What is the secret sauce hidden in the Patek Philippe Advanced Research Project Three Questions List?

An almost invisible adjustment can make a huge difference.

The cheap Patek Philippe Advanced Research Projects Seminar (if you may call it that) is to Patek Philippe what the Skunk Factory is to Lockheed Martin-a think tank that occasionally produces paradigm shifting techniques that challenge the accepted wisdom on how to do things . ARP has been in business since 2005, and most of the work they have done since then has been to fold silicon technology into the fine watchmaking industry. This is a split thing-let’s face it, we don’t expect traditional fine watchmaking and traditional fine watchmaking companies, because we want to get more things from the semiconductor industry.

However, if you want to understand what materials science can do for mechanical horology, then this is an interesting space (if you look back at the history of mechanical horology, at least from the early days, material science is essential to improve accuracy) 20th Century). The new Patek Philippe ARP Minute Repeater is, if I calculate it correctly, there is only the second ARP project that is not silicon-centric-reference. 5750 is a self-winding micro-rotor minute repeater, based on the 1989 R 27 movement (for example, as seen in 5178G-001), but a new system has been added to output the sound waves of gongs in watches and open air .

There are two basic questions about the three-question timekeeping: sound quality and volume. Since you cannot separate them completely, this is complicated. You can make a repeater that sounds great but is too quiet for anyone to hear. You can make a repeater loud enough to be heard at an anthrax concert, but lacks warmth and complexity. tone. Like most repeaters, the 5750 wants to have its cake and also wants it-good volume, and good sound quality.

There are two ideas behind 5750. The first is to make a repeater, which has been improved in terms of volume. The second is to make a sound that sounds the same regardless of the shell material. The case material is one of the most critical aspects of a classic repeater-especially traditionally, red gold is considered the best choice because it provides the best balance between sound quality and volume. Generally speaking, platinum is a poor choice for repeaters, because the density of the metal and its crystal structure tend to suppress the sound and attenuate the secondary tones that make the bell sound rich. Research repeaters (if I can create a nickname) deliberately use platinum casings to better emphasize the advantages offered by the new technology.

Patek Philippe’s solutions to these two problems involve thinking about new technologies, while retaining the classic beauty of the caliber R 27 and the proportions of the classic minute repeater. The answer to these two questions is to make a new system for amplification and transmission. Just above the movement, there is a very light part, which Patek Philippe calls the soundbar. This is a tuning-fork-shaped metal blade that extends from the connection point at the bottom of the gong to the center of the movement. In the center of the movement, the thickness is only 0.08 mm. Here, it is connected to a free-floating synthetic sapphire disc-a 0.2 mm thick wafer. The small metal disk you see at the tip of the sound bar is actually part of the sapphire oscillator chip. The tip of the sound bar is connected to it from the bottom with a small screw. best watches fake

Generally, in a repeater, the sound from the gong requires three paths. It passes from the gong upwards through the movement and dial, and then through the top of the watch. Some sound energy will also pass through the case. The last way is through the bottom cover. The sound travels to the wrist and then reflects from the tissues of the wrist, up and out through the case and dial (it turns out that this can give you an additional benefit; usually, repeaters are actually louder and sound better ) Wrist Beat).

In 5750, the sound path is different. The sound bar obtains mechanical vibration from the gong, which reaches the center of the movement along its length. Next, the tone rod transmits the vibration to the oscillating wafer. Unlike many mechanical resonators, its edges are not fixed to anything-instead, it can vibrate freely. From there, the sound passes through the small hole in the titanium sports ring, then through the narrow opening between the back cover and the strap (so narrow, I can’t actually see it in any image), and then into the vast world There is a dust filter between the case and the titanium ring, but it is not waterproof-interestingly, according to Patek Philippe, the dust filter is borrowed from the mobile phone industry, where it’s.

Patek Philippe said that one of the advantages of the system is that its volume or quality does not depend on the housing material. Here, I can basically accept what they said, but I still feel that you have to hold off your judgment until you hear it. Everything will affect the sound of the repeater. Although the performance of the resonance system (which Patek Philippe calls the “fortissimo ff” module) may indeed be the same in all possible case materials, it is difficult to imagine that the case material will not color the case. The sound is to some extent.

I think this is a great technology and remind people that when it feels impulsive, Patek Philippe copy can still do some interesting things technically. One of the lovely things about this watch is that when you look at it, you don’t know that the resonance system is even there-you can’t see the oscillator chip through the back cover at all, and you will hardly know that it is more than just a sound. The automatic repeater with the R 27 movement sounds inexplicable in the platinum case.

At the same time, I want to know if there is a missed opportunity here from a design point of view. Patek Philippe’s advanced research project watches usually do have some obvious signs that they are not ordinary Patek Philippe (for example, the 2017 Aquanaut Travel Time has a large aperture on the dial, so you can see that the adjustment mechanism is a dual time complication). It would be great if this person had a deeper understanding of the basic premise of this technology. Since the technology is basically invisible, making it more invisible on advanced research project watches will be consistent with complications. An ARP repeater looks not significantly different from the traditional Minute Repeater, but it sounds obviously different. It is already cool; this is the choice Patek Philippe made for the first ARP watch in 2005, which is 5250 annual calendar).

We have high hopes for Patek Philippe. We do this because they not only represent technological innovation, but also represent traditional high-end watchmaking craftsmanship, which has won a reputation for hundreds of years. Although the hype machine has been running at speed for many years, these watches have not added any topics from a watchmaking or design point of view, but the reality is that historically, Patek Philippe is what it looks like. Throughout its history and the entire product range from entry-level to high-end, the consistency of execution quality is rarely approached by competitors. There are only 15 items in the world, and the probability that I will never see it with my own eyes is very high. Nevertheless, one can still hope-I hope that in the future, we will have more conversations about the truly interesting watchmaking industry,

Patek Philippe Ref. 5750 Advanced Research Projects Minute repeater: case, platinum, front and back sapphire, not waterproof; 40 mm x 11.1 mm, lug width 21 mm, in case you want to put it on NATO, you are tall / The crafty master of low style.

Movement, caliber R27 PS, 28 mm x 6.05 mm, platinum micro-rotor, laser etched, running 39 jewels at 21,600 vph. The automatic minute repeater with the patented “fortissimo’ff’ system” is composed of a flexible suspension sound bar, a sapphire glass oscillator chip, a composite insulating ring and four sound holes in a titanium ring; free hairspring adjustable inertial Gyromax pendulum Wheels with Spiromax (silicon) balance spring.