December 8, 2022
  • December 8, 2022
  • Home
  • Mechanical power
  • New Patek Philippe Ref. 5750 Advanced Research Minute Repeater is inspired by cars and has a small speaker

New Patek Philippe Ref. 5750 Advanced Research Minute Repeater is inspired by cars and has a small speaker

By on February 22, 2022 0

“At first the sound was loud but terrible. We went to a speaker manufacturer for help and an audio doctor. We tried gongs in gold and other materials, we looked at glass, silicon, steel – and finally platinum hammers. And we will continue to work on it…”

For now, however, the improvement is more than enough to warrant a 15-piece edition, at an asking price of CHF590,000 (about $895,000), a cost that reflects the complexity of the acoustic mission. Patek boffins imagined a new sound amplifier module which works like a tiny mechanical speaker.

Covered by four patents, it consists of a flexibly suspended sound lever fixed in the middle of a rigid oscillating plate in transparent sapphire crystal with a thickness of only 0.2 mm. When the hammers strike the gongs, their oscillations are transmitted to the sound lever which, at first, amplifies them. It then transmits them to the wafer which, with its angular movement, excites the layers of air above and below the sapphire crystal, producing a noticeably louder sound.

The improvements don’t stop there. To prevent the strikes of the hammers on the gongs from creating oscillations throughout the watch, an insulating bead made of high-tech composite material acoustically decouples the amplifier from the movement, and the sound is channeled more efficiently with each step until it exits through four discreet slots in the case – each protected by a mesh dust filter.

The effect in real life? A watch that, according to Patek, “allows you to hear sound six times further”, as well as noticeable improvements in “harmonic quality and richness”.

Although this makes advanced research a singular proposition, it joins a series of high-end watches inspired by the automotive world – Girard -Perregaux in connection with Aston Martin, Roger Dubuis with Lamborghini, IWC with AMG-Mercedes, Richard Mille with McLaren and now Ferrari, formerly Hublot’s badge pal for a decade.

The Bovet Battista Tourbillon proudly displays the dual influence of its creation.

That said, he is a lesser known watchmaker, Bovetgoing beyond the usual visual innuendo and what are mostly symbolic references, getting closer to the famous Pininfarina name and actually involving the company in the design of a watch.

Battista “Pinin” Farina started Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Italy 90 years ago, producing memorable designs for Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.

Bovet, which first rose to prominence in Fleurier, Switzerland in the 1800s and was restarted by enthusiast owner Pascal Raffy in 2001, has partnered with Automobili Pininfarina, the coachbuilder’s side business producing what is claimed to be Italy’s most powerful sportster, the all-electric Battista hypercar.

The resulting watch – “created next to the car” – is the Bovet Battista Tourbillon, a highly technical timekeeper with more than a few styling cues from the Battista EV.

Limited to 90 pieces and yours for around $390,000, the Tourbillon has a 45.6mm case in polished grade 5 titanium, red gold or platinum, its workings exposed between front and back sapphire crystals.

Raffy says this unique effort could not have been achieved without the shared development process between the artisans at Bovet and the team at Automobili Pininfarina, with the watch crafted to mirror the car’s bespoke parts and decorations.

The tourbillon cage is inspired by the central locking road wheels of the Battista electric hypercar.

It remains to be seen how this works in practice, given that the creation of a Battista vehicle is described as “a virtually limitless customization process, with over 128 million combinations for interior color and materials alone”.

But from the first meeting of the teams, the goal was clear, according to Raffy: to create a timepiece with a similar focus on innovation – “in style as well as in materialization”.

Looking at the watch, it’s clear that style came out on top, with the Battista’s most recognizable features such as the exterior curves and design details reflected in the hands, bridges, dials and dial structure. show.

The references continue throughout, from the most subtle to the most obvious, with the Automobili Pininfarina and Bovet flags on the power reserve dial and Farina’s signature adorning the dial above the date display.

The 36-page Machine special is in the March issue of AFR Magazine, out February 25.

This is not a watch that will make you forget its origins. The two-tone blue dials on the watch face feature Battista’s Triangolo pattern and together form the shape of the number 90, a reference to Pininfarina’s 90-year heritage, while the tourbillon carriage draws inspiration from the wheels of the Battista EV with their central locking technology.

The machine’s motor on the wrist is no less imposing, a handcrafted double-sided tourbillon that spins at 18,000 vibrations per hour, with 10 days of power reserve from a single barrel. The patented flying tourbillon is fixed in the center of its axis, the distribution of the weight of the escapement and the hairspring drastically reducing the lever arm effect and friction.

A second patent concerns the miniaturization of the winding mechanism. A mechanical watch with 10 days of power reserve would typically require twice as many crown turns to wind, but the Bovet Battista Tourbillon’s spherical differential system cuts that in half.

Such detail and finesse make this an impressive piece, which leaves only one question: of these two unquestionably indulgent watches, both striking in their own way, which would you rather have on your wrist? That is? No more?

Whatever your answer, it seems fair to leave the last word to Raffy: “Cars and timepieces share the same values: design and performance. When you start a project and there is no interest other than the pursuit of perfection, the passions don’t just add up, they multiply.

AFR Magazine’s March Innovation issue – plus Machine – was released on Friday, February 25 inside The Australian Financial Review. Follow AFR Mag on Twitter and instagram.