Patek Philippe Ref. 5200 Gondolo 8 Days, Day & Date Indication – Ron DeCorte

Patek Philippe introduces a different twist to a proven platform, Patek Philippe Ref. 5200. In 2000, Patek Philippe launched limited edition Ref. 5100, a 10-Day manual wind rectangular watch with power reserve. In 2003, the same basic platform was employed on the 10-Day Tourbillon.

Replica Patek Philippe Ref. 5200 shares some important legacies with its immediate predecessors. Eight days of power reserve, power reserve indication and style, classic style. Its personal contribution to the trio is an instantaneous day-date calendar made possible in an extended power reserve watch via twin mainspring barrels and Silinvar® escapement innovations.

Looking from the dial side it might seem that everything looks the same. Not so, when we start investigating under the dial and between the plates and bridges, the similarities end.

1. 10-Day Tourbillon, Ref. 5101P, 2003

2. Gondolo 8 Days, Day & Date Indication, Ref. 5200G, 2013

3. 10-Day, Ref. 5100P, 2000


Although all three watches share the exact same power train configuration, the Ref. 5200 comes up short by two days. Allow me to explain. The Fake Ref. 5100 10-Day and Ref. 5101 10-Day Tourbillon enjoy relatively simple mechanics that are not as power hungry as a day-date calendar. Refs. 5200, 5100 and the 10-Day Tourbillon all incorporate a power reserve indicator which consumes extremely little power consistently over the course of the day and week. While calendar mechanisms’ must accomplish the major feat of shifting the day-date indicators each day, thus requiring much more mechanical energy.

A simple day-date mechanism (semi-instantaneous) requires much less energy for most of the day, but as midnight approaches, it faces the challenge of changing both the date and day indications in a tenuous and unsynchronized process.

An instantaneous calendar mechanism on the other hand faces this challenge casually over the course of the day by slowly building the necessary energy via a cam, releasing its energy and shifting both day and date indicators precisely, instantly and in perfect harmony.

Silinvar® plays an equally important part in making Ref. 5200 possible. Spiromax® hairspring and Pulsomax® lever and escape wheel are all Silinvar® innovations and I’m certain these innovations are important horological contributions, even if they run contrary to the naysayers.

Pulsomax® brings oil-less escapements to the forefront. The efficiency (lack of friction and mass) of two Silinvar® components, escape wheel and pallet fork, is immensely important allowing Ref. 5200 to beat at 4hz with ease.

Spiromax® would not be possible without Silinvar®. There is no other current possibility of constructing hairsprings with such geometric and chronometric precision.

10 Things to Know About the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

Patek Philippe, 175e anniversaire

1. This timepiece – the Grandmaster Chime, Ref. 5175, represents a remarkable effort. More than 100,000 hours over eight years were devoted to development, production, and assembly. The movement alone required 60,000 hours to perfect.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
The Grandmaster Chime is the most complicated wristwatch Patek Philippe has ever created.

2. The Grandmaster Chime is the first double-face wristwatch presented by Patek Philippe that can be worn with either dial facing up. The case, elaborately engraved in 18k rose gold, measures 47.4 mm in diameter and 16.1 mm in height. The central portion of the case rotates on an axis running from 12 to 6 o’clock. A patented reversing mechanism locks the case firmly in the desired position. The case contains 214 parts, and it required four years of development.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
The Grandmaster Chime case rotates using a patented reversing mechanism.

3. The movement goes by the shorthand designation Caliber 300, but just as Prince Harry’s full title is His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, this movement’s full designation is Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM. It is the most complicated wristwatch movement Patek Philippe has ever produced.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
The 1,366 part Caliber 300 movement is constructed in four main layers.

4. The manually wound movement has 20 complications and 1,366 parts, including 32 bridges and 108 jewels. It runs at the unusual frequency of 25,200 vph, or 3.5 Hz. A complete list of the complications is shown in the graphic below. All of these complications are contained in a movement measuring only 37 mm x 10.7 mm. That is an amazing feat of micro-engineering.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
Timepieces with just one of the Grandmaster Chime’s complications, such as a minute repeater or a grand sonnerie, are considered quite impressive.

5. All of these complications are displayed on two dials, known as the time dial and the calendar dial. Each dial was formed from a solid 18k gold disk. As this watch can be worn with either dial facing up, the most frequently needed information – the current time and the date – is displayed on both dials.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime dials
Patek Philippe very thoughtfully created time and date displays on both dials.
6. In addition to the patented case-reverser system mentioned above, the movement contains five additional patented mechanisms:
Alarm mechanism with time strike: this is a mechanism that acoustically indicates a preset alarm time with hour, quarter-hour, and minute strikes using the chiming mechanism of the minute repeater.
Date repeater: this mechanism obtains date information from the perpetual calendar and forwards it to the repeating mechanism.
Isolation of the Grande Sonnerie in the “Silence“ mode: this mechanism uncouples the Grande Sonnerie from the movement when the “Silence” mode is selected, eliminating friction that consumes power.
Selection of strikework operating mode: this mechanism allows the automatic time strike to be selected or disabled with a single slide switch: Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie or Silence. Formerly, two separate switches were needed to make these settings.
Unique four-digit year display: this mechanism automatically synchronizes the four-digit year display with the leap-year cycle and allows convenient correction of both displays in either direction.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
The rare four-digit year display synchronizes with the leap year cycle, and it changes instantly.

7. The first patent listed above – the alarm with time strike, is claimed to be an original complication.
8. This is the first Patek Philippe wristwatch with both grand and petite sonneries. The grand sonnerie is often cited as the most difficult complication in watchmaking. The Ref. 5175 grand sonnerie automatically chimes the hours and quarters on three gongs. At the top of each hour, it sounds the corresponding number with low-pitched tones. At each quarter, it signals first the hours, then the number of quarters, indicated by triple strikes on three gongs, with each quarter having its own melody. When the grande sonnerie is not required, the slider located at 9 o’clock can be used to set the watch to “petite sonnerie”, or to “silent.” The sonneries, and the minute repeater, require their own twin-barrel mechanism that provides a 30-hour power reserve.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime movement
The Caliber 300 represents Patek Philippe’s first grand and petite sonnerie in a wristwatch. The grand sonnerie mechanism is visible in this image.

9. The Grandmaster Chime features an instantaneous perpetual calendar, meaning that all of the calendar displays change at the same time, instantly. Most perpetual calendar displays, which are less complete and much less complex, do not change instantly, and some require more than an hour to change.
10. The Ref. 5175 Grandmaster Chime will be produced in a limited edition of seven pieces, one of which will be displayed in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. The other six are spoken for. They have been reserved by longstanding Patek Philippe collectors, at the estimated price of 2.5 million CHF.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
The six examples of the Grandmaster Chime that will be offered to the public are spoken for, but you will be able to see one at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.

History of the Patek Philippe Watch Company


Patek Philippe story spans more than 160 years; in that time, the brand has won international renown and has reconfirmed its standing as one of the world’s most important watchmakers.
The first pioneer of Fake Patek Philippe was Antoine Norbert de Patek. On May 1, 1839 he laid the cornerstone for his legendary life’s work, founding his own watch manufacture under the name Patek, Czapek & Co. Here, the first Patek Philippe pocket watch was born; afterward, Patek began producing about 200 high-quality pocket watches per year. On May, 15, 1845 Patek & Co. was founded, with headquarters in Geneva with a new partner, Jean Adrien Philippe, who became the company’s technical director. Prompted by Philippe’s ingenuity, from 1845 onward the firm started producing watchmaking machinery of its own design. The teaming of the gifted businessman, Patek, with the pioneering watchmaker, Philppe, was the beginning of the Patek Philippe watch company as we know it.
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In 1846, Tiffany & Co. wanted its own Patek Philippe pocket watch. After a dinner with Patek in New York, Tiffany appointed Patek Philippe its principal supplier of pocket watches for the next several years. Throughout the history of Patek Philippe, many famous personalities became enthusiasts of these watches. For example, in 1915, Albert Einstein ordered a Patek Philippe watch in gold.
The Stern brothers, Charles and Jean, entered the picture in 1932. They came to Patek Philippe’s rescue during the bleak days of the Great Depression. It was fortunate for Patek Philippe, because the company rapidly regained ground under its new management. The brothers Stern invested in many innovations and took the watch manufactory forward.
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If you are a Patek Philippe watch enthusiast, you must read this article. If you are curious about the company behind your Patek Philippe Calatrava, you must read this article. If you own a valuable Patek Philippe watch, or even just planning to purchase your first Patek Philippe watch, this WatchTime Spotlight article is for you. And only WatchTime could tell the story of Patek Philippe and its interesting history with such flair.