Review – Patek Philippe Advanced Research Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G (And History of the Advanced Research Program)

Review – Patek Philippe Advanced Research Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G (And History of the Advanced Research Program)

Earlier this year, Patek Philippe divulged the restricted release Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G, including the most recent innovation created by its Advanced Research program. With its bizarre feel and noteworthy innovative advances, it immediately got perhaps the most discussed watches at Baselworld. Today, we’re going active with this staggering timepiece to study what Patek Philippe is calling ‘two significant advancements in the field of horological design‘ and to see exactly how commonsense the watch is for ordinary wear and use.

Patek Philippe Advanced Research

For numerous individuals, Patek Philippe is an esteemed yet moderate watch brand, zeroed in essentially on conventional plans and notable complications. And keeping in mind that there is a trace of validity in that depiction, the Geneva-based watch producer is additionally profoundly imaginative, continually looking to grow new advances and develop existing ones. Over the span of its 178-year history, the Maison has created many complications, showcases and specialized arrangements, including the Gyromax balance licensed in 1949/1951, which considers the dormancy of the equilibrium to be changed without changing the dynamic length of the hair-spring, and obviously the innovation of the annual calendar in 1996. It was this equivalent spearheading soul that prompted the foundation of the Patek Philippe Advanced Research project in the mid 2000s.

The turn of the century was a productive time in watchmaking, with new advances, and all the more especially, new materials being found and created. One material which caused critical discussion and which is presently generally utilized and acknowledged, is silicon. Noticing the developing significance of this material and of the assembling measures connected to it (like LIGA and DRIE innovation), Patek Philippe moved rapidly to get included. With its autonomy ever a need, the company decided to zero in on close participation with autonomous improvement offices, for example, the CSEM research lab and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) that works world-driving micromechanical and gadgets research establishments in Neuchâtel. The researchers at Patek Philippe additionally frequently work together with partners at other regarded makes, however the essential spotlight is on making restrictive innovations.

The objective of the production in setting up this task was to dispatch a vanguard advancement program that improved conventional improvement exercises with research in the spaces of “new materials,” “new fabricating technologies,” and “new reasonable fundamentals.” The main huge improvement was Silinvar®, a protected material dependent on monocrystalling silicon, which was grown mutually by Patek Philippe, Rolex, and the Swatch Group along with the CSEM in Neuchâtel, and divulged in 2005. Notwithstanding being practically unaffected by temperatures running between – 10°C and +60°C, this new material was incredibly lightweight (just 33% of the mass of steel, while being twice as hard), required no oil, was consumption safe and antimagnetic.

In that very year, the main getaway wheel made of Silinvar® was disclosed, housed in the restricted version Ref. 5250 Annual Calendar Patek Philippe Advanced Research. Stylishly the watch was exceptionally exemplary looking, notwithstanding, the sapphire display caseback of the Ref. 5250 uncovered a magnifier over the getaway haggle explicit scaffold arrangement to consider unhampered perspectives on this inventive break wheel.

Since at that point, a few eminent developments have followed from the Advanced Research project, including the Spiromax® balance spring made of Silinvar® (2006), the Pulsomax® escapement made of Silinvar® (2008), and the Oscillomax® outfit (Pulsomax® escapement with GyromaxSi® equilibrium and Spiromax® balance spring) (2011). Similarly as with the first revealing of the Silinvar® get away from wheel, each time another innovation was presented, the production dispatched unique restricted version timepieces that were the first to be supplied with one of the cutting edge arrangements created by the Patek Philippe Advanced Research adventure. Each model highlighted an unmistakably exemplary plan stylish on the dial – reliable with what we’re utilized to from Patek Philippe – and a sapphire presentation caseback for showing the most recent advancement in the movement.

The Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650 proceeds with this pleased practice of displaying the most recent innovation from the Patek Philippe Advanced Research group in a restricted release timepiece, yet for certain outstanding contrasts. For a beginning, it’s the originally Advanced Research model not to be introduced in a round case. It’s likewise the main that doesn’t include an annual or ceaseless calendar. In conclusion, and all the more clearly, one of the specialized advancements being introduced is shown intensely on the dial side, bringing about a watch that is definitely more modern looking than we’re accustomed to seeing from Patek. Before we get derailed the feel – we’ll come back to that later – we should talk some more about these two innovations.

Innovation. 1: another Spiromax® offset spring with a licensed terminal bend and an inward boss

It’s been a little more than 10 years since Patek Philippe presented the Spiromax® balance spring and from that point forward, the company has been attempting to make it far and away superior. Following quite a long while of R&D, the production disclosed its new spring, which sees the first external supervisor currently combined with an inward chief. The external chief, likewise referred to as the Patek Philippe terminal bend, improves the isochronism of the equilibrium on the whole situations by guaranteeing the enough concentric extension and compression of the equilibrium spring. On the other hand, the internal supervisor balances positional changes of the focal point of gravity to guarantee the most noteworthy conceivable rate exactness in vertical directions. This implies that the watch won’t run more slow or quicker paying little mind to its orientation.

As an aftereffect of these new turns of events, Patek Philippe reported that watches fitted with this new equilibrium spring could be changed with a mean pace of – 1 to +2 seconds each 24 hours. The Patek Philippe Seal forces rigid necessities on all the manufacture’s mechanical watches. The mean pace of developments with a measurement of in excess of 20 mm should go inside – 3 to +2 seconds of the day. For Patek Philippe tourbillon timepieces, the resilience is an exacting 3 seconds each 24 hours, which implies that models fitted with the new Spiromax® balance spring can coordinate the rate exactness of a Patek Philippe development with a tourbillon. The goal is to slowly incorporate the offset spring with this calculation into the ebb and flow creation plan, showing that the job of the Advanced Research Project is to profit the whole Patek creation and obviously the inevitable proprietors of the watches.

Innovation. 2:  Time zone adjustments with compliant (adaptable) system in steel

The second advancement, which is in plain view on the dial side of the watch, is a time zone remedy framework that utilizes a solitary adaptable piece of steel to change the GMT sign advances and in reverse. The primary piece of this system comprises of four crossed leaf springs – two for each corrector button (one for the setting switch, one for the nose that advances the stuff edge), each with characterized pressure focuses. Every individual leaf spring is very dainty, and they get over one another a ways off of only 150 microns. Likewise produced in ordinary horological steel, the advancement of the entire framework required modern computer reenactments and more than 500 hours of computer displaying. Front line, computer-programmable machines were then used to produce the components, which clarifies why this sort of mechanical advancements utilizing straightforward steel was not practical before.

The result is actually very amazing. Prior to the advancement of this new part, the standard GMT system was comprised of 37 individual parts. Presently, it has been decreased down to only 12 sections, and maybe more significantly, there are no pinion wheels or turns. This implies there is no mechanical play, no grinding, and no arbor wear, which implies completely grease free usefulness. It additionally implies quicker gathering – there are only 4 screws holding it all together – and a compliment outline (1.24 mm versus 1.45 mm). Excitingly, as per the brand, this initial raid into “flexible mechanisms”, another area of research roused by Professor Henein who holds a seat supported by Patek Philippe, has additionally opened-up absolutely new points of view for various future applications in mechanical horology. All in all, watch this space.

The Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G

So, what might be said about the Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G itself, what’s it like on the wrist? Furthermore, what might be said about the abnormal choice by Patek Philippe to have a semi-open worked dial to show the new time-zone component? Indeed, first off, on the wrist it is truly comfortable. Introduced in a 18K white-gold case estimating 40.8 mm in width and 11 mm thick, it’s not exactly as polarizing as the press photographs may recommend once you have it on. Like the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Jumbo 5168G , which was likewise revealed at Baselworld, it has a lovely naval force blue inclination dial with differentiating applied Arabic numerals and files in white. Similarly as with the other Travel Time watches in the Patek Philippe assortment, it shows the nearby time and date just as a subsequent time-zone, and a day/night marker for both time zones. The pushers on the left-hand side of the case can be utilized to advance the time advances or in reverse by one hour when you travel, which additionally refreshes the day/night markers and date as necessary.

The huge kicker obviously, for bad-to-the-bone Patek fan, specifically, is the incompletely open-worked dial, which puts the time-zone remedy component on full presentation. This was an intense choice by Patek as it’s a significantly more advanced look from the brand than its purchasers are utilized to at the end of the day, I think it was the correct one. Displaying the innovation in this manner promptly permits the client to not just see it in real life progressively yet additionally to wonder about how evidently straightforward in development it appears.

The other thing to remember is that this Patek Philippe we’re discussing, which implies that all the surfaces of the new mechanical setting have been carefully completed and enhanced by Geneva watchmaking customs. The obvious surfaces are exactness ground, the imperceptible undersides carefully brushed, and the inner parts of the leaf springs sandblasted. All edges are carefully chamfered and cleaned (aside from, for practical reasons, those of the leaf springs). The surfaces around the bores for the mounting screws are round grained. Under the loupe the degree of detail is amazing yet even taking a gander at it with the unaided eye it is outwardly very alluring, yet to some degree sudden at first.

Visible through the sapphire caseback is Patek’s programmed type 324 S C FUS, complete with the new Spiromax® balance spring. Estimating 31mm in measurement it beats at a consistent 28,800vph and offers a maximum force hold of 45 hours. Enhanced with the Patek Philippe Seal, the development is wonderfully completed and is appraised to – 1/+2 seconds most extreme day by day rate deviation. Restricted to only 500 pieces, the Patek Philippe Advanced Research Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G retails for 53,500 Euro. Tastefully, it may not be as everybody would prefer however the significance of the innovation it houses is evident. The unavoidable issue, obviously, is the thing that’s coming next?  patek.com .


Technical Specifications – Patek Philippe Advanced Research Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650

  • Case: 40.8mm measurement x 11m thick – 18k white gold, cleaned and brushed – sapphire precious stone on the two sides – 120m water resistant
  • Movement: Caliber 324 S C FUS, in-house – Patek Philippe Seal – programmed – Spiromax® offset spring with a licensed terminal bend and an internal chief – 4Hz recurrence – 45h force hold – hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time-zone, day/night indicator
  • Strap: Night blue composite lash emblazoned with same checkerboard design as dial – twofold security overlay over fasten in 18K white gold
  • Price: 53,500 Euro – Limited Edition of 500 pieces