Patek Philippe Ladies First Minute Repeater Ref. 7000
Self-winding minute repeater of technical brilliance in an irresistibly feminine interpretation.
Watches with minute repeaters have always ranked among the rarest, most precious, and most elaborate timepieces. In an extremely compact space, their intricate inner life brings together hundreds of individual parts that interact and function in harmony, or move next to each other with minimal clearances, without making contact. The objective of the effort is to strike the time displayed on the dial with the best possible acoustic sonority. And so, at 3:34 for instance, the time is indicated with a dongdong-dong for the hours on a low-pitched gong, a ding-dong, ding-dong on both gongs for the quarterhours, and a ding-ding-ding-ding for the minutes on the high-pitched gong. Technical finesse that makes time so seductively audible is bound to attract the attention of women as well. Patek Philippe decided to introduce the first minute repeater in its collection of ladies' wristwatches: the Ref. 7000.
Ordinarily, minute repeaters belong to the category of large wristwatches. But here, Patek Philippe made an exception because its self-winding caliber R 27 PS is one of the thinnest movements with a striking mechanism. It not only ranks among the few repeater movements that are self-winding but thanks to the off-center minirotor in 22K gold – fully recessed in the plate – its height is a scant 5.05 mm. These are ideal assets for a watch intended to elegantly grace a feminine wrist, despite the formidable horological degrees of difficulty that it incorporates.
The complication is feminine
For every lover of complex watches, it is always a joy to observe the ballet of the filigreed parts of a striking mechanism in action. And it is not just men who are captivated by the complexities of haute horlogerie. For instance, the number of hours, quarter-hours, and minutes displayed on the dial must be continuously updated by the system of intricately shaped cams, wheels, and snails so that they are in the right positions when the slide that triggers the minute repeater is actuated. This is because the toothed segments of the hour, quarter-hour, and minute racks must move into the positions that allow them to accurately control the number of hour, quarter-hour, and minute strikes. The rhythm of the strikes, in turn, is controlled by a small centrifugal governor, which assures that the gongs are struck in uniform succession rather than in a hurried sequence. Apart from many tiny parts, this also calls for the utmost in precision and patience in finishing, assembling, and adjusting them. For this reason, movements with minute repeaters are crafted in separate haute horlogerie ateliers at Patek Philippe, where one master watchmaker is responsible for the assembly, adjustment, and completion of each individual watch from start to finish. This work is entrusted only to the most talented watchmakers whose assets are sharp eyes and ears, a steady hand, infinite patience, and years of experience.
– Subsidiary seconds at 6 o'clock
Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, matt mother-of-pearl hue, prong buckle in 18K rose gold
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