Dear Santa: Two Ticking Wishes for Christmas' Eve
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Dear Santa: Chester’s Christmas wishlist

by Chester Lau on December 16, 2017

Wishing upon a star or any superfluous mythical creature for material objects is pronouncedly misinformed. But since none of us are truly economic rationalists, but rather creatures of; at times inexplicable tendencies, these are two of my grails which I hope you find as much as I do, wholesome and palatable. The criteria that I have set for my choice pieces, are naturally timepieces that I enjoy, and don’t see myself actually purchasing within the next few years (being optimistic); thus the need for Christmas wishes. 2 watches: a Patek Philippe and a Breguet

 

Patek Philippe 5370 Split Seconds Chronograph

Patek Philippe 5370 Split Seconds Chronograph.

 

First released in 2015, the Patek Philippe 5370 Split Seconds Chronograph is understandably rare and ‘understated’ in the world of Patek Philippe. A high complication split seconds  chronograph, with a difficult to execute Grand Feu enamel dial, and in black (it is generally claimed that black is the most difficult color). It is cased in platinum, subtly marked by an encrusted diamond at the 6 o’clock position on the case.

 

The grand feu enamel dial appears blacker than black. Highly legible and clear markings make simple but elegant.

 

The watch though in a traditional black dial and white case; has an imposing presence. It measures 41mm in diameter and is larger than most Patek Philippe watches. The case is a manifestation of elegant lines, thoughtful contours and top-tier finishing. A theme congruous with the lusciously polished dial and immaculate movement finishing.

 

The CHR 29-535 PS. Beautifully laid out, it shows the complicated nature of the split seconds chronograph. Note the double column wheels.

 

The movement in the ref.5959 is the CHR 27-525 PS, a proprietary movement by the maison. The ref. 5959 is also the first in-house chronograph made by Patek Philippe. Earlier chronographs, including the illustrious ref. 3970 (CH 27-70) and the ref. 5004 (CHR 27-70) are based on a heavily modified Lemania 2310 ébauche.

 

The Patek Philippe 5370 on the wrist. Case diameter is 41mm. Perfect on the wrist.

A grand complication timepiece, the watch was first priced at US$249,200 when released.

Breguet Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon 7087

The Crème de la crème of the Tradition collection, the 7087 is an artistic marriage of Breguet’s classic style and an engineering industrialness.

 

My other choice is the Breguet Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon 7087. It is arguably the most impressive innovation in Minute Repeater history that first turned heads at Baselworld 2015, and for good reason; it had vertically striking hammers on the dial side.

Since then, most of us have forgotten about this piece, but it’s still one of my ‘grail’ pieces. The watch was first priced at US$460,700.

 

The Breguet Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon 7087, cased in rose gold.

 

An almost industrial looking titanium bridged tourbillon, a modern disposition to traditional watchmaking. Also featured here is another of Breguet’s top inventions, the Pare-chute or shock absorber.

 

The watch is a startling bastion of Breguet inventions.  To name a few, a magnetic strike governor, gong spring and Breguet balance spring. Using twin 180° symmetrically deploying balance springs, the minute repeater balances out respective forces exercised on the balance-staff as well as increases the stability of the oscillator and hence improves timing precision. These technological advances are made possible through the use of silicon, which greatly improves watch regulation. The result is a regulating power equivalent to around 830 microwatts, an achievement when one considers that the regulating capacity of the best chronometers is between 300 and 400 microwatts.

 

Caseback of the Minute repeater. Featuring the Cal. 565DR. In the foreground, the chain and teeth used to activate the repeater mechanism. The movement has 16 lignes and 60 jewels.

 

To enhance the resonance and sound quality, Breguet has also integrated sound pillars connecting the strikes to the inner bezel and case for optimum sound quality. I have specially chosen this piece as a bastion of watch innovation in classic cases. With such a hefty price tag, it must serve an even higher purpose, and that is to remind the wearer that there is so much to horology that remains unexplored, and more excitement lays ahead.

With that, I complete my choices and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May all your grails come true.

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