When I saw the very first Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 Special Edition watch at the late fall Patek Philippe Singapore exhibition — I knew it was destined for greatness. That watch, based off of an existing movement (Caliber R To 27PS) was totally re-worked in order to showcase the minute repeater hammers and gongs on the dial side. It was a first for the venerable brand — allowing the wearer to view the hammers and gongs as they chimed the hours, quarter hours and minutes. That watch, though, was a special edition of 12 pieces only for the Singapore market. Now, Patek Philippe unveils the new 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon — a grand complication worth every penny of its on-request price. In fact, this watch is golden — meaning it is destined to go down in the watchmaking history books thanks to what it represents.
For Patek Philippe, a brand that is all about subtle beauty, having a minute repeater on the dial side was really never in the cards. Until now. For this watch, the original one of which was three years in the making due to the complexity of reworking the movement, it was high time for the brand to step out of its comfort zone and create something that would drive the collectors wild. The Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon does that.
Details of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon
While the complicated Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon is not being made in a limited edition, it is limited in production just by the sheer nature of its making. The manually wound movement, caliber R TO 27 PS consists of 356 components, including the two hammers, the gong and tourbillon escapement — whose back side of the cage can also be seen on the dial side at 6:00.
The open-worked movement is a majestic beauty with rose gold gilt plate, stainless steel tourbillon escapement and finely finished components that boast Geneva stripes for the plate, pearlage, circular graining and more. The unique case is crafted in 18-karat rose gold with white gold accents and features a polished bezel and white-gold engraved and open-worked metal marquetry on the case sides and case back. This elaborate pierced motif further underscores the individual persona of this timepiece.
Appearing to be dial-less, the watch features a sapphire crystal outer dial ring with powdered rose-gold marker dots on it and leaf-shaped hands to indicate the hours and minutes. The white gold minute repeater slide is engraved with a leaf-shaped pattern. The watch features a small seconds subsidiary dial and offers 40 hours of power reserve.
The 42mm rose-gold case is decisively unique, featuring a broad polished bezel as well as white-gold intarsias engraved with foliage motifs in the flank and strap lugs. The white-gold slide in the left-hand case flank to trigger the minute repeater is decorated with the same motifs. The hour circle is an engraved sapphire-crystal ring with powdered rose-gold marker dots.
Overall Impressions of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon
As mentioned the Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon is destined to be a collector must-have thanks to the boldness of its beauty — minute repeater gongs dial side and highly visible. Also viewable in this watch: the tourbillon escapement. Also important is the distinctive color combination of the watch, with rose gold and white gold working together for a highly contemporary appeal. The 42mm case size makes it very wearable. Yes, this watch is golden.
Technical Details of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Dial: Transparent sapphire, black hour circle with minute markers printed in white and golden powdered dots, Pierced black lacquered leaf-shaped hands in white gold
Case: 42mm Rose gold with white gold decorative inserts, Height: 12.13 mm, Humidity- and dust-protected only,(not water-resistant), Sapphire crystal case back, UV-protected sapphire crystal glass
Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black Fold-over clasp
Movement: Caliber R TO 27 PS, Manual winding, Minute repeater with classic gongs, Tourbillon, Small seconds, Diameter: 31.6 mm, Height: 8.35 mm, Number of parts: 356, Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations/hour, (3 Hz), Power reserve: min. 40 hours – max. 48 hours
Price: on request