WHAT IT IS
Patek Philippe’s Advanced Research division has been introducing high- horology innovations since 2005. These activities have included work in the field of Silinvar, Patek’s silicon derivative, that has subsequently led to the development of new and improved components like hairsprings and escapement systems. With each new innovation, the Genevan manufacture launches a watch housing said components. The division’s latest release is the “Advanced Research” Minute Repeater Ref. 5750, which features a new movement with an amplification system that has four patents.
HOW IT WORKS
Minute repeaters are within Patek Philippe’s wheelhouse; it made its first minute-repeater wristwatch in 1924. The Ref. 5750 looks and sounds like nothing that has come before it. It can be heard as clearly as a classic minute repeater by a listener six times further away than usual. This achievement is made possible by a new “fortissimo ff” amplifier module. Inspired by a gramophone, the Ref. 5750 features a module that works like a loudspeaker. Instead of a flexible membrane found in drums, the Ref. 5750 has a 0.2mm-thick sapphire crystal “oscillating wafer” held in place by a steel sound lever connected at the other end to the gongs. When the hammers strike the gongs, the vibrations are transferred to the lever and then to the wafer, both of which amplify the sound.
HOW IT LOOKS
Platinum is not typically used as a case material for minute repeaters because of its sound-muffling high density. But that was why Patek Philippe chose it: to showcase how its new system works independently of the case, unlike typical minute repeaters. On the front, its dial features a wholly new look with an openworked dial inspired by the spokes of vintage car wheels, which is echoed in the small seconds wheel at 6 o’clock. Backed by its technical innovations, the new aesthetic of the Ref. 5750 already feels like a modern classic.