As the proverb goes, “The devil is hidden in the details.” replica Patek Philippe seems to have a thorough understanding of this proverb, and its horological technology is vividly reflected in the smallest details. (It can even be said that the ultimate goal is probably to replace the subject, as the famous architect Mies van der Rohe did when he proposed “God is in the details”).
One example is the new Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Reference 5990/1A released at the Baselworld this year. For the first time, Patek Philippe will pair a self-winding chronograph with a dual time zone. The hidden story shows that this Geneva brand’s gradual style of doing things gradually achieved technological leadership, and then ingeniously and aesthetically integrated these technologies into different series. This “devil in the details” approach explains to a large extent the ultimate continuity of the brand’s various series. This continuity is the result of natural inheritance, connecting the watches with a certain “dynastic” logic.
Back in 1997…
To fully understand the workload behind the new Nautilus Travel Time chronograph, we have to go back to 1997. In this year, Patek Philippe released the Travel Time watch, enriching the series of “small” and useful complex watches that the brand has been continuously developing and achieving considerable success. The original design of this smart Travel Time watch is based on an original patent since 1959. It is equipped with a manual winding movement, which is extremely easy to use and has a clear time display.
Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph ref. 5990/1A
The difference with the dual time zone watch at that time is that Travel Time is an elegant classic watch (a gentleman’s watch has a diameter of 33.85 mm, which is considered a small watch by today’s standards, while a ladies’ watch has a diameter of 29.50 mm). In the center are the hours and minutes, and the sub-dial has a 24-hour scale and small seconds. The watch has two ingenuities, which will only be revealed when the dual time zone function is activated: the black hour hand that shows the travel time hides another golden hour hand that is perfectly synchronized with it in a low-key manner.
Only when one of the two adjustment buttons in the middle of the case is pressed, and when the other hour hand starts to display the permanent residence time, the travel time hand will “split”. Another technical trick is that these two adjustment buttons can be used to dial the travel time hand forward or backward-at the time other dual time zone watches could not do this, their hands could only be dialed forward in time. . In order to obtain this convenience for use and reading, it took more than two years for research and development.
A useful adjustment of complex functions
In 2001, Patek Philippe decided to incorporate this complication into its flagship Calatrava watch. So the Calatrava Travel Time was launched, with a 37 mm diameter case with a large mirror polished bezel-these are the characteristics of the new shape Calatrava launched a year ago.
Calatrava Travel Time (Ref. 5134P-001 / 2001-2009)
The mechanical logic of the second time zone is unchanged, but for the first time a hollow black pointer is used instead of a gold pointer. In addition, a lot of work has been done from an aesthetic point of view, especially the perfect integration of the two buttons to move the travel time hand forward or backward. These two buttons imitate the shape of the crown cover, highlighting the classic symmetry of the watch, while the sapphire crystal case back highlights the movement and meticulous workmanship.
2006, Nautilus’s first retouching
In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus “Elegant Sport” watch, one of its great classics, which has become a symbolic product, Patek Philippe has slightly modified this watch in terms of aesthetics and technology. This watch was originally designed by the famous designer Gérald Genta. The case structure continues the spirit of its release in 1976. It is equipped with the previous porthole hinge structure, and there is a compressed flat cushion between the bezel and the middle of the case. sheet. The main change is in aesthetics. The “porthole” mechanism is retained in order to adapt to the bezel accessories. However, this new design also allows some minor aesthetic modifications to be achieved, especially giving a slight curve to the two hinges, extending the outline of the bezel.
The elegance of the swiss watches prices has thus been further enhanced.
At that time, the Nautilus series also released the first complex watches. First of all, we saw the new self-winding chronograph movement: Patek Philippe Calibre 28-250 C, equipped with a column wheel and a larger Nautilus case with a diameter of 44 mm. The reading of this flyback timer is shown in A large and special “single counter” displays the hours and minutes of the elapsed time on three concentric scales. Since its inception, this watch has been enthusiastically sought after, reaffirming its continuous extraordinary charm, not only dynamic, but also strong and both subtle and elegant.
In keeping with the spirit of this watch, more useful complications were added to the Nautilus series in subsequent years, including the 2010 calendar watch version.
Nautilus becomes a traveler
The new Nautilus Travel Time chronograph in 2014 combines the “single counter” display of the chronograph in a unique way with the convenient travel time function that is constantly being perfected by Patek Philippe.
In order to accommodate these two different complications, namely the realization of a chronograph and a second time zone on a timepiece, Patek Philippe has specially developed a new movement (CH 28-250 S C FUS). The travel time mechanism is added to the movement with an integrated chronograph, with traditional column wheel control and innovative clutch discs. As we explained above, this mechanism allows the local time to move forward or backward in hourly increments, and these operations are completely separated from the basic operation of the watch. Therefore, this function has no effect on the amplitude and speed of the balance spring of the watch. The date display also logically matches the local time. It was previously displayed in the 3 o’clock window, and now it’s a sub-dial display at 12 o’clock with a hand. This chronograph’s “single The “counter” is also converted into a 60-minute accumulator at 6 o’clock.
Only these display changes use 47 new components. The thickness of the movement is only 0.3 mm, mainly due to the use of the patented Spiromax balance spring made of Silinvar material. This kind of hairspring vibrates symmetrically and synchronously on an axis. With its improved end curve, it occupies a smaller space than the traditional Breguet hairspring. In addition, it is also equipped with a self-winding calibre CH 28-250 S C FUS movement, the central pendulum is 21K gold, the frequency is 28,800 per hour, and it is equipped with Gyromax, which was invented by Patek Philippe in 1949 more than 60 years ago. This chronograph is of excellent workmanship, with Côtes de Genève decorated on the hand-chamfered plywood, and the ring-shaped waves on the pendulum can be seen through the back of the sapphire crystal case.
Aesthetic and technical exquisiteness
However, integrating this new travel time function into the Nautilus chronograph requires meticulous work on the famous porthole-shaped case. This watch case has two side protrusions, which can accommodate two additional buttons for travel time functions. The protrusion on the right is used to protect the two time buttons, making them closer to the crown, and the mechanism is more direct. From an ergonomic point of view, these buttons have “soft feel and powerful functions.” The original protrusion on the left is replaced by two buttons that accurately mimic its shape. Despite the addition of new holes, this watch can still ensure water resistance to 120 meters (12 bar).
The famous Nautilus stainless steel bracelet is equipped with a folding clasp. The polished link in the middle and the auxiliary strap on the side are interlocked, bringing unparalleled comfort to the wrist. Because of the addition of the travel time function, the signs on the dial have to be rearranged, but all the signs of the Nautilus series are still retained: the raised horizontal relief, the gradual hue, the lighter the color toward the center of the dial, the platinum hour markers with luminescent material, The overall perfect symmetry.
At 12 o’clock, we see a new date dial with a hand corresponding to the 60-minute counter of the chronograph at 6 o’clock. On the middle horizontal axis, there are two small day/night indicators. The 3 o’clock position shows the residence time, and the 9 o’clock position shows the local time. In addition, the local time is displayed with fluorescent-coated stick pointers, while the residence time is displayed with hollow pointers.
This new timepiece has “everything a man wants a popular swiss watch brands to have”, and it undoubtedly marks an important stage in the legendary journey of Nautilus.