Patek philippe 5101R 10-Day Tourbillon

Patek Philippe’s marathon runner now in rose gold

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Published by 3810 on July 31th, 2009 at 05:05 p.m..

The new Ref. 5101R 10-Day Tourbillon

Six years ago, the Ref. 5101P turned heads and won over hearts. The rectangular timepiece with a platinum case, a form movement, two mainspring barrels for a power reserve of 10 days, and a tourbillon escapement flaunted its assets with the discreetness and understatement that is so typical for Patek Philippe. Now, the time has come to introduce a new version: the Ref. 5101R in 18K rose gold.

The benchmark for marathon runners: a 10-day power reserve
Launched in the year 2000, the 10-day Patek Philippe Ref. 5100 initiated a trend that since then galvanized many high-end watchmaking companies. New watches with power reserves of four, six, and eight days appeared year after year. But in 2003, Patek Philippe outdistanced other contenders with the Ref. 5101, which in addition to the 10-day power reserve also featured a tourbillon escapement. To this very day, it is still the only crown-wound wristwatch with such an extended autonomy. It must be noted that the power reserve refers to the period in which the watch preserves a functional amplitude and thus fulfills strict rate accuracy requirements. This holds true for the new Ref. 5150 R, which runs accurately for 240 hours when fully wound. The advantage is obvious: it can easily be left off the wrist for a week without having to be resynchronized.

In the Patek Philippe caliber 28-20/222 manufacture movement, the requisite energy is stored in two mainspring barrels. A coupling system with a slipping bridle spring on the first mainspring barrel prevents overtightening of the mainspring and blocking of the spring barrels when fully wound. The power-reserve indicator at 12 o'clock on the dial informs the owner of the movement’s residual power reserve. The 11th segment of its scale is red, signaling the need to rewind the watch. This requires about 100 turns of the crown, a reasonable effort in relation to the 10-day power reserve. Half a turn is already sufficient to build up a reserve of somewhat more than an hour.

In this extraordinary caliber, Patek Philippe implemented yet another rare mechanism to demonstrate its horological prowess: a tourbillon escapement that makes the hearts of watch lovers beat faster. The device consists of 72 individual parts that together weigh a scant 0.3 grams. And all steel parts of the filigreed cage are meticulously finished by hand. But this does not nearly explain the extraordinary amount of time required to craft this timepiece.

Great shape
An incomparable movement like the caliber 28-20/222 deserves a case that lives up to its intrinsic ingenuity. The striking rectangular form in the art deco style is reminiscent of the peerless classics of the 1920s and 1930s. With its sleek three-tiered flanks, it expresses the epitome of elegance. The warm hue of 18K rose gold now transposes the fascination of this remarkable design movement straight to the 21st century. Despite its considerable length of more than five centimeters, the anatomically curved case gently hugs the wrist. This curvature is also followed by the convex sapphire crystal, which is ground parallel inside and outside to eliminate any magnifying-glass effect or optical distortion. The crystal protects the matt sheen in dark silvery gray of the 18K gold dial, the two bright silvery guilloched subsidary dials for the seconds at 6 o'clock and the 10-day power-reserve indicator at 12 o'clock, as well as the serial number of the movement and the inscriptions “Patek Philippe” and “Tourbillon”. The hours and minutes are indicated with leaf-shaped hands and applied Breguet numerals in 18K rose gold. The screwed sapphire-crystal case back reveals the meticulously decorated plate and bridges, the intricate tourbillon, and the jewels held in gold chatons.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5101R 10-Day Tourbillon with the new rose gold case is worn on a hand-stitched, largescaled alligator strap with a matching rose gold buckle.

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