Originally introduced as the 12-piece limited edition ref. 5303R-010 for the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019, the Minute Repeater Tourbillon was a unique watch amongst the brand’s grand complications. It combined an open dial, partially-skeletonised movement equipped with a minute repeater and tourbillon, within a case with contrast-colour gold inlays.
Now the reference has entered the catalogue as a regular-production model with the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 5303R-001.
When first debuted during the Grand Exhibition in Singapore, the ref. 5303R was polarising but popular. Traditionalists who favour the old-school Patek Philippe style (think Breguet numerals and leaf hands) didn’t appreciate it, but those who wanted something more contemporary or unusual loved it.
Initially I though the look was too much, but came to appreciate it, especially in the context of a Patek Philippe collector who already has several watches. This looks different, while still having all of the key features that make it appealing, namely the excellent minute repeater sound and the “octopus” wheel on the back.
Skeletonised and inlaid
The key features of the new watch are identical to the Singapore edition. The movement is the Cal. R TO 27 PS, featuring both a minute repeater with cathedral gongs and tourbillon.
Both the complications are visible on the dial, with the hammers and racks exposed at 11 o’clock, and the gongs circling the dial.
The ref. 5303R is also the only model in the catalogue that has the tourbillon visible on the dial, sitting under a clear sapphire disc covered in a transparent UV-protection coating that prevents sunlight from degrading the lubricants of the mechanism.
To match the case, the base plate is plated in rose gold, while the bridges of the movement that are visible through the case back have the usual rhodium finish. The most prominent and beautiful detail on the back is the “octopus” wheel with its serpentine spokes that are rounded and polished.
The case is a largish 42 mm and made up of two colours of gold. Most of the case is 18k rose gold, but the flanks of the case band and lugs are decorated with open-worked inlays in 18k white gold.
Key facts and price
Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.3 mm
Material: 18k rose gold with inlays of 18k white gold
Water resistance: Moisture resistant; not water resistant
Movement: Cal. R TO 27 PS
Functions: Time, minute repeater, tourbillon
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 40-48 hours
Strap: Alligator with folding clasp
Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 600,000 Swiss francs
For more, visit Patek.com.
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