Complications & Artisans
Patek Philippe has continuously been at the forefront of revolutionary complications in both pocket and wristwatches. The manufacture has successfully been granted over 100 patents since its founding. Patek Philippe, remains to be one of the very few manufactures that are still willing to and capable of servicing pieces from the 19th century, the savoir-faire has trickled down the generations due to the remarkable management of the brand. Patek Philippe is recognised to have embraced the artisanal craftsmanship found in the heart of Geneva and managed to fuse these remarkable creations into both pocket and wristwatches. A fine example is the marquetry technique, which is a decorative technique used traditionally on furniture, smaller wooden objects, and pictorial panels. The painstaking process consists of selecting different types of wood and gradients, which is then cut out into smaller pieces (mosaique like). The principle is always to cut the veneers according to a drawing and glue them to a base.
It is widely believed that the first example of minute repeaters appeared in the mid 18th century. At the end of the 18th century, Mr. A. L. Breguet designed a mechanism that would strike the hours, quarters, and minutes. The innovator, Mr. A. L. Breguet, replaced the traditional bell with a set of coiled wire gongs, instantly saving a lot of space and offered different tones (vibrations). By the late 19th century the minute repeater mechanism had been perfected to its current configuration.
Today, Patek Philippe is recognised as having one of the most crystal clear chimes in the entire industry. The reference 5074P is a testament to the past whilst forging ahead with modern techniques. The 42mm platinum wide, flat, and polished bezel is reminiscent of the reference 5070. The use of the rather large bezel nearly conceals the slider found on the left-hand side of the case. The applied 18-carat white gold polished indexes create a rather pleasing contrast to the black dial. The spacious dial features three registers for the perpetual calendar, the dauphine hands allow the wearer to nearly have an uninterrupted view of the complication throughout the day.
Most modern minute repeaters feature two gongs, something must strike the gongs, and in the case, it is the hammers. When developing the striking mechanism the weight and the position of each hammer must be perfectly adapted to the corresponding gong. Furthermore, and possibly more important, the strength of the spring that controls each hammer must be exactly proportional to the hammer weight, otherwise, the resulting sound will be blurred – either too weak or too strong. The 5074P achieves a fascinatingly loud chime due to the ‘cathedral’ gong. The cathedral gong differs from classic gongs in terms of its extraordinary length. Cathedral gongs wrap around the movement with a length equivalent to nearly two circumferences and are thus twice as long as classic ones. The result is a rich tone with a, particularly long reverberation.
The extraordinary caliber R 27 Q (the R stands for repetition and the Q for quantieme) combines an automatic winding perpetual calendar with an extraordinary cathedral-chime minute repeater. The 467 components of the movement are finished to a high standard. The hammers display separate bevels between their black-polish horizontal surfaces and the brushed vertical sides. The power reserve ranges from 38-48 hours, the diameter of the movement measures 28mm, and the high 6.9mm. The 22-carat gold mini rotor is flushed with beautiful decorative techniques. Additionally, the movement number 500XXXX correctly corresponds to the Certificate of Origin.
The overall condition of the dial is of a high standard, that being said, underneath the 6 o’clock marker, the word “SWISS” is incomplete the only legible letters are the SW …, upon closer inspection, we also noticed that the outer minute track is incomplete. Similarly, the 29-minute marker is incomplete. Whilst we cannot be entirely sure of how this occurred we believe that this might be a misprinted dial. The is no evidence to suggest that the dial was tampered with or damaged during service.
This 42mm reference 5074P-001 is accompanied by both its interior and exterior box, as well as the original papers dated 2013.
Brand: Patek Philippe
Movement: R 27 Q
Case Diameter: 42mm / Platinum
Year: 2013 (sold)
Box and Papers: Full Set.