Patek Has Shoehorned a Gramophone Into Its Latest Watch


The technical challenges confronting most watch manufacturers start and finish with the necessity for exact and dependable timekeeping. But in horology’s prime tier, a extra surprising battleground has emerged lately: the hunt for acoustic dominance.

Chiming watches, emitting delicate mechanical pings to offer an aural studying of time, are seen as pinnacle creations in watchmaking. But in an period of ever smaller expertise with progressively spectacular audio capabilities, sound high quality has grow to be an more and more essential issue. So it follows that in watches a wealthy bong versus a frail ding is a quite extra conspicuous manifestation of excellence than precision of a few seconds per day. 

Accordingly, the likes of Audemars Piguet, Chopard and Bulgari have been competing to enhance sonority by any innovatory means. Patek Philippe, the model with by far the most important array of chiming watches, has joined the audiophile occasion with the newest watch from its Advanced Research program, which focuses on creating novel applied sciences for watchmaking.

Reference 5750, a platinum-cased minute repeater, makes use of an all-new chime-amplification system referred to as the Fortissimo module, which rethinks the way in which sound is unfold inside and out of the watch. The technical inspiration is from a idea as antiquated because the mechanical wristwatch itself: Thomas Edison’s phonograph, the primary document participant.

In a minute repeater, a lever pulled on the facet of the watch case prompts an inside mechanism of hammers and gongs, sounding out the time in a collection of two-note chimes. The expertise emerged in clockmaking within the seventeenth century and was subsequently miniaturized for pocket watches. Why was this so necessary? It meant time might be advised at midnight.

The key part of the 5750 is a clear oscillating disc of sapphire crystal, simply 0.2 millimeters thick. The massive vibration floor amplifies sound waves transmitted through a metal lever hooked up to the disc’s middle.

Courtesy of Patek Philippe

These had been uncommon, high-prestige objects, as they’re right now: According to Patek Philippe, which produced the primary trendy wristwatch minute repeater in 1989, a single watchmaker can spend as many as 300 hours assembling one.


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