Of the special edition watches created for the Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019, one is entirely new, and it also happens to be the most complicated – the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Ref. 5303R-010.
The model reference reveals the key design feature of the watch, like the preceding ref. 5304R, the new watch has no dial, so the mechanics below are revealed in all their glory. This creates a first for a Patek Philippe wristwatch – it shows the tourbillon regulator at six o’clock, something that has historically been hidden on the back of all wristwatch tourbillons.
Protecting the tourbillon
The rationale for hiding the tourbillon from view was to prevent exposure to UV light, which can ostensibly break down the lubricants that keep the tourbillon in optimum running condition. Consequently, the sapphire disc over the tourbillon regulator has a UV protection coating to prevent the lubricants from being exposed to sunlight.
A reworked movement
The new ref. 5303R is powered by the R TO 27 PS movement, which combines a minute repeater and tourbillon. Though it’s based on the longstanding cal. R 27, the movement was significantly reengineered to show off the striking mechanism under the dial. Amongst the changes are a larger base plate, as well as a rearrangement of the hammers and gongs, which required 20 new components to be added.
Interestingly, the hammers have been slightly ground down around the edges that point towards the hands, so as to prevent the hands from contacting the hammers when moving over them.
Like many recent top of the line Patek Philippe complications, the ref. 5303R has an elaborately decorated case. The case band and lug flanks featured inlaid white gold panels open-worked in a lattice motif, while the tourbillon slide is also white gold and engraved in relief with the same pattern.
Only 12 will be made for the brand’s retailers and boutiques in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Singapore element in the watch, however, is a subtle one: the red minute track around the dial has 12 stars, a reference to the national flag of the city state, which is red and white, bearing a crescent and five stars.
Material: 18k rose gold
Water-resistance: Moisture and dust proof, not water-resistant
Movement: R TO 27 PS
Functions: Minute repeater, tourbillon and subsidiary seconds
Winding: Manually wound
Frequency: 21,600bph, or 3Hz
Power reserve: 40-48 hours
Strap: Alligator with folding clasp
Price and availability
Limited to 12 watches, the Ref. 5303R-010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Special Edition is priced at 590,000 Swiss francs, equivalent to US$594,000. For more, visit Patek.com.
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