Patek Philippe has become a household name in the world of watches for many reasons, one being its continuous commitment to pushing the boundaries when it comes to facets of design, quality finishes, and execution in the making of complicated watches.
Patek Philippe’s legacy as one of the world’s leading watchmakers does not end at look-and-feel alone, but rather, in its immaculate approach to combining aesthetics with innovation in mechanics. At its root, Patek Philippe’s philosophy is to focus on innovation that serves the wearer, creating timepieces that boast ornate movement work and timeless, wearable design.
This is evident in the introduction of the 1/10th Second Monopusher Chronograph Ref. 5470P-001, a timepiece that demonstrates the brand’s chronograph-building expertise. In 2005, the brand established the ‘Advanced Research’ department, which focuses on research, development, and unparalleled innovations that have allowed Patek Philippe to remain a leader on the global stage. The 1/10th Second Monopusher Chronograph Ref. 5470P-001 is one of the special, highly complex timepieces to come out of the work completed by this department.
The watch is the brand’s first that has high frequency movement of 5Hz compared to the usual 4Hz, which equates to 36,000 beats per hour and allows for the needle to move 10 places per second. It is the brand’s first watch that has 1/10th second movement, as well as a new way to display this movement on a dial and was developed based on the caliber CH 29-535 PS launched in 2009.
However, frequency alone did not allow the watch to display the tenths of a second with desired accuracy, therefore designers implemented the caliber CH 29-535 PS 1/10 with two independent chronograph mechanisms: one for the seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter, and the other for measuring and displaying stopped tenths of a second. As a result of all these innovations, Patek Philippe holds 31 patents, of which seven are specific to the new mechanism.
For the 5 Hz Frequency and the integration of a second chronograph mechanism, this new calibre requires more energy. Subsequently Patek Philippe has utilised cutting-edge materials. Rather than steel, the 1/10th second hand is made from ‘Silinvar,’ a lightweight and antimagnetic type of silicon that requires 3.35 times less energy to operate than steel. The brand’s patented ‘Oscillomax’ system that holds 17 patents and comprises of a ‘Spiromax’ balance spring with a patented terminal curve and an inner boss, a ‘Pulsomax’ escapement consisting of a lever and escape wheel, and ‘Gyromax’ balance in Silinvar with gold inlays. These components tackle challenges related to efficiency, reliability, and rate accuracy, resulting in the watch’s exceptional performance and high frequency movement despite the higher consumption of energy.
Moreover, to ensure two chronograph displays are perfectly synchronised despite the high speed of rotation, Patek Phillippe introduced more innovative solutions. The mechanism for displaying the tenths of a second receives energy from a driving wheel from the fourth wheel of the base movement, which has been designed using a two-part arrangement: an upper wheel with flexible spokes, and a lower one with rigid spokes. One drives the central chronograph seconds, which rotates once every 60 seconds, and the other for seconds, which travels five-times faster around the dial, once every 12 seconds.
Other patented elements incorporated to ensure accuracy and reliability include a shock absorber with the support of a hook that aids in securing the 1/10th seconds hand as it moves around the dial. In any event of a shock, the acceleration values of any components exposed are compensated and not cumulated, allowing them to remain in their desired positions.
The watch’s unparalleled mechanism sits within an equally impressive body that makes the watch water resistant to 30 metres. The mechanism sits in a concave bezel and can be admired through a sapphire-crystal back cover that can be swapped for a platinum cover.
The overall design and colour choices are rather sporty as the watch features a blue dial, paralleling the navy-blue calfskin strap with an embossed fabric pattern. The 1/10th seconds hand is in red, also mirroring the red decorative seams on the strap. The watch features applied Breguet numerals in 18K white gold and minute pearl markers. Like other platinum watches from the brand, there is a diamond set at the 6 o’clock position between the lugs, while two sub-dials are installed between the 3-4 o’clock and 8-9 o’clock positions with utmost attention to detail.
For more information about the 1/10th Second Monopusher Chronograph Ref. 5470P-001, click here.