At Patek Philippe, complicated watches for ladies are a venerable tradition. Long ago, the company introduced repeaters in delicate feminine formats that announced the time with gentle sounds as a very rare and exclusive musical diversion. More recently, the growing appetite among women for complex mechanical watches was sated with moon-phase displays, a second time zone, or the Annual Calendar in seductive timepieces for ladies. Now, during the advent of the 21st century, Patek Philippe presents the first Grand Complication for ladies: the ultra-thin Ladies First split-seconds monopusher chronograph Ref. 7059.
The brisk global demand for wrist chronographs quickly made the transition into the ladies’ watch segment. Patek Philippe responded in 2009 with the “Ladies First Chronograph” Ref. 7071R; it was endowed with the manufacture’s new chronograph caliber before the men’s model was launched. This new chapter opens with a strikingly elegant, and seductively beautiful ladies’ watch that incorporates a split-seconds chronograph; because of its mechanical complexity, it ranks among the so-called Grand Complications. The development of a split-seconds chronograph with column-wheel control in the format of an elegant ladies’ wristwatch is a venture for which Patek Philippe is clearly predestined: after all, its portfolio of movements includes the caliber CH R 27-525 PS, the thinnest column-wheel splitseconds chronograph in the world. The caliber number suggests its dimensions: Diameter 27.3 mm, height 5.25 mm. A caliber of this compact size fits in a case that looks very ladylike on a slender feminine wrist. The elegant rose-gold case with 226 diamonds will delight every woman, as will the mechanical marvel that quietly ticks beneath its dial.
For Cosmopolitan Women: The World’s Thinnest Split-seconds Chronograph
No eyebrows are raised today when an elegant, self-confident woman sits at the wheel of a high powered sports car or an SUV. It is no longer unusual for women to take a keen interest in the performance potential provided by variable valve timing or a dual-clutch transmission, so it is not surprising that complex mechanical timepieces are objects of desire for them as well. They are conversant with modern technologies but also know how to deal with lap and reference times.
They will appreciate the fact that the new Patek Philippe Ladies First split-seconds chronograph Ref. 7059 contains a mechanical movement that has held the world record in miniaturization for six years. With a height of 5.25 millimeters, the caliber CH R 27-525 PS is the thinnest column-wheel controlled split-seconds chronograph in the world. And with its patented innovations, it is also one of the most advanced chronograph movements of traditional design. Its makers pulled out all the stops to assure superior rate accuracy and reliability despite the compact dimensions of the caliber. Novel toothing geometries for the chronograph wheels improve power transmission while reducing friction and wear. The friction drive of the minute counter not only reduces the height of the caliber but also offsets the torque differences between the coupled and uncoupled states of the chronograph; this assures that the amplitude of the balance remains constant in every operating mode. The teeth of the manual winding mechanism also have a new profile. It becomes evident in the smooth responsiveness of the crown felt by the fingertips, a tactile experience referred to by insiders as “velouté Patek” – the Patek Philippe silk feeling. It is a sensual pleasure that perfectly matches the feminine look of the watch.
The Irresistible Combination Of Rose Gold And Diamonds
The case of this rare and exclusive Grand Complication for ladies unites classic design, traditional artistry, and feminine elegance with true panache. The distinctive Officer’s-style case with straight lugs and screwed strap bars reflects the classic-traditional aspects of the new Ladies First Split Seconds Chronograph Ref. 7059. Its feminine facets are underscored by the soft, romantic glow of 18K rose gold 4N and the fiery passion of the 153 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds (~0.72 ct.) set in its bezel. A close look at the two sparkling rows of precious diamonds raises the question whether the jeweler’s artistry at this extreme level – selection, arrangement, and setting of the stones – should perhaps also be counted as a complication.
The matt opalescent dial also tends to distract from the fact that the mechanical movement beneath it belongs to the so-called “domain of the extraordinary”. The applied Breguet numerals and all hands, including the chronograph and split-seconds hands, are crafted from 18K rose gold. The minute, subsidiary seconds, and 60-minute counter scales are transfer-printed in a rose gold hue. They decorate the dial with a delicate expression that forms a fetching contrast to the horological complexity of the timepiece. The genius that stands behind its functionality becomes evident when simultaneously starting the slender chronograph and split-seconds hands with the monopusher in the comfortably fluted crown, stopping the split-seconds hand with the pusher at 2 o’clock, activating the pusher again to cause the split-seconds hand to catch up with the chronograph hand, and finally resetting both hands to zero. This exquisitely choreographed mechanical ballet instantly wins over a woman’s heart.
A sapphire-crystal case back adorned with 76 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds totaling approx. 0.40 ct. showcases the ultimate in watchmaking artistry. The focus is on two column wheels crowned with polished caps, a venerable tradition at Patek Philippe. They are framed by lavishly decorated bridges with polished chamfers and Geneva striping. The display back also reveals elegantly shaped parts and the striking bridges “à l’ancienne” with reentrant angles that can only be finished by hand, a process that requires exceptional talent and many years of experience. Movements like this cannot be produced with assembly-line methods. They are crafted individually by the hands of a master watchmaker. Because of this, Patek Philippe can only produce very few pieces of the Ref. 7059 Ladies First split-seconds chronograph per year. This makes them all the more tempting as cherished companions for women who are attracted to watchmaking prowess at its very finest.
Movement – Caliber CHR 27-525 PS. Ultra-thin manually wound mechanical movement, monopusher splitseconds chronograph with column wheels, chronograph and split-seconds hands, 60-minute counter, and subsidiary seconds. Diameter 27.30 mm. Height 5.25 mm. Number of parts 252. Number of jewels 27. Power reserve 48 hours. Balance 2-arm Gyromax with 8 poising weight. Frequency 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz). Balance spring – Breguet.
Functions – Two-position crown: Pushed in to wind the watch. Pulled out to set the time. Displays – Hours and minutes from the center. Chronograph (trotteuse) and split-seconds hands from the center. Subsidiary dials – Subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock. Continuously running 60-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Chronograph pushers – Chronograph start, stop, and reset with pusher in the crown. Start and stop of split-seconds hand with pusher at 2 o’clock.
Case – Officer’s-style case in 18K rose gold (4N), cambered sapphire crystal, bezel with 153 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds totaling approx. 0.72 ct., screwed sapphire-crystal display back with 76 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds totaling approx. 0.40 ct.. Diameter 33.2 mm. Height 8.6 mm. Width between lugs 21 mm.
Dial – Matt opalescent, powder rose imprint. Ten applied Breguet numerals in 18K rose gold. “Poire Stuart” hour and minute hands in 18K rose gold. Counterbalanced chronograph and split-seconds hands in 18K rose gold. Subsidiary dials – Subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock: Hands in 18K rose gold. 60-minute counter at 3 o’clock: Hands in 18K rose gold.
Water-resistant – 3 ATM (30 meters).
Strap – Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, matt mother-of-pearl hue, prong buckle in 18K rose gold with 26 diamonds totaling approx. 0.18 ct.
Source: Patek Philippe