November 19, 2018

Patek Philippe’s World Time Minute Repeater

For the very first time, a minute repeater sounds local time anywhere in the world.
Minute repeaters and the World Time function play a pivotal role in the portfolio of Patek Philippe’s complicated timepieces. With its chiming watches, the Genevan manufacture has defined the benchmark for decades, as evidenced by their exceptional acoustic quality, the broad range of models and variations, and the interesting combinations with other complications.
Patek Philippe’s World Time watches with cloisonné enameled dials are legendary as well; they rank among the most coveted timepieces at auctions worldwide. In the Ref. 5531 World Time Minute Repeater, the engineers in Geneva merged these two complications for the first time in Patek Philippe’s history – and also in an unprecedented way: the time is always struck as indicated by the hour and minute hands for the time zone represented by the city aligned with the 12 o’clock position
The whole world’s time at a glance For over 70 years, Patek Philippe World Time (also called universal time) wristwatches have been mainstays in haute horlogerie. The Genevan manufacture instantly recognized the potential of Louis Cottier’s idea.
In the 1930s, the Genevan master watchmaker invented a remarkable system capable of displaying the time in all 24 time zones as referenced by the cities printed on the dial or engraved in the bezel. In 1999, the manufacture fundamentally improved the functionality of its World Time watches by adding a patented mechanism.
When moving from one time zone to another, this solutions allows all three time zone indications to be corrected with a single pusher. A single actuation adjusts the city disk, the 24-hour disk, and the center hour hand by one-hour steps without affecting the rate accuracy of the movement.
Now, the challenge was to join this mechanism with a minute repeater in a way that would best address the purpose of such a watch. The result is Patek Philippe’s new self-winding caliber R 27 HU movement with the World Time function and a minute repeater.
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