Among the three watches Patek Philippe unveiled this week, this Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is possibly the most distinctive, in part because the watch is the newest, most contemporary design among the debuts.
While the other two debuts, Reference 5270J-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph and Reference 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph, represent line extensions for classically designed watches available since, respectively, 2018 and 2015, the new Ref. 5303R-001 modifies a newer design debuted last year as a limited edition of twelve watches during Patek Philippe’s ‘grand exhibition’ in Singapore.
Where that Ref. 5303 appeared accented in red to commemorate the Singapore flag, this new version offers the same open, dial-free architecture but with a black minutes track and a gold seconds hand.
Here, Patek Philippe again reworks the manual-wind R TO 27 PS minute repeater caliber to emphasize its chiming operation. As a result, the repeater is fully visible on the watch’s dial side, where Patek Philippe has repositioned the caliber’s gong and hammers.
This allows the wearer to both hear and see the repeater mechanism’s hammers and gongs as they chime the time without taking the watch off the wrist – a first for any Patek Philippe grand complication.
Patek Philippe has skeletonized the caliber and then carefully hand-finished all its remaining bridges and surfaces. The Geneva brand’s finishers have decorated the movement’s plate with Genevan circular graining, applied a perlage to the recesses and decorated the hammers with a circular satin finish.The tourbillon
The tourbillon is even more transparent than the minute repeater as it’s visible from the front and the back of the watch.
From the back, the viewer can eye the back of the tourbillon case, exactly opposite the dial-side seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Patek Philippe finishers have filigreed the tourbillon’s steel components until they sparkle – a nice contrast to the rose gold back plate.
The watch’s 42mm rose-gold case notably features a wide polished bezel framing a black-lacquered sapphire-crystal rim. Patek Philippe has also placed leaf-shaped white-gold inlays along the watch’s the sides (including the repeater slide) and the sides of the lugs.
This somewhat surprising naturalistic design element –also seen shaping the white gold, black-lacquered hands – nicely balances the watch’s contemporary skeleton caliber.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon emphasizes both Patek Philippe’s mastery of the minute repeater and the depth of its artisanal arsenal.
Now available in limited production (though not as a limited edition) without the initial model’s red-tinted accents, this chiming watch will undoubtedly attract serious collectors who seek both Patek Philippe’s technical acumen as well as its contemporary aesthetic combined into one highly complicated watch.
Price: Upon request.
Specifications: Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Movement: Manual-wind Caliber R TO 27 PS minute repeater with classic gongs, tourbillon, small seconds, 365 parts, golden plate decorated with circular Geneva striping. Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations/hour (3 Hz) with a power reserve of 48 hours maximum.
Dial: Transparent sapphire, black hour circle with minute markers printed in white and golden powdered dots, pierced black lacquered leaf-shaped hands in white gold.
Case: 42mm by 12.13mm rose gold, white gold decorative inserts, humidity- and dust-protected only (not water-resistant), sapphire crystal case back, UV-protected sapphire crystal glass.
Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp
Price: Upon request.