Patek Philippe 10 Day Tourbillon
by Ron DeCorte
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
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.
cage from the dial side, a total weight of 0.3 grams!
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
Click here for more pictures and drawings of the
10 Day Tourbillon.
(These images compliments of Patek
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DeCorte 2005, All rights reserved