NEW: Patek Philippe “Advanced Research” Ref. 5750 Minute Repeater
It hits me from the first images — the monochromatic Mandala-design dial within a classic case is hypnotic. Cheekily matched by a very unusual black stitch on the orange-brown alligator strap, it sets the tone for a much-needed distraction. Let’s forget about a certain co-branded Nautilus in all its hype. Right now, a thoroughly modern minute repeater with a mind-boggling 342 parts somehow fitted into a svelte 11.1mm case is just the respite we needed.
For me, this simply reaffirms my beliefs in Patek Philippe’s standing within the much-discussed holy trinity of Swiss watchmaking. And I understand Thierry Stern’s sentiments on the evergreen 5711, ironically published on Hypebeast in July. Quoted from an interview with The Telegraph in the UK, the decision to discontinue (well, eventually) the ref. 5711 Nautilus is sound. Like Rolex with the Submariner, Thierry Stern does not want Patek to turn into a mono-product brand. So, green madness and insane Tiffany hype aside, I understand. And this new Patek Philippe “Advanced Research” Ref. 5750 Minute Repeater is proof positive.
Is it about the dial or the acoustics?
The Ref. 5750 Minute Repeater has a classic 40mm case, well-rounded and stepped, and executed in 950 platinum. With its curved lugs, it has all the characteristics of a quintessential precious metal Patek. This includes the diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock — the quirky mark of a platinum case — and an all-telling slider at 9 o’clock. I love the intrinsic details in the spoked wheel aesthetic of what is an uncharacteristic Patek dial. Almost industrial in its brushed splendor, consider it more of an embellished loudspeaker. Just bear with me on this.
The sound of the past made future proof
Patek Philippe is well-versed in the production of minute repeaters, one of the loftier pursuits of Haute Horlogerie. Untouched by fashion, hype, or rappers’ love of gem-set wrist flash, it’s blindingly expensive but refreshing all the same. The caliber R 27 PS is Patek’s base movement for minute repeaters, with hammers striking gongs to mark off the time. In connection with these, however, sits a new amplification module. This is the Fortissimo “ff”. Now get ready for some acoustic science. The sounds from the gongs are linked to what resembles a tuning fork, amplifying the sound. And it doesn’t end there. This is transferred to the ref. 5750’s novel mechanical loudspeaker, changing my perceptions of the centuries-old art of the minute repeater.
Tech focus for clarity and volume
Any loudspeaker needs an oscillator to function, usually through cones, but here is where Patek has upped the game. As if the “Advanced Research” department considered carbon fiber too common, the complex oscillator is a 0.2mm wafer of sapphire crystal. It’s rigid but has the ability to vibrate like a tweeter. To negate the widespread dissipation of the sound, a sound-insulating rim has openings at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. This allows the concentrated sound to exit through a narrow slot in the case back, making the chimes six times louder than usual. To be honest, platinum is the worst metal for case construction if you want good acoustics, so this is a power flex from Patek Philippe.
A dial of charming complexity
Matched by the micro-rotor of the R 27 PS movement, the five-part white gold dial is as complex as it is elaborate, with a motif that reminds me quite a bit of spoked wheels from the early 20th century. In this case, the ones from a Bugatti Type 37, perhaps? A broad, radially brushed chapter ring frames the center. With its dark arrowhead indices and snailed depth-inducing background, Patek has managed to create a beguiling dial sans color. And check out the seconds register at six.
At CHF 590,000, I’d say every last one of the 342 parts is worth it…
As if copied in miniature, the small seconds register has an almost whimsical touch. Inside a brushed frame, another Mandala-patterned disc slowly rotates, as a tiny pointer marks the seconds on the engraved circle. The Patek Philippe “Advanced Research” Ref. 5750 Minute Repeater is a considerable investment and limited to just 15 pieces. At CHF 590,000, I’d say every last one of the 342 parts is worth it, and you can keep your Tiffany-dial 5711. I’d rather sell my house for this.
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