MOD­ERN WORLD TRAV­ELER

Ref­er­ence 5930 from Patek Philippe com­bines a patented world-time mech­a­nism with an in-house, self-wind­ing chrono­graph cal­iber. We take a close look at the new World Time Chrono­graph with a white-gold case and an up­dated blue guil­loché dial.

WatchTime - - Ta­ble of Con­tents - By Martina Richter

| Ref­er­ence 5930 from Patek Philippe com­bines a patented world-time mech­a­nism with an in-house, self-wind­ing chrono­graph cal­iber. We take a close look at the new World Time Chrono­graph with a white-gold case and an up­dated blue guil­loché­dial.

— Tak­ing the world’s time zones for granted would sim­ply be folly. A sys­tem to reg­u­late time zones world­wide was first pro­posed by Sir Sand­ford Flem­ing, a Cana­dian rail­way sur­veyor and en­gi­neer, in 1879. He was also in­stru­men­tal in con­ven­ing the In­ter­na­tional Prime Merid­ian Con­fer­ence in 1884, which rec­om­mended di­vid­ing the world into 24 one­hour time zones, each mea­sur­ing 15 lon­gi­tu­di­nal de­grees. e dif­fer­ence be­tween each zone would be 60 min­utes or one hour. e con­fer­ence des­ig­nated Green­wich as the prime merid­ian and as the stan­dard of ref­er­ence for time reck­on­ing.

In ac­tual prac­tice, time zones are not de­ter­mined by lon­gi­tudes alone. More of­ten, po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions de­ter­mine the time to be used in a par­tic­u­lar re­gion. Coun­tries that cover large ter­ri­to­ries from east to west have sev­eral time zones, such as Canada with five, the United States with six and Rus­sia with 11. And if that weren’t com­pli­cated enough, from 2010 to 2014 Moscow re­duced the num­ber of its time zones to nine, and in 2011 switched per­ma­nently to sum­mer day­light sav­ing time. en in 2014, the coun­try be­gan ob­serv­ing stan­dard time again for the en­tire year, along with a re­turn to its ear­lier di­vi­sion into 11 time zones.

Patek Philippe’s new Ref­er­ence 5930 World Time Chrono­graph takes into ac­count the most re­cent po­lit­i­cal changes in stan­dard time­keep­ing, with a new up­dated time­zone disk for the watch. Ref­er­ence 5930 re­places all pre­ced­ing world-time mod­els, and Patek Philippe has used this op­por­tu­nity to re­vise its dial. Moscow is now UTC (Univer­sal Time Co­or­di­nated) plus three hours, and Dubai is now UTC plus four hours in­stead of Riyadh (UTC plus three hours). Other changes to the dial are: Syd­ney re­places Bris­bane, Noumea re­places Syd­ney, Auck­land re­places Mar­shall, Mid­way re­places Auck­land, and S. Ge­or­gia re­places Sao Paulo. (Please note that the pic­tures of the world-time mech­a­nism on page 92 and the watch on page 94 show a pre-pro­duc­tion model with dif­fer­ent cities and time zones on the dial.)

A to­tal of 24 cities are listed on the out­er­most blue disk, each rep­re­sent­ing one of the world’s 24 time zones. e in­ner­most ring is di­vided into 24 hours with a day/night in­di­ca­tion: Light nu­mer­als on a dark blue back­ground with a moon sym­bol at mid­night shows the night­time hours and blue nu­mer­als on a light back­ground with a sun sym­bol at noon shows the day­time ones. When the watch is run­ning, this 24-hour ring ad­vances coun­ter­clock­wise while the city disk re­mains sta­tion­ary.

The rec­tan­gu­lar pusher on the left side of the case is used to set the watch. is ad­vances the lo­cal and 24-hour disk coun­ter­clock­wise in one-hour in­cre­ments. e hour hand also ad­vances coun­ter­clock­wise. e city as­so­ci­ated with the de­sired time zone must be at 12 so the hour and min­utes hands show that city’s lo­cal time on the main dial. e crown is used to set the cor­rect time. Times in the other 23 zones can then be eas­ily read via the lo­cal time track and the 24hour track, whose color shows whether it’s day or night in the spec­i­fied re­gion. When trav­el­ing from one zone to another, just press the cor­rec­tion pusher at 10 o’clock to ad­just the set­ting. e hour and min­utes hands will al­ways show the cor­rect time in the zone rep­re­sented by the city shown at 12.

Dur­ing the set­ting or cor­rec­tion process, the world­time mech­a­nism and the hour hand are dis­en­gaged from the move­ment via a com­plex click mech­a­nism and a dou­ble hour wheel. The min­utes hand, how­ever, con­tin­ues to ad­vance with­out in­ter­rup­tion and the am­pli­tude of the bal­ance wheel re­mains sta­ble. If the chrono­graph is on, its func­tion will also be un­af­fected. While Ref­er­ence 5930 has no sec­onds dis­play, you can use the con­tin­u­ously run­ning stop­watch hand for this func­tion be­cause power is trans­ferred to the chrono­graph via a low-fric­tion ver­ti­cal clutch with­out de­plet­ing the power re­serve or dis­turb­ing the rate ac­cu­racy.

In a sim­u­lated wear­ing test with the chrono­graph on, we found a gain of 1.5 sec­onds per day. is cor­re­sponds to the mea­sure­ment on the tim­ing ma­chine un­der the same con­di­tions. But we found that the watch doesn’t run as well with the chrono­graph func­tion off. And we saw a mi­nor slow­ing of the time­piece on the tim­ing ma­chine, both when fully wound and af­ter run­ning for 24 hours with­out adding power.

e sec­onds track, which is usu­ally on the outer edge of the dial, is a white ring that is lo­cated be­tween the city ring and the 24-hour nu­meral ring. A thin stain­less-steel trot­teuse (chrono­graph hand) meets very pre­cise quar­ter-sec­ond mark­ings. is cor­re­sponds to the bal­ance fre­quency of au­to­matic Cal­iber CH 28-520 HU of 4 Hz, mak­ing time record­ing pos­si­ble to 1/8 sec­ond. e min­utes counter for the chrono­graph has high­lighted 5-minute mark­ings and is lo­cated at 6 o’clock, within the in­ner part of the blue dial with hand-ap­plied guil­loché fin­ish. e bar-shaped min­utes counter hand ro­tates con­tin­u­ously around the finely drawn and sim­ple sub­dial. It is pow­ered by a trans­mis­sion that orig­i­nates from the chrono­graph sec­onds wheel, so it is not ad­vanced at the full minute, as is usu­ally the case in chrono­graph mech­a­nisms.

The ba­sis for the CH 28-520 move­ment with col­umn-wheel con­trol and ver­ti­cal clutch as well as a world-time mech­a­nism goes back to a de­sign cre­ated by Geneva watch­maker Louis Cot­tier in the 1930s. Patek Philippe up­dated the de­sign and patented two new devel­op­ments in 1959 and 1999. Un­til now, Patek Philippe’s world-time chrono­graphs have only ex­isted as in­di­vid­ual cre­ations, but Ref­er­ence 5930 is a 21st-cen­tury, state-of-the-art watch that is part of the brand’s reg­u­lar col­lec­tion.

Ex­ten­sive re­designs were needed to con­nect the chrono­graph move­ment with the world-time mech­a­nism, which re­quired work­ing with tol­er­ances of 1/100 mm. Posts were repo­si­tioned, bridges were lev­eled and re­designed, and spac­ings were changed to the ex­tent that Cal­iber CH 28-520 HU can now be viewed as a new move­ment. It also uni­fies tra­di­tional watch­mak­ing and moder­nity from Patek Philippe and the strin­gent de­mands of the Patek Philippe seal to achieve thin­ner, more el­e­gant watches and, above all, func­tional con­struc­tion: the golden-col­ored Gy­ro­max bal­ance wheel with its patented blue-vi­o­let Spiro­max bal­ance spring made of Sil­in­var, a 21k-gold os­cil­lat­ing weight with its sin­gle-sided wind­ing ac­tion that can pro­duce up to 55 hours of re­serve power us­ing the col­umn-wheel chrono­graph in­clud­ing ver­ti­cal clutch, and fi­nally the fine fin­ishes, crowned with the in-house qual­ity seal. e cir­cu­lar côtes de Genève pat­tern that tran­si­tions from the gold os­cil­la­tor to the sil­very rhodium-plated bridges; the gold-en­hanced en­grav­ings; and the beveled edges and cham­fered, pol­ished bore holes can all be ad­mired through the trans­par­ent sap­phire case­back. And from a tech­ni­cal point of view, smooth op­er­a­tion goes along with the mod­ern de­sign and ma­te­ri­als. Set­ting the time zone is as sim­ple as promised, but it has one mi­nor draw­back: It can be ad­vanced in one di­rec­tion only, so it may be an ad­van­tage that there is no date dis­play that must be syn­chro­nized with time­zone set­ting.

e chrono­graph also has a fly­back func­tion, which al­lows for a new tim­ing in­ter­val to be started dur­ing an on­go­ing mea­sure­ment with­out hav­ing to stop and re­set the mech­a­nism. e large rec­tan­gu­lar push­ers have dif­fer­ent re­lease points: Start and stop us­ing the pusher at 2 o’clock has a nice firm feel. e pusher at 4 o’clock used for the fly­back func­tion and to re­set the chrono­graph of­fers more re­sis­tance but is not prob­lem­atic. e crown with its Cala­trava cross em­blem is easy to use thanks to its pro­nounced grooves; it can also be eas­ily pulled out to set the hands.

e watch’s op­er­at­ing el­e­ments are made of white gold, like the 39.5-mm case. e sides of the push­ers and a por­tion of the sap­phire case­back have a fine, brushed fin­ish. While the 12-sided sap­phire case­back frame per­mits a fas­ci­nat­ing view of the move­ment, the steeply slop­ing bezel gives the navy blue dial am­ple space. e time is dis­played in­side the world-time and chrono­graph disks with faceted white-gold dauphin hands point­ing to ap­plied white-gold hour mark­ers. Su­per-lu­mi­nova ac­cents make it easy to read the time at night.

A high qual­ity, hand-stitched al­li­ga­tor strap is set into wing-like lugs that re­call the trend­set­ting world-time watches of the 1940s. e strap is dyed the same navy blue as the dial and ends in a white-gold fold­ing clasp. But the high price and rar­ity of the Ref­er­ence 5930 World Time Chrono­graph from Patek Philippe will limit the num­ber of peo­ple who have the plea­sure of wear­ing this watch.

The move­ment’s fine de­tails are vis­i­ble through the sap­phire case­back. Op­po­site page: The stop­watch func­tion with col­umn wheel and ver­ti­cal clutch can run con­tin­u­ously. World-time mech­a­nism: The disks and the hour hand are dis­en­gaged for set­ting the watch.

The case is not overly large even with chrono­graph and world-time in­di­ca­tion.

Mod­ern au­to­matic Cal­iber CH 28-520 HU is com­prised of 343 com­po­nents.

Ac­cents on the case re­call world-time watches from the 1940s.

Hand-ap­plied guil­loché fin­ish is a typ­i­cal fea­ture of Patek Philippe’s di­als.

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