Patek Philippe 10 Day Tourbillon

by Ron DeCorte

May, 2005

The Patek Philippe 10 Day Tourbillon is a bit deceptive at first glance. The rectangular dial with raised numerals gracefully shows the hours, minutes, seconds, and reserve de marche. A platinum art-deco style case is modest in size and is set with a single gem quality diamond at the 6 o'clock position.

But under the dial, and between the plates, it's a powerhouse. Creating a tourbillon with 10 days of power reserve and reserve de marche indication, and housing it in a rectangular movement is no small achievement!

The movement is finished to typical Patek quality and marked with the Geneve hallmark, as are all Patek watches. Notice that all visible jewels are set in gold chatons.

The main plate is finished with perlage (spotted) on both sides and the flat working areas are diamond cut to a mirror finish.

10 Days of Power

Two tandem mainspring barrels provide 10 days of power. The larger barrel (upper) is wound directly and transfers power to the smaller barrel.

With twin barrels and the tourbillon cage absorbing so much of the space on one side of the movement it was necessary to place the train wheels under the dial. If you look closely at the above photograph you will notice that there are two wheels sharing the same axis (axle), a very clever way of saving space.

A straightforward planetary gear system provides the reserve de marche (up and down) indication.

Tourbillon cage, movement side.Note: the balance is free-sprung, with no regulator.

The tourbillon cage from the dial side, a total weight of 0.3 grams!

Setting the tourbillon cage into the movement.

The cased movement without back. Note: The blue plastic film is applied to the case as protection against scratches and is removed just prior to delivery of the watch.

A view of the completed watch with the case back in place. (The watch provided for photography has a small slit over the springbar. This is not the strap delivered to customers.)

I would like to thank everyone at Patek Philippe for their help and hospitality in making this article possible. And to Mr. Patrick Conus (my dedicated master-watchmaker while making this article) for his patients, and understanding of my terrible French.

Click here for more pictures and drawings of the 10 Day Tourbillon.

(These images compliments of Patek Philippe)

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© Ron DeCorte 2005, All rights reserved

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