Saturday, November 12, 2005

Patek Philippe 5959P - Chronographs, Where Next?

Whilst I loathe the Officer's style case, and the piddly unfashionable (even for me) 33mm dia., I have to like the movement in the the new 5959P rattrapante just a little. Up to now, Patek Philippe had used a Nouvelle Lémania calibre, but this is finally its own; totally designed, developed, and produced in-house. Allied to being the thinnest at 5.25 mm (for a column wheel movement), with rattrapante functionality and continuously advancing minute counter, it employs Patek's interesting patent for chronograph wheel teeth

where the centre chronograph wheel has the teeth profile at the top of the diagram and the intermediate wheel has the profile of the teeth at the bottom. This allows smooth engagement and minimises the jumping of the chronograph seconds when started and stopped.

Calibre CH R 27-525 PS. Patek's first chronograph movement?! Finally totally designed, developed, and produced in-house.

Of course if they employed a vertical clutch design, like the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Cal 75x, they wouldn't have had the problem to solve anyway.....

The very best picture on the internet of this $300k beast is taken by Suitbert Walter of ThePuristS

Whilst it is laudable to miniaturise such a high complication I believe it would have been better to take advantage of the growth in case sizes and push the capability of the watch further, for example, on spring barrel or balance wheel size* or incorporation of further complication, let alone adoption of 28,800 vph (or more), their silicon escape wheel, or their new escapement. Whilst not following these paths, I hope we may yet see their foudroyante patent, say 2006?

Meanwhile, for those without $300k, the current Patek Philippe magazine is offering the chance to get a free lithograph of the movement. But stocks are limited so hurry....

*Interesting to note that although Patek make a big thing of the "remarkable proportions" of the Gyromax balance wheel, it is, in fact, a modest 10 mgcm2 inertia (compare Jaeger-LeCoultre and Rolex at 14 and 15 mgcm2 respectively).

1 comment:

Speedmaster said...

Great info, thanks.

I once read, don't remember where, that PP assembled each watch, runs it in for perhaps a few days, then completely tears, down, cleans, lubes, and reassembles each piece before shipping. Do you if that's true?