It was in 2005 when Patek Philippe created its “Advanced Research” R&D department by bringing together the most skilled watchmakers. The aim was to introduce more innovative solutions in terms of materials and technologies in watchmaking. Over the last decade and a half, the Swiss watchmaker’s Advanced Research program has spawned 5 mold-breaking timepieces, with the first four watches focusing on bringing in more silicon components into the regulation mechanism. Right at the end of 2021, Patek Philippe has released the sixth chapter of the Advanced Research program. Meet the Patek Philippe Advanced Research reference 5750 “Fortissimo” (5750P/001), a new automatic minute repeater timepiece that presents a new, louder form of minute repeater chiming mechanism.
Chiming watches have always been a specialty of Patek Philippe and the new ultra-limited-edition timepiece aims at introducing ground-breaking innovation to improve existing minute repeater mechanisms. The complication with minute repeaters is that it’s extremely difficult to achieve good quality sound and high volume. Either a repeater can sound good and be relatively quiet or be loud and lack good tonality. Patek Philippe wants to solve this problem with its latest innovation. According to the Swiss brand, the idea was “to amplify the volume of the time strike in a purely mechanical manner while preserving the excellent acoustic quality as well as the smallest possible dimensions.”
The case material plays a very important role in the tonality of the minute repeater complication. While red gold is the preferred material for chiming watches, platinum is considered the worst choice thanks to the metal’s property of dampening sound waves. However, Patek Philippe intentionally crafted the watch out of platinum to show that the innovative movement doesn’t depend on the case to act as a resonation chamber. The watch features a beautiful 40mm platinum case with a polished finish.
The movement inside the platinum case is based on the classic Calibre R 27 that the brand introduced in 1989. The traditional chiming mechanism, however, is replaced a new “Fortissimo” system. For amplification of sound, the system features an oscillating wafer made of synthetic sapphire with a thickness of 0.2 mm. Just above the movement, there’s a tuning-fork-shaped metal blade that Patek calls the sound lever. This helps in transmitting the sound from the gongs to the free-floating synthetic sapphire disc. Three patents have been filed by the watchmaker for this system. The movement operates at 3Hz with about 45 hours of power reserve. The dial of the watch is just as special as the innovative movement and is said to be inspired by wire-spoke wheels of classic sports cars. Patek Philippe has announced that the Advanced Research reference 5750 “Fortissimo” watch will be limited to just 15 examples. You’ll have to shell out 590,000 CHF (about $638,000) if you want one.