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Patek Philippe - Breaking the mold

Patek Philippe Breaking the mold

Exploring the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 5303R-001 and the Split-Seconds Chronograph Ref. 5370P-011.

At the time, it had come as a shock, the good kind, to everyone who looks up to Patek Philippe. Launched in a limited edition of 12 watches as a world debut at the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019”, the Ref. 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon was the first Patek Philippe timepiece with a transparent dial. Not one with a skeleton movement, since those are necessarily left naked for the eye to see, but a full movement, and a very complicated and intricate one at that.

 

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Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon © Patek Philippe

This ground- and mold-breaking timepiece has now become part of the current Patek Philippe collection with a slightly reworked design. This new grand complication was created explicitly for connoisseurs of striking watches. It stands out with its open architecture that allows the minute repeater mechanism including the hammers and gongs to be admired in action while the watch sits on the wrist. It thus expresses a new dimension of Patek Philippe’s creative policy that puts users in the focus. The transparency facet also applies to the tourbillon: the back side of its cage can be seen beneath the hand of the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. It is a small, perfectly orchestrated work of art with shiny steel parts that contrast handsomely with the golden plate.

 

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Ref. 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon © Patek Philippe

Transparent dial

The aesthetic appeal of the manually wound caliber R 27 TO PS was subtly reworked to highlight its full beauty, especially with individual openworked components. Patek Philippe also leveraged its ancestral skills in the manual finishing of movement parts, including Geneva striping for the plate, circular-graining for the recesses, and circular satin finishing of the strikework hammers.

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Manually wound caliber R 27 TO PS © Patek Philippe

The rose-gold case is decisively unique, featuring a broad polished bezel as well as white-gold intarsias engraved with foliage motifs in the flank and strap lugs. The white-gold slide in the left-hand case flank to trigger the minute repeater is decorated with the same motifs. The hour circle is an engraved sapphire-crystal ring with powdered rose-gold marker dots. A sapphire-crystal case back shows the movement from the other side, framed as in a pierced white-gold amphitheater inspired by the case intarsias and the repeater slide.

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Ref. 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon © Patek Philippe

Blue blood

In Patek Philippe's book, chronographs have a very specific place : the Geneva-based brand consider it to be nobility. The complication's blood is even bluer with the split-seconds chronograph, a pinnacle of watchmaking according to Patek, in which they've put an unrivaled level of technical effort. Presented in 2015, Patek Philippe’s first split-seconds chronograph based on the proprietary caliber CH 29-535 PS in a classic configuration was the Ref. 5370 with a platinum case and a black enamel dial. This coveted grand complication has now been updated with a new blue face that revisits Patek Philippe’s storied tradition in Grand Feu enamel dials. The dial color of the compact hand-crafted masterpiece in 18K gold is incomparably intense and refined with a glossy finish. Its legibility is outstanding, as befits the class of a technical instrument. The hours and minutes are clearly and crisply indicated by extended leaf-shaped hands with luminous coatings and applied Breguet numerals in white gold.

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Ref. 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph © Patek Philippe

Plenty of patents

The two-phase chronograph movement features two pushers for the three classic chronograph functions and a third one in the crown to start and stop the split-seconds hand, a perfect combination of tradition and innovation. The traditional facets of this manually wound timepiece are its classic architecture with column-wheel control and the horizontal gear clutch. Numerous optimizations and patented innovations manifest the 21st century as does the fundamentally redesigned split-seconds mechanism. The elegance of the polished case with a concave bezel and satin-finished recesses in the flanks gains prominence with a shiny night blue alligator strap and the platinum fold-over clasp. As is the case with all of Patek Philippe’s platinum wristwatches, the new Ref. 5370P-011 is graced with a small diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock.

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Ref. 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph © Patek Philippe

 

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