There are a lot of renowned watch manufacturers out there, but there aren’t many who have the resources to make a watch equipped with a grand complication. Patek Philippe certainly falls in the latter category and that is one of the reasons why it stands tall in the world of Horology. For 2020, the brand has announced three new watches equipped with grand complications, and today we are taking a quick look at the most complicated and fascinating of the lot, the Patek Philippe 5350R Minute Repeater Tourbillon. Initially launched as a limited edition watch for the Asian market, this new version of the 5350R is here to be a permanent member of the brand’s catalog.
As the name suggests, this watch is all about the minute repeater mechanism, which makes this watch sing the time upon the wearer’s request. And while this is not the only minute repeater out there, what makes this watch truly special is that it lets the wearer enjoy the mechanical action of the gongs and the hammers from the front of the dial itself. To make this happen, the watch has been equipped with a transparent sapphire dial, giving away an unobstructed view of its complicated internals. The hammer and gong assembly that is responsible for the aural orchestration is visible around the 10 O’clock position. Located at 6 is a Tourbillon with a second’s hand and white printed markings. And finally, a black skeletonized handset combined along with a black/white chapter ring on the outer periphery can be used to read the time with relative ease.
Crafted from solid Rose Gold, the case on this watch looks warm and elegant and provides a nice contrast against the black details on the dial. It measures 42mm in diameter and has a thickness of just 12.3mm which in my opinion is a great feat considering what is on offer here. Furthermore, a special effort has been made to make the case look visually engaging, especially on the sides. The lugs and the side have been hollowed out and filled with ornate white gold panels. At 3 is a nicely executed gold crown and located at 8 is a trigger that when pushed activates the minute repeater mechanism.
Flipping the watch over you get a nice back view of the caliber R TO 27 PS that drives this watch. This is a hand-wound movement that features a Tourbillon and operates at a frequency of 3 Hz, offering a power reserve of around 48 hours. The movement has been beautifully decorated using polished bevels, circular Geneva stripes, gold chatons, and much more, and is a sight to behold.