Patek Philippe show­cases its unique tech­ni­cal skill through the new World Time Minute Re­peater

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Patek Philippe’s in­tri­cate world time watch;

194 Richard Mille’s cre­atively el­e­gant time­pieces for women

At last year’s Art of Watches Grand Ex­hi­bi­tion in New York City, Patek Philippe launched a time­piece that yet again set the stan­dard for watch­mak­ing—the Ref 5531R World Time Minute Re­peater. The piece com­bined two of the brand’s iconic com­pli­ca­tions, namely the minute re­peater and the World Time dis­play. Its dial fea­tured an enam­elled Man­hat­tan sky­line, and came in two vari­ants: “New York by Day” and “New York by Night.” Each came in just five pieces and de­buted ex­clu­sively for the US market. Now, the mas­ter­piece joins the brand’s reg­u­lar col­lec­tion.

It took great skill for the com­pany’s engi­neers in Geneva to merge two of the brand’s defin­ing fea­tures, ones that usu­ally op­er­ated sep­a­rately from the other. For the first time in his­tory, the minute re­peater chimes in time with the time zone aligned with the 12 o’clock po­si­tion. This is made pos­si­ble with the cal­i­bre R 27 HU, a mech­a­nism that al­lows the hour hand to move along with the time zone wheel. Patek Philippe’s so­lu­tion sim­pli­fies this oth­er­wise com­plex process and does so with pris­tine pre­ci­sion.

An­other horo­log­i­cal feat tack­led by Patek Philippe is the place­ment of the time­piece’s two gongs. Th­ese are at­tached to the watch’s case band, and not its move­ment plate. This results in bet­ter sound quality, ac­cord­ing to com­pany pres­i­dent Thierry Stern. “This makes it

It took great skill for the com­pany’s engi­neers in Geneva to merge two of the brand’s defin­ing fea­tures, ones that usu­ally op­er­ated sep­a­rately from the other

more dif­fi­cult to ad­just the sonor­ity but, in this model, bet­ter sound is pro­duced.” Ad­di­tion­ally, at the end of each hour, the time­piece’s minute re­peater will chime what the time hand in­di­cates at the end of the strike, for bet­ter ac­cu­racy. For ex­am­ple, if one ac­ti­vates the strike at 5:59:50, one will hear six hour strikes in­stead of the ded­i­cated hour, quar­ter-hour, and minute strikes. No time zone ad­just­ments can be made while the watch chimes to pre­vent any dam­age.

The in­tri­ca­cies that the Ref 5531R show­cases in its mech­a­nism are re­flected in its dial as well. To dif­fer from the ver­sion launched in the pre­vi­ous year, the time­piece now dis­plays a cloi­sonné enamel dial de­pict­ing the Lavaux vine­yards over­look­ing Lake Geneva’s shores, with a la­teen-rigged boat set­ting sail. The de­sign pays ho­mage to the UN­ESCO world her­itage site, and to the brand’s roots. The piece is the first and only Patek Philippe minute re­peater dec­o­rated this way and takes the enam­eller around two weeks to com­plete the im­age, pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to the nu­ances of colour. A 24-hour rose-gold disk is di­vided in two: the num­bers on its day half are tinted brown, while num­bers on its night half are not. The place names, on the other hand, are printed in black on the opales­cent city disk. Cen­tral Euro­pean Time is also rep­re­sented by Geneva in­stead of Paris, to high­light the piece’s over­all theme. All th­ese are housed in an el­e­gantly slen­der 18c rose gold case that is worn with a square-scaled al­li­ga­tor leather strap in cho­co­late brown that locks with a rose gold fold-over clasp.

The time­piece em­bod­ies Patek Philippe’s abil­ity to cre­ate horo­log­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions that com­bine artistry and skill, ones that have been passed down through gen­er­a­tions. It pays tribute its roots, be­ing the last in­de­pen­dent Genevan time­piece man­u­fac­ture. This in­de­pen­dence results in Patek Philippe’s long­stand­ing tra­di­tion of set­ting the watch­mak­ing pace, al­low­ing them to cre­ate and in­no­vate freely, and birthing one of a kind pieces like the new World Time Minute Re­peater.

About time The Ref 5531R World Time Minute Re­peater com­bines two of Patek Philippe’s iconic fea­tures

IN THE DE­TAILS The time­piece’s dial dis­plays a 24-hour rosegold disk for day and night; The case­band is handguil­loched with a hob­nail pat­tern

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