Top Quality Explaining the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G Advanced Research Grade 1 Replica Watches

They wish to voice their uber-conservative taste when potential for it is their convenient safe-place at which cosied up against the soft walls of watch taste conservatism, they are free of producing a wrong call.Many more refrain from diamonds on an otherwise conservative-friendly Patek Philippe chronograph like the 5170 — a far lass offensive design move, I’d say, than the manufacture’s current foray into pilot watches. On a positive note, others do like diamond hour markers and (shame on me?) I belong to this bunch of horological outcasts. If we are honest, any watch that costs more than say, $1,000 is in one way or another an excessive, luxury trait — and with that in mind (and especially when you’re spending well into five figures), diamond hour markers sound more natural than ever.The 39.4mm-wide platinum instance might simply be 10.9mm thick — that the Patek Philippe 5170P gets proportions right — but it has considerable heft to it. Since the “P” from the reference number and the weight across the wrist signify, this 5170 is created from the heaviest of precious luxury watch materials. In a Patek Philippe, farther entails a tiny diamond set between the lower lugs of this timepiece, nothing more than a reminder that you need nothing but the best — or most expensive — the world must offer.Speaking of the best, the hand-wound Patek Philippe Caliber CH 29-535 PS is really among the best quintessential luxury chronograph moves, leaving no room for differing tastes or arguments. The poor horizontal clutch makes for a superior caseback — those two always attached brakes on the left hand side of the motion on the picture above swivel ever so slightly to net with the chronograph moments’ centre wheel when the chronograph is initiated.The column wheel is concealed under an extremely polished cap as seen on the picture directly over. It is an eccentric cap that permits the fine-tuning of this aforementioned clutch — as you can see, there’s a somewhat beautifully curved arm which connects the two meshing wheels together with the column wheel itself.

Patek Philippe’s most significant new launch at Baselworld 2017 did not boast its most complicated movement or a new case style, but rather the latest Advanced Research calibre with a redesigned silicon hairspring, and more significantly, a compliant mechanism for the second time zone.

The Aquanaut Travel Time ref. 5650 Advanced Research is the first wristwatch to utilise a compliant mechanism time in watchmaking, making it an intriguing idea on multiple levels.

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 1


The Aquanaut Travel Time ref. 5650 is the fifth in the Advanced Research series of watches – immediately preceded by the ref. 5550P perpetual calendar of 2011 – all of which were limited editions that served as platforms to demonstrate, and test in real life, new movement innovations.

From left: refs. 5250G, 5350R and 5450G

While the earlier quartet of Advanced Research watches were all calendars (three annual and one perpetual), the new Aquanaut uses Patek Philippe’s sporty dual time zone wristwatch as a base. The Aquanaut Advanced Research is equipped with the calibre 324 S C FUS.

Ref. 5550P


Functionally it is identical to the movement inside the stock Aquanaut Travel Time ref. 5164 (the calibre number is identical), but the Advanced Research version goes about its business in a completely different manner. The first innovation rolled out with the new Aquanaut is a reshaped Spiromax hairspring.

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 3

The first silicon Patek Philippe Watches – Calatrava 37mm Replica hairspring was rolled out in 2006 with the Advanced Research ref. 5350. Specifically, the hairspring was made of Silinvar, Patek Philippe’s trade name for silicon covered in a thin oxide layer that serves to render the hairspring immune to temperature changes (which is the same sort of silicon used for almost all such hairsprings across the industry).

A decade on, nearly all Patek Philippe movements produced today are equipped with the first generation Spiromax hairspring that had a single, outer terminal curve.

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 11

With the Aquanaut Advanced Research Patek Philippe debuts a new and improved Spiromax hairspring with two terminal curves that reproduce the effects of the Grossmann curve (on the inner end of the spring) and Phillips curve (on the outer coil) that are often found in traditional hairsprings of high-end watches.

Patek Spiromax advanced research

That’s accomplished with slight bulges in the width of the spring on its inner and outer curves, an exceptionally fine adjustment possible only because of the DRIE technique used to make silicon parts.

The result is that the second generation Spiromax breathes more concentrically regardless of its position, preserving an unchanging centre of the gravity.

According to Patek Philippe, its conventional movements equipped with the first generation Spiromax are regulated to -3 to +2 seconds a day, but with the new hairspring it’s possible to narrow the deviation to -1 to +2 seconds daily. And unlike a traditional hairspring, the Spiromax is flatter, since there is no overcoil, and also easier to install, needing no adjustment.

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The second technological advance in the Aquanaut Advanced Research is the compliant mechanism for the Travel Time display. While the ordinary Travel Time mechanism that displays a second time zone is made up of 37 parts, the Advanced Research version needs just 12.

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Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 9

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 12

That’s all down to the compliant mechanism, which grew out of the research done by Professor Simon Henein, who occupies the Patek Philippe Chair at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

Compliant mechanisms are articulated, flexible structures that can transfer force but are made of a single, seamless piece (often plastic and made via 3D-printing), a field of engineering that’s still nascent but rapidly developing.

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research compliant mechanism

Patek Philippe applied the compliant mechanism to the second time zone display, replacing the traditional network of levers and springs with a crab-like structure with four crossed leaf springs – one pair for the pushers and another pair for the beaks that rotate the gear that moves the second time zone hand backwards or forwards.

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The entire structure slides and flexes as the pushers are activated to change the second time zone – but it functions with nearly zero friction because the compliant mechanism is a single piece. The component has no joints or pivots, so there are no surfaces that rub against each other, thus eliminating the need for lubrication.

It also uses the limited real estate inside the watch case more efficiently: the compliant mechanism takes up 20% less space and is 15% thinner. And of course no assembly is needed since it is one piece – only four screws are needed instead of 10 in the conventional Travel Time mechanism.

The compliant mechanism for the second time zone feels distinctly different from that on the conventional Travel Time, though not by a large margin. The new mechanism is smoother, with less of a hard “click” when it engages and the second time zone hand jumps. That might be just due to the particular prototype that was on show at Baselworld; the final production pieces that arrive later in the year will be definitive.

Patek Aquanaut 5650G Advanced Research 7

While compliant mechanisms in other fields are often speedily produced on a 3D-printer in plastic, the compliant mechanism in the Aquanaut Travel Time is milled out of steel on a CNC machine. The machining required to produce the compliant mechanism is complex, especially for the arms that cross but do not touch.

Producing the component in steel allows Patek Philippe to apply conventional finishing techniques to the compliant mechanism, leaving it with straight-grained surfaces and bevelled edges.

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Patek Philippe is rightly proud of the compliant mechanism, in the conception, production and finishing, which is the reason the dial has a cut-out to reveal the mechanism in all its glory.

Unfortunately that design choice has been widely panned, since in it interrupts the dial without warning to expose unfamiliar looking mechanics. In any case, the Advanced Research watch is a limited edition, a concept watch of sorts if you will, which means the open-dial is not likely to be repeated.

Philosophically the compliant mechanism is intriguing because it simplifies the second time zone mechanism, running counter to the inclination towards complicated movements that’s common in high-end watchmaking. While the time taken to produce the mechanism on a milling machine is lengthy, it significantly cuts the time needed for assembly and adjustment.

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In that respect it is similar to the use of silicon in the balance or escapement, which eliminates the need for regulation and tweaking these crucial components. But while the escapement parts are vital – the heart of the movement as the cliché goes – they are small and hard to observe. The compliant mechanism for the second time zone is bigger and somehow feels like more technology is being injected into the watch.

Imagining what is possible with other complications featuring compliant mechanisms is even more intriguing. What of a chronograph that does away with springs and levers?


Price and availability

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G Patek Philippe Advanced Research is a limited edition of 500 watches in white gold. Available later in 2017, the ref. 5650G will be priced at SFr52,000 or S$77,700.


 

Discount Patek Philippe Declares No More Sealed Watches Swiss Movement Replica Watches

No, the 5170P is more like a wealthy grandpa with gemstone cufflinks: weird, but face-to-face you’re probably going to need to keep your view to yourself.The Patek Philippe 5170P is intriguing because I could envision it to be far over the top to get a few, and rather stale in the view of many others. It is, because it requires that stealth-wealth single lug-diamond and complete platinum nonsense to a different level by showing some of the lion’s teeth around the front. I mean, with no diamonds and in humble rose gold, this is a ~$75k view, so why don’t you let it live a little?Last thing worth considering is how there can be a particular charm to brilliantly implemented watches from large brands which still show a little — and also the 5170P is near to being a good example at that. However, once we speak of brilliance in execution, reflective crystals really should not be a part of this conversation. Legibility should not be forfeited for any reason, and that is exactly why the baguette markers operate so nicely: they work to design while also being exorbitantly extravagant and unnecessary. The exact same cannot be said about the destroyed crystal. I know it allegedly works in the boutique, but it is an inexplicable and total fail everywhere else. It is like rocking this opinion with a perfect tux — then walking everywhere with a stain in your lapel.In outline, I find the 5170P to become among the more intriguing recent novelties from the new, worth noting since it packs a quintessential Patek Philippe chronograph caliber using a great dial up and, due to its own diamonds, “a touch of class” — as Basil Fawlty would call it. Price for your Patek Philippe 5170P chronograph in platinum is 85,000 CHF. The Patek Philippe Calatrava lineup of time-only watches has regularly been sadly relegated to reside in the shadow cast from the brand’s more complex pieces such as their perpetual calendars or their immediately recognizable sport watch models from the Nautilus and Aquanaut. Honestly, it is clear because demure 3-hand time only watches have been a cornerstone of the line, but every now and then there are standouts that do something somewhat different.

Patek Philippe has made it mandatory for all retailers to sell its watches without the sealed factory packaging that has become a hallmark of the brand’s timepieces. In a letter sent two weeks ago to all retailers worldwide, the Geneva watchmaker asked retailers to “put an end to the sale of ‘sealed’ and ‘ doubled-sealed’ pieces”, with immediate effect.

The letter goes on to elaborate: “… ensure no Patek Philippe Watches – Golden Ellipse Replica timepiece leaves your point of sale before it has been taken out of its brown cardboard box and had its plastic bag cut open. Indeed, these boxes were never meant to be given to your clients. Please hold on to them and destroy them.”

A million dollars inside a plastic bag – a “single-sealed” Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 5002P that was offered at Phillips’ Hong Kong watch auction last year

As when Rolex introduced its warranty card with a magnetic strip that has to be swiped to be activated, the purpose of Patek Philippe’s directive is to “prevent grey market activities”.

While Patek Philippe retailers and boutiques were supposed to sell watches without the packaging in the past, that was not strictly enforced. Consequently Patek Philippe watches frequently change hands on the secondary market having never left the sealed factory packaging, sometimes having stayed that way for years. One reason that happens for Patek Philippe watches specifically – many brands ship their watches in sealed boxes of some sort – is the fact that its timepieces are often, but also misguidedly, regarded as sound investments. Equally as often, the watches are seen as portable, liquid assets.

Patek Philippe appears serious on stamping out the practice of selling sealed watches, with the letter noting that it will “follow up regularly on this directive”. The letter ends with the line: “All pieces found in a cardboard box or plastic bag after July 1st, 2017 will be view as a fault.”