Haute Time: Patek Philippe Introduces New High Tech Heart for Limited-Edition Perpetual Calendar 5550P

For hundreds of years watches were made with just three materials: brass, steel, and ruby bearings. Patek Philippe is often considered the guardian of watchmakng’s most elegantly conservative high craftsmanship (with prices that match its peerless quality). But with its new limited-edition 5550P perpetual calendar, it’s taken a bold leap into a high tech future.

The 5550P uses components made from silicon, a material usually associated with integrated circuits, into the very heart of the watch: the escapement, the part of the watch that actually keeps time. Using cutting edge fabrication techniques, the new escapement–dubbed the Oscillomax by Patek–incorporates ultra strong, ultra light silicon into the balance, lever, and hairspring of the watch to produce a mechanism highly resistant to shock, dramatically more mechanically efficient, and immune to the effects of magnetism (which can seriously disrupt the timekeeping of mechanical watches.) This groundbreaking creation is integrated with a perpetual calendar mechanism, which automatically adjusts the date to the correct length for any month–even during a leap year.

Only 300 examples of the ref. 5550P Perpetual Calendar will be available world wide. Get ’em while they’re haute.

Jack Forster is the Editor in Chief of Revolution Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating the world of fine watchmaking, and he also manages Revolution Online www.revo-online.com, the foremost information and discussion site on the internet for watch enthusiasts.