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Patek Philippe at Baselworld 2017, a year with two anniversaries and fascinating debuts Patek Philippe can look back to an uninterrupted legacy of 178 successful years in business, so it is not surprising that the suite of anniversaries is becoming denser. They prompt the Genevan manufacture to craft commemorative watches that recall significant events. In 2017, the Aquanaut collection is celebrating its 20th birthday with an anniversary model while the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement can showcase its many facets with a number of timepieces presented on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. The future is unfolding with a new perpetual calendar watch featuring a timelessly classic “vintage” design, and also with the latest milestones in the “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” series that are united in a limited edition of the Aquanaut Travel Time.
For the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut collection, the manufacture is presenting the Aquanaut Ref. 5168G in 18K white gold. With a diameter of 42 mm, it introduces a new “Jumbo” size in Patek Philippe’s sports chic segment. The second debut is the Aquanaut Ref. 5650 “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” in white gold in a limited edition of 500 watches endowed with the latest technical advances. Launched over 15 years ago, the Patek Philippe Advanced Research program stands out with two major innovations. The first one is the Spiromax® balance spring with a new geometry that in addition to the outer boss (for improved isochronism) now also has a boss at the inner end. It delivers a noteworthy improvement of isochronism in vertical positions. The second innovation relates to compliant (flexible) mechanisms made of steel. They replace mechanical articulations with filigreed leaf springs in crosswise arrangements. The result is a time-zone setting mechanism that reduces the number of parts from previously 37 to 12. It is not only thinner but also works without lubrication and wear. As a world premiere, both innovations are integrated in the Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650 “Patek Philippe Advanced Research”. It debuts in a limited edition of 500 watches in 18K white gold.
Introduced in 1977, the ultra-thin self-winding Caliber 240 movement has established itself as one of the mainstays of Patek Philippe’s success. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this caliber, the manufacture is presenting several debuts that showcase its versatility.
The new Calatrava “Squelette” Ref. 5180/1R in 18K rose gold 5N sheds new light on the self-winding caliber 240 that was dramatically skeletonized for this watch. Its open-work structure is lavishly engraved by hand with volutes and arabesques.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6006G illustrates another interesting aspect of the caliber 240: its subsidiary seconds in the unusual position between 4 and 5 o’clock. This timelessly classic white-gold watch has a remarkably graphic dial in ebony black and contrasting finissage.
The Calatrava Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899 ladies’ wristwatch emphasizes the importance of the ultrathin self-winding caliber 240 movement in the creation of elegant timepieces. It is a very feminine companion in white gold with mother of pearl, a full complement of flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds and rose sapphires (702 precious stones totaling about 4.35 ct.); not least, it owes its grace and poise to the slender movement.
Crafted only in small series, the Calatrava “Azulejos” Ref. 5089G is the first model with enamel dials portraying “azulejos” motifs. They are inspired by Portugal’s ubiquitous azulejos murals, which are composed of many individually painted ceramic tiles. The caliber 240 ticks beneath these precious dials that are decorated by hand with miniature azulejos paintings.
The Ref. 5320G Perpetual Calendar is a new Patek Philippe model conceived for eternity. It shows the same face that has been Patek Philippe’s archetype for perpetual calendars since 1941: the dual day/month aperture at 12 o’clock, a subdial for the analog date and the moon phases at 6 o’clock, now completed with the small round windows for day/night and the leap-year cycle. The white-gold case echoes design elements from legendary 1950s watches. It accommodates a self-winding caliber 324 S Q movement with a new calendar cadrature and a sweep seconds hand. Click here to view the latest video from Patek Philippe from Baselworld 2017.
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