Two trailblazing innovations will be launched by Patek Philippe at Baselworld 2018: One for the ladies, and the other for the world
SINGAPORE (Mar 22): As the last family-owned, independent watchmaker in Geneva, Patek Philippe has pioneered many a horological advancement since its establishment in 1839. Among the company’s repertoire of patents are the “double chronograph” with a second mechanism; an instantaneously advancing minute-counter mechanism; and a split-seconds chronograph mechanism, with an isolator catch that completely eliminates rate accuracy deviations when lap times are stopped.
One of the several world-firsts it introduced in the early 19th century, a split-seconds wrist chronograph, set the gears in motion for the popularisation of the chronograph’s miniaturisation for the emergence of the wristwatch. Such was the innovative spirit that drove the watchmaker to create the thinnest split-seconds column wheel chronograph movement ever made when it was introduced in 2005, via the hand-wound calibre CHR 27-525 PS, which was also the first chronograph movement to be developed and manufactured entirely in-house. It was barely a year later when the CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H with the patented Annual Calendar was launched to mark the company’s first totally proprietary self-winding chronograph movement.
In 2009, Patek Philippe unveiled its CH 29-535 PS movement: the outcome from five years of development work, and the pinnacle of compliance with criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal. It is a culmination of six patents and patent applications — a masterpiece that ticks off all the boxes in user convenience, functionality and long-term reliability. It premiered at the festive reopening of Patek Philippe’s showrooms in Paris at 10 Place Vendôme, alongside the Ref 7071R “Ladies First Chronograph” — the first Patek Philippe wrist chronograph to debut as a model for ladies, and in which this exceptional movement also first ticked.
At Baselworld 2018, the Genevan manufacture is set to make history once again with two of its latest innovations: a new-look edition of the Ladies First Chronograph, and a minute repeater masterpiece that, for the first time, sounds the local time anywhere in the world.
Patek Philippe’s legendary Ladies First Chronograph gets a facelift this year with the elegant, round rose-gold case of the Ref 7150/250R-001 that replaces the original cushion-shaped one of the Ref 7071. The result is a timelessly sleek design that retains vintage-look details, in line with the watch’s classic architecture. Its silvery opaline dial marries contemporary style with classic aesthetics by showcasing sculpted Breguet hour and minute hands in rose gold, and a display layout that makes it eminently legible.
The 38mm diameter case features a bezel set with 72 diamonds and flanked by fluted, delicately curved strap lugs. In addition to a pulsimeter scale, the compact case accommodates the manually wound caliber CH 29-535 PS movement with an instantaneous 30-minute counter. Wearers of the Ref 7150/250R-001 are able to admire the watch’s lavish finissage through its box-type sapphire-crystal caseback that is slightly chamfered to echo the profile of the rear bezel. As the only chronograph in Patek Philippe’s watch collection exclusively made for feminine wrists, it is worn on a shiny alligator leather strap, secured with a rose-gold prong buckle that is set with 27 diamonds.
A minute repeater, a World Time mechanism, an enamel arts dial and a rose-gold case crafted in-house come together in the successor of the Ref 5531 New York Special Edition, which debuted in July 2017 as an exclusive to the US market. This micromechanical masterpiece now joins Patek Philippe’s regular collection, and is also the manufacture’s first minute repeater in which the gongs are attached to the case band rather than to the plate to produce a better sound. Unlike all other watches of its kind, the World Time minute repeater strikes local time rather than home time, and can be conveniently set to its respective time zone with a separate pusher.
Patek Philippe has already filed a patent application for the horological feat that so consummately allows the controlling of the hour strike to one-second accuracy via the 24-hour display of the World Time mechanism, which has been made possible to the new self-winding calibre R 27 HU movement. In Patek Philippe tradition, the new Ref 5531R’s dial sports a cloisonné enamel depiction of the Lavaux vineyard terrace region on the shores of Lake Geneva. Lapped rose-gold hands hover above the dial, its artistically pierced hour hand inspired by the “Southern Cross” constellation and set to always indicate the local time for whichever city is aligned with the 12 o’clock position. Times of the other 23 world time zones are displayed opposite the respective place names by a concentric 24-hour scale.