Patek Philippe reasserts its grand complication expertise with the launch of three grand complication models this year. These models follow in the tradition dating back to 1839 when the company was founded. Back then one of the first timepieces crafted was a quarter minute repeater and since then, Patek Philippe further pursued its passion for grand complications as time went by. By 1925, the pursuit of creating a miniature grand complication that could be worn on the wrist came into fruition as the first known wristwatch with a perpetual calendar was created. This would lay the groundwork for 2014’s Grandmaster Chime with its 20 complications and taking the title as Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatch. For 2020, the three new grand complication models represent a perfect meld of tradition and innovation.
Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater
Since it made its first pocket watch with a minute repeater (1845), Patek Philippe has established itself as one of the gifted interpreters of the music of time. This remarkable know-how comes to the fore even in the most extraordinary creations, such as the Sky Moon Tourbillon wristwatch featuring a minute repeater with cathedral gongs or the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime with five chiming functions including two patented global debuts. The manufacture also offers the broadest selection of regularly produced minute repeaters, watches with classic or cathedral gongs and models featuring a minute repeater with or without additional complications (perpetual calendar, tourbillon, World Time, chronograph). But never before had Patek Philippe crafted a minute repeater with a striking mechanism that was visible on the dial side. The Ref. 5303 was unveiled in 2019 in a limited edition of 12 watches as a world debut on the occasion of the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019”.
Now, a slightly modified version of the Ref. 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon has become part of the current Patek Philippe collection.
Ref. 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph
Apart from the minute repeater and the tourbillon, the triad at the pinnacle of the most elaborate horological complications also includes the split-seconds chronograph (movement No. 124’824); since 1923, it occupies a preferential position in Patek Philippe’s wristwatch collection. The Ref. 5370, the first split-seconds chronograph endowed with the proprietary caliber CHR 29-535 PS was launched in 2015 with a platinum case and a black enamel dial. Coveted by connoisseurs, this grand complication has now been subtly upgraded with a new blue face with glossy finish that reflects Patek Philippe’s proud tradition in Grand Feu enamel dials.
Ref. 5270J-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
As the heir of Patek Philippe’s grand 1941 classic (Ref. 1518), the Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph has been available since 2018 in platinum with a golden opaline dial and a rose-gold version with a gold “goutte”-style bracelet. Now, the manufacture is extending its regular collection of this grand complication by the Ref. 5270, cased in yellow gold for the first time. The caliber CH 29-535 PS Q is the first chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar developed in 2011 and crafted entirely by Patek Philippe. It combines traditional architecture (horizontal clutch, column wheel and manual winder) with six patented innovations for the chronograph functions and stands out with its extremely thin calendar mechanism (1.65 mm for 182 parts).
As previously mentioned, we will be featuring all three watches as the Cover Story for Calibre Magazine’s Septemeber issue wherein we discuss every detail that went into each of Patek Philippe’s amazing trio of Grand Complications.