During New York’s Art of Watches exhibition, Patek Philippe presented a magnificent, limited-series timepiece which, for the first time in the company’s history, combined two of its most emblematic complications: a minute repeater and World Time display. This model is now part of the company’s standard catalogue with the reference 5531R.
The minute repeater is a device which enables hours, quarter-hours and minutes to be timed by means of an audible signal at the moment when it is activated. Its origins date back to a time when electric lighting was not widespread, and the chime enabled one to determine what time it was even in total darkness.
The World Time display shows the time in 24 time zones, and can be set in just a few minutes. Pressing a small button causes a ferrule to swivel inside the watch face, on which the names of cities in all of the time zones are displayed. The name of the city desired is moved to 12 o’clock and the watch shows the exact local time.
What is unusual about this reference is that the minute repeater does not chime only for the local time but can do so for any time zone, once set. The Geneva-based company has obtained a patent for what is the only mechanism of its kind in the industry.
As is usual for special editions of World Time watches, a cloisonné enamel decoration adorns the centre of the watch face; a typical vineyard scene from Lavaux, on the shores of Lake Geneva between Lausanne and Montreux, and a UNESCO heritage site since 2007.
The watch mechanism is enclosed in a rose-gold watch case with a 40.2mm diameter. The sides are embellished with elegant guilloché decoration with Clou de Paris motifs.
As is normal for these models, Patek Philippe will produce an extremely limited number of this reference.
Geneve, April 2018