Last year marked Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than with a series of limited-edition timepieces? Why not include the most complicated wristwatch Patek Philippe has ever created? That’s just what they did. Here are ten things you need to know about it.
1. This timepiece – the Grandmaster Chime, Ref. 5175, represents a remarkable effort. More than 100,000 hours over eight years were devoted to development, production, and assembly. The movement alone required 60,000 hours to perfect.
2. The Grandmaster Chime is the first double-face wristwatch presented by Patek Philippe that can be worn with either dial facing up. The case, elaborately engraved in 18k rose gold, measures 47.4 mm in diameter and 16.1 mm in height. The central portion of the case rotates on an axis running from 12 to 6 o’clock. A patented reversing mechanism locks the case firmly in the desired position. The case contains 214 parts, and it required four years of development.
3. The movement goes by the shorthand designation Caliber 300, but just as Prince Harry’s full title is His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, this movement’s full designation is Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM. It is the most complicated wristwatch movement Patek Philippe has ever produced.
4. The manually wound movement has 20 complications and 1,366 parts, including 32 bridges and 108 jewels. It runs at the unusual frequency of 25,200 vph, or 3.5 Hz. A complete list of the complications is shown in the graphic below. All of these complications are contained in a movement measuring only 37 mm x 10.7 mm. That is an amazing feat of micro-engineering.