A few decades ago, Patek Philippe introduced a brand new Ref. 5980/1A using a white dial (such as laymen: that’s the Nautilus Chronograph). We at Monochrome Watches were a bit surprised to find, at Baselworld 2014, that Patek had already discontinued the steel 5980/1A model And substituted it with a metal Nautilus Chronograph with another time zone, such as the one in the Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5164.
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their calibre 240, Patek Philippe released the fully skeletonized ref. 5180/1R Squelette to celebrate the occasion during Baselworld 2017. For this new iteration of the Calatrava ref. 5180/1R, the automatic calibre 240 has been magnificently skeletonized and engraved in which could only be described as an horological work of art. The aesthetic appeal and transparency with which the caliber 240 SQU keeps track of time makes it a miniature opus of kinetic art. Its plate and bridges are pierced to the maximum extent possible to create a seductive view without compromising the reliability and functional integrity of the movement. Featuring an 18K rose gold 5N case with a diameter of 39 mm, the new Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5180/1R Squelette showcases their expertise to the max.
Things you Need to Know
The work involved requires not only artistic flair and a steady hand, it also calls for the skill of the watchmaker who knows exactly where the limits of skeletonization lie. The plate is open-worked even above the barrel, exposing the coiled mainspring beneath the pierced contour of the Calatrava cross. It takes more than a week to create the filigreed transparency of the movement, but at that point, the project is far from over. The next steps take place on the workbench of the engraver who further refines the watch with his artisanal skills. He invests more than 130 hours to decorate the remaining structures with vivid arabesques and volutes. The “Patek Philippe Genève” brand signature is engraved on the remaining parts of the barrel frame around the Calatrava cross, which itself is also decorated.
Additionally, the “PP” logo of the Patek Philippe Seal is making its first appearance of the 22K gold minirotor. In the end, the entire skeletonized movement chassis is plated with rose gold and then polished to match the case and bracelet. Now decidedly a work of art, the automatic movement calibre 240 SQU composed of 159 parts and 27 jewels is framed by a movement holder ring in 18K rose gold 5N. The ring itself is also skeletonized down to 12 spokes that serve as hour markers.
The great effort involved in skeletonization and engraving does not infringe any horological principles as evidenced by the rate parameters of the completed watch. With a tolerance of -3 to +2 seconds per day, its rate accuracy complies with the strict directives of the Patek Philippe Seal.
The caliber 240 SQU is accommodated in a round rose-gold Calatrava case which is reduced to a narrow frame and places emphasis on the movement. With its large-format sapphire crystal glass and case back, it assures total transparency yet offers optimized protection and water resistance to 30 meters.
The watch is equipped with a supple and very elegant 18K rose gold bracelet that is secured by a fold-over clasp. The bracelet is very thin and extremely well crafted with an extremely elegant appearance.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, there’s not much to say other than that this Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5180 Squelette is a work of art with transparency to the max and a work of skeletonization that very few brands can do at this level. The watch wears true to its size and with unparalleled elegance. There are skeletonized watches and then there’s this Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5180/1R Squelette.
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