disadvantage:


The CG 28-520 C movement has undergone some design changes for the Aquanaut. The hour counter has been completely omitted. But, which young, energetic person needs such a thing today? On a large subdial, the elapsed minutes is easy to read because it extends almost to the center of the dial and is intuitive-the 60-minute counter reflects the standard minutes on the dial (instead of the 30 minutes normally used). counter). The downward-rotating minute and minute wheel is directly driven with the timer wheel, which makes the elapsed minutes display run continuously and does not jump when the second hand passes “zero”. This mechanism is located on the dial side of the chronograph.

This date is also worth noting. It advanced less than a second before midnight-so fast that the human eye could not see it. It can be adjusted at 8 o’clock via the integrated button (with a little effort). Patek Philippe provides correction pens made of ebony and platinum, but the crown-based function will be more convenient.

The self-winding movement is equipped with a 21k gold rotor, which can establish a power reserve of up to 55 hours. Verifying the power reserve is part of our test plan, which is similar to the quality control that Patek Philippe conducts in its Munich workshop. When fully wound, the movement can run for 56 hours. Our test recorded 57 hours and 48 minutes. The second test that simulates actual wear checks the efficiency of the winding mechanism. After 1 hour and 34 minutes of winding, the watch should run for 18 hours. Our Aquanaut chronograph keeps time in 24 hours.


In the simulated wear test (in the case of a chronograph), there was almost no deviation in the operation of the watch. When the chronograph is fully wound and the chronograph is running, the average daily speed recorded by the chronograph is -0.4 seconds per day. After 24 hours of operation, there is no additional winding and the speed is -0.7 seconds. When the timing function is not enabled, these values ​​are similar. The amplitude difference is about 10 degrees.

Patek Philippe’s specifications-within the framework outlined in its own quality seal-range from -3 to +2 seconds per day. Our test tables remain reliable within this tolerance range. The CH 28-520 C-type movement easily achieves the above speed results through a system consisting of the long-term Gyromax balance wheel (patented in 1949 and 1951) and the Spiromax hairspring made of Silinvar (launched in 2006).

This new patented material is based on single crystal silicon and has the characteristics of temperature compensation, light weight, rigidity, wear resistance, diamagnetic, elasticity, and corrosion and impact resistance. It is produced using the DRIE (Deep Reactive Ion Etching) process with an accuracy of 1/1,000 mm. As shown in our tests, when combined with fine adjustment through the asymmetric adjustment weight on the balance wheel, the speed accuracy is optimized and the synchronization is improved.


The watch mechanism is installed in a stainless steel case with a polished and brushed surface treatment function, and it is water-resistant to 120 meters. The crown guard makes its appearance slightly asymmetrical. All screw-in operating elements are operating normally. Manual winding and setting operations are very smooth. Because of the jaws used to fix and release the vertical clutch, the wide, multi-faceted chronograph pusher requires strong pressure. It is easier to use the button at 2 o’clock to start and stop than the flyback and reset buttons at 4 o’clock. All these actions work reliably and consistently, and this has been helped to a large extent by the use of wire drawing on the top of the two chronograph buttons.

Thanks to the connection of the downward-sloping lugs and the rubber strap, the Aquanaut chronograph fits tightly on the wrist. The buckle closes softly and firmly, and the crown has a solid and luxurious feel. Both are excellent in operation. This sports timepiece is young and its dynamic spirit extends to every detail.


Manufacturer: Patek Philippe SA, Chem-du-cente-Centenaire 141, 1228 Plan-les-Ouates, PO Box 2654, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Reference number: 5968A-001
Functions: hours, minutes, timer, seconds elapsed in the center (can also be used as a second hand), 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, flyback function, date display
Movement: CH 28-520 C movement, automatic, 28,800 vph, 32 jewels, Gyromax balance, Spiromax (Silinvar) hairspring, adjustment of the weight on the balance wheel, Incabloc shock absorber, 55-hour power reserve, diameter = 30.0 mm , Height = 6.63 mm
Case: stainless steel, sapphire crystal above the dial, sapphire back cover, water-resistant to 120 meters
Strap and buckle: composite strap, black and orange one, double stainless steel folding buckle with push button for speed measurement
Result (deviation in seconds per 24 hours, fully wound / after 24 hours):
Simulated wear test +/- 0.0
Dial + 2.0 / +2.2
Dial down +4.7 / +4.5
Top -3.2 / -3.6
Crown down +1.4 / +1.2
Left crown -2.3 / -1.4
Right crown -1.2 / -4.4
Maximum deviation 7.9 / 8.1
Average deviation +0.2 /- 0.3
Average amplitude:
Plane position 300°/ 279°
Hanging position 261°/ 242°
Dimensions: Diameter = 42.2 mm (measured from 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock), 40.1 mm (measured from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock), height = 11.9 mm, weight = 117.5 grams

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