Originally released for the very first time on the occasion of the Patek Philippe “The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition New York 2017” with two 5-piece limited edition watches for the U.S., the Patek Philippe World Time Minute Repeater ref. 5531 made its very first appearance. Now, at Baselworld 2018, the micro-mechanical masterpiece has been added to the manufacture’s regular collection. It is a new grand complication with features in a domain that Patek Philippe has dominated for decades: a minute repeater, a World Time mechanism, an enamel arts dial, and a rose-gold case crafted in-house.
As a trailblazing innovation, the Ref. 5531 is endowed with a World Time minute repeater that in contrast to all other watches of this type strikes local time rather than home time and can be conveniently set to the respective time zone with a separate pusher. Controlling the hour strike to one-second accuracy via the 24-hour display of the World Time mechanism is a horological feat that has never been accomplished so consummately and for which a patent application has been filed.
This achievement is credited to the new self-winding caliber R 27 HU movement that consists of 462 parts and is crafted in the manufacture’s haute horlogerie workshops. It is wound by a mini-rotor in 22K gold which is fully recessed in the movement and exhibits a hand-guilloched hobnail pattern. Additionally, the watch is the manufacture’s first minute repeater in which the gongs are attached to the caseband rather than to the plate. “This makes it more difficult to adjust the sonority but in this model produces a better sound,” says president Thierry Stern.
From the front, the new Ref. 5531 shows a fascinating dial that reflects a grand Patek Philippe tradition: a magnificent cloisonné enamel depiction of the Lavaux vineyard terrace region on the shores of Lake Geneva, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lapped rose-gold hands hover above this stage. The silhouette of the artistically pierced hour hand is inspired by the “Southern Cross” constellation. It always indicates the local time in the city aligned with the 12 o'clock position. The times of the other 23 world time zones are displayed opposite the respective place names by the concentric 24-hour scale that doubles as a day/night indicator thanks to its two differently colored ring halves.
Equipped with an elegant 18K rose gold case, the watch owes its very slender looks to the skeletonized lugs and the special shape of the crystal. Its flanks and the repeater slide are decorated with a hand-guilloched hobnail pattern. The rectangular time-zone pusher is polished, and the crown is adorned with a Calatrava cross.
The Ref. 5531R World Time Minute Repeater is worn on a shiny chocolate brown alligator leather strap with a fold-over clasp in 18K rose gold.
Sticker Price CHF495,000 Swiss Francs —approximately $544,000 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.
World Time Minute Repeater Ref. 5531R
Movement: Caliber R27 HU. Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement. Minute repeater with local-time strike. 24 time zones Local time. Number of parts: 462. Number of jewels: 45. Power reserve: 48 hours. Winding rotor: 22K gold minirotor, unidirectionally winding. Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz). Balance: Gyromax®. Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®). Balance spring stud: Adjustable.
Case: 18K rose gold. Case dimensions: Diameter 10 to 4 o'clock: 42 mm
Width 9 to 3 o'clock: 43.83 mm
Length across lugs: 47.35 mm
Height crystal to lugs: 12.08 mm
Height crystal to case back: 11.49 mm
Width between lugs: 21 mm
Case Back: Sapphire-crystal display back and interchangeable solid-gold back. The case is protected against moisture and dust, but it is not water-resistant.
Displays: With hands:
• Center hours and minutes with disks
• City disk with 24 city's names
• 24-hour disk
Functions: Two-position crown:
• Pushed home: To wind the watch
• Pulled out: To set the time
Pusher: Time-zone pusher at 2 o'clock (local time setting in 1-hour increments).
Minute repeater actuation: Slide in left-hand case flank.
Dial: • City disk in German silver, opaline silvery white with place names printed in black.
• 24-hour disk in 18K rose gold 5N, day hours engraved and brown tinted with engraved sun symbol, night hours and moon symbol engraved in brown background.
• Center in 18K gold with cloisonné enamel with polychrome depiction of Lavaux landscape on Lake Geneva.
• Hour and minute hands in 18K rose gold, lapped, hour hand with “Southern Cross” silhouette, pierced.
Strap: Alligator leather with large square scales, hand-stitched, shiny chocolate brown, foldover clasp in 18K rose gold.