Obviously many here and myself first may wonder if we will ever see this Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar replica watch out of the Patek Philippe window at Baselworld or the Geneva boutique. Those who may not wonder such question may answer “why bother?”. I’ve read your many answers complaining in some way about so many “Grande complication” watches in this year’s novelties from Patek Philippe. I finally know that Patek Philippe’s prestige is due to the historical general high level of quality of its products, but also and maybe even more to the fascination exercised by its permanent prowess on the complicated watch market.
This extraordinary instantaneous perpetual calendar based on the toubillon minute repeater calibre from Patek Philippe was the nest for a new improvement of the breed. This improvement is renewed with the new Patek Philippe 5208.
The new watch uses the automatic winding minute repeater base calibre R 27 PS of the 5078, turning it into a R CH 27 PS QI, for “Repetition chronographe 27 mm petite seconde quantieme instantane” so if you need a translation, an automatic winding minute repeater with (monopusher) chronograph and instantaneous perpetual calendar with moon phases.
I think, or guess, that the truth may be that the market for such complicated watches from Patek Philippe is essential for them. I too think that you first among others ask always more from Patek Philippe.
Three year ago the 5207 was revealed at Baselworld.
The apparition of the Spiromax and Pulsomax advances in a higher end piece (the 5208 is the #2 now in the order of most complicated wrist watches by Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar replica watch , after the Sky Moon Tourbillon) is the first implementation in the general catalog of the brand (although the 5208 will be limited in numbers by its complexity and sold exclusively by the Geneva boutique for the time being). We can imagine that it is only the beginning of a slow spreading to the whole range.
So if you except the unique piece reference 3615 made between 1982 and 1986, the new 5208 is the first wristwatch from Patek Philippe mixing a chronograph and a minute repeater. The automatic winding is a proof in some way of the usability wished by Patek Philippe. That it adds an instantaneous perpetual calendar emphasizes its exceptional complexity.
A high tech feature. It is the first Grande Complication that integrates silicon-derived Silinvar® components: the revolutionary Pulsomax® escapement and the Spiromax® balance spring. These two features were incorporated in the Patek Philippe Advanced Research reference 5450 three years ago.
If the watch is extremely complicated and high tech, it is surprisingly simple in its dial organization and consequently seems easily readable, whatever information you’re looking for (and if you can’t read it you can still make it ring). The calendar is nearly on line at the top. The time is easily readable on the vertical axis. The chronograph indications are on a horizontal line at the middle. The moon phase is nearly alone at the bottom if someone really wants to read it.
It is also simply usable: only one pusher for the chronograph (start, stop reset), one slider for the repeater!
The implementation of the chronograph parts has been done between the base plate and the calendar plate (that is right below the dial). This was necessary as the repeating mechanism couldn’t be moved and needed all the room on the back side. That has two consequences.
The complication of the instantaneous indication relies in the necessity to have all indications move at the same time of course, and as they need more energy than hands, to have them move perfectly, without any incomplete or excessive move.The perpetual calendar plate is directly inspired from the 5207 plate but has been adapted to accommodate the presence of the chronograph mechanism below.
First you won’t see the chronograph mechanism from the back.
Furthermore it also uses the patented self setting hammers and brake levers of the other proprietary chronograph calibre CH 29-535 PS of the 5170 and now 5270.
The chronograph mechanism is quite modern too as it uses for powering the minute and hours counters the friction drives of the Patek Philippe proprietary calibre CHR 27-525 PS of the ultra thin split seconds 5959 (and now also 5950 and 5951). It also uses the toothing profiles of the chronograph wheels of the same calibre, to reduce wear and increase power transmission efficiency.
So the energy of the cannon pinion is transferred laterally to pass through the chronograph mechanism and be sent back to the middle of the Patek Philippe 5208 replica watch dial to drive the minute and hour hands and the instantaneous perpetual calendar indications.Then it has necessitated to have an indirect indication of the time as the base plate and the dial were separated by the chronograph mechanism and the cannon pinion couldn’t go through the chronograph wheel.