In the 2000s, Patek Philippe set up an Advanced Research project to address the long-standing issues of isochronism and durability in watches. The main technology applied to this task was a proprietary alloy of silicon known as “Silinvar”. The company proceeded steadily, producing first a Silinvar escape wheel, then a hairspring, an anchor, and a balance.
Ref. 5350 was the second Advanced Research watch, introduced in 2006. Cal. 324 S IRM QA LU included the Silinvar escape wheel of its predecessor and added a flat Silinvar hairspring to the mix. This made it one of the first watches ever produced with such a spring. The display caseback includes a large “cyclops” magnifier to allow the owner to inspect these two high-technology components.
Although it used these high-tech components, Ref. 5350 was nevertheless a Patek Philippe. It included their revolutionary annual calendar mechanism with day and month subdials inset at 10 00 and 2 00, a date window below the moon phase indicator at 6 00, and a simple “+/-” power reserve indicator at 12 00. The dial features Arabic numerals at 3, 9, and 12, applied markers at all other hours but 6, and a “railroad” seconds track. The hour and minute hands are leaf shaped and feature lume. It has a traditional Patek Philippe pink gold case, with long integrated lugs.