Perpetual Calendar and Tourbillon
In the category “Exceptional Watches”, Patek Philippe is presenting a timepiece that elevates the perpetual calendar to a new level of technical ingenuity. With a minute repeater and a tourbillon as well as an instantaneous perpetual calendar with aperture displays for the day, date, month, and leap-year cycle. Additionally, it features a moon phase display and a day/night indication.
Like all of Patek Philippe’s Grand Complication wristwatches, this instantaneous three-hand perpetual calendar with minute repeater, tourbillon, and five display apertures is not intended to be a one of a kind. Because of its extreme complexity, however, only very few of these watches can be crafted in the course of a year.
The most conspicuous facet of Patek Philippe’s new, highly complicated masterpiece is its understated look. At first sight, it projects the classically sleek, round form of a Calatrava with a balanced, easily legible dial. It takes a closer look to see the slide for the minute repeater, and the tourbillon, as always in Patek Philippe watches, is visible only through the case back. The fact that this timepiece also incorporates a perpetual calendar is not apparent until the eye notices the small window to the right of the moon-phase display: it displays the year. And thus, the beholder’s amazement grows with each discovery until it becomes clear that Patek Philippe’s philosophy for complications is to make the watch owner’s life easier. But one feature can only be seen at midnight: the instantaneous switching of all calendar displays. This is not just an agreeable function; it is an extremely elaborate, additional complication which comprises 212 components.
Minute repeater : the music of time
The minute repeater is considered to be the queen of all complications. With a mechanism composed of different racks and snails, tiny hammers, and delicate gongs, so when the owner of this time piece activates the slide and listens to the watch as it first counts the hours on a low-pitched gong, then indicates the quarter hours with double strikes on both gongs, and finally tallies the number of minutes that have elapsed since the last quarter on the high-pitched gong, the acoustic result is nothing short of breathtaking.
The third highlight is the tourbillon escapement that keeps the rate of the watch extremely steady even in vertical positions. It consists of 69 individual parts and weighs a scat 0.3 grams.
The Ref. 5207 (as they named it in the factory) is among Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatches; only very few of these watches will be crafted each year. Because of this limited availability, the Ref. 5207 will be sold exclusively in the Patek Philippe Geneva Salons.
Text: Enrique Rosas ± Photo: Patek Philippe.