PATEK PHILIPPE CAL­I­BRE 240

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Features -

Sit­ting at the pin­na­cle of fine Swiss watch­mak­ing,

Patek Philippe is renowned for its el­e­gant high com­pli­ca­tion watches. Such a feat would not be pos­si­ble were it not for move­ments like the 240, a trusty, self-wind­ing ul­tra-thin move­ment de­signed to take on more mo­d­ules for ever more com­pli­ca­tions, while still look­ing svelte, and gala-ready. Un­like most self-wind­ing move­ments sport­ing a full-sized ro­tor, the 240’s is a mi­cro-ro­tor, not stacked on top of the move­ment (thus adding height) but re­cessed on the pe­riph­ery, hence con­tribut­ing to­wards a slim pro­file. At the same time, it does not ob­scure the beauty of the won­der­fully dec­o­rated 240 when viewed through a crys­tal case back, though the ro­tor too is a thing of beauty in it­self, a solid piece of 22K gold.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

Au­to­matic move­ment beat­ing at 3Hz, with sil­i­con hair­spring and 48-hour power re­serve Di­men­sions: 27.5mm x 2.53mm Num­ber of parts: 161

Dat­ing from 1977, the 240 has been up­dated over the years and to­day fea­tures the Spiro­max (sil­i­con) bal­ance spring, which of­fers pre­ci­sion in op­er­a­tion and man­u­fac­ture as well as re­sis­tance against mag­netic fields. At its sim­plest, the 240 drives sev­eral of Patek Philippe’s time-only watches such as the Ref. 7200R ladies’ Cala­trava.

That said, the 240 was de­signed as a base cal­i­bre to ac­com­mo­date com­pli­ca­tion mo­d­ules while re­tain­ing a slim pro­file. In Patek Philippe’s present cat­a­logue, there ex­ists no less than seven vari­ants with an im­pres­sive ar­ray of com­pli­ca­tions, from the 240 HU with world time and day/night in­di­ca­tion, 240 PS C with date hand and small sec­onds, up to the 240 Q of­fer­ing moon phase and per­pet­ual cal­en­dar! With the lat­ter, the num­ber of com­po­nents had grown by more than 70 per cent, to 275 parts, and move­ment height in­creased from 1.61mm to 3.88mm. Be­cause of the added en­ergy re­quired to drive these added com­po­nents, power re­serve had also dipped, but re­mains at an agree­able min­i­mum of 38 hours.

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