5 Interesting Facts About Patek Philippe

The most complicated watch made by Patek Philippe is not the Henry Graves Supercomplication.

In 1989, in commemoration of Patek Philippe's 150th anniversary, the distinction of having the most intricate watch was established. The Patek Philippe Calibre 89, a sophisticated timepiece with 33 complications and 1,728 parts, is the watch in question. This required five years of study and a further four years of development, much like the Henry Graves pocketwatch.

Before the Quartz Crisis, Patek Philippe used electronic movements.

Patek Philippe received two patents for photoelectric table clocks in 1954 and 1956. Two years later, the first entirely electronic clock was created and awarded the American "Award for Miniaturization." To compete with the rising demand for quartz watches during the quartz crisis, the company also used the Beta 21 movement. A number of Swiss manufacturers, including Rolex, employed this movement.

The quartz movement is embraced by Patek Philippe. While other high-end companies have now stopped using quartz, Patek Philippe continues to make watches with the very precise technology, including the ladies' Nautilus, Aquanaut, Gondolo, and Twenty-4.

Every single item is made in-house.

Patek Philippe manufactures every component of the watch in-house rather than using external vendors. This enables total control and the upholding of high standards. This is also the reason it takes years to produce very complex timepieces like the Calibre 89. Additionally, all watches are hand-finished rather than using automation.

The First Minute Repeater Wristwatch from Patek Philippe Belonged to a Woman

For a Mrs. D.O. Wickham, an Art Deco-inspired minute repeater with a platinum case and chain link bracelet was created in 1916. This was the company's first wristwatch, while it had previously made minute repeater pendant watches or pocket watches. A 5-minute repeater, this watch would chime the hours, quarter hours, and then the closest number of 5-minute intervals. A 27.1mm platinum case housed it. Not until almost a century later, in 2011, with the reference 7000R, will a minute repeater designed specifically for women be made available.

Patek Philippe's Department of Advanced Research combines tradition with innovation.

In 2002, Patek Philippe invested in a brand-new division with a clear emphasis on creating cutting-edge technology and unique materials. The manufacturer's motto is "Tradition & Innovation," and this new division fits in nicely.

This division unveiled an escape wheel made of mono-crystalline silicon in 2005. The absence of lubrication was made possible by the silicon's exceptional hardness, corrosion resistance, anti-magnetic properties, and low weight. It's important to remember that Ulysse Nardin first began using silicon in 2001 with the release of the Freak.

Following the introduction of further silicon components by Patek Philippe as a result of this new material development, the material's widespread usage gained momentum. The Silinvar vacuum oxidation method, which was developed in collaboration with the Swatch Group and Rolex, was utilized in the production of the Spiromax balancing spring. Since then, silicon components have continued to be released by Patek Philippe and other companies.

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