Patek Philippe 10-Day Tourbillon 5101
Ref. 5101P "10-Day Tourbillon" is an elegant men's wristwatch by Patek Philippe.
This 2003 presented masterpiece from the Geneva manufacture for the first time brings together in a small space two complications that claim usually plenty of space: a series-connected double barrel for 10 days power reserve and a tourbillon, which turns around its own axis once per minute behind the caseback with sapphire crystal.
The rectangular form movement Calibre 28-20 / 222 is set in motion by manual winding and like each bracelet tourbillon of Patek Philippe has an official chronometer certificate of COSC. It is also awarded the Geneva Seal.
Under the sapphire crystal lies the 18-carat gold dial in "vintage rose" color with black oxidized gold Breguet numerals, small seconds at 6 o'clock and a 10 days power reserve indicator at 12 o'clock, the fine label with the brand name, the inscription "Tourbillon" and the individual movement number.
The screwed caseback also has a sapphire crystal, releasing the view to the carefully decorated movement. As an indication of its valuable material the platinum case of Ref. 5101P is decorated with a small diamond between the lugs at 6 o'clock. The elegant piece is worn with a hand-sewn brown crocodile leather strap, which is held together by a platinum clasp matching to the case.
"Obligated to confidentiality"
It is typical of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5101P, that its elaborate interior cannot be seen from the outside. Only the tiny print "Tourbillon", the individual movement number and the 10 days power reserve indicator on the dial indicate the extraordinary mechanism of the watch. The reason for this discrete presentation of a fascinating complication lies, in addition to the necessary retention of Patek Philippe, also the important aspect of technical reliability. The oil necessary for the lubrication of the tourbillon is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation and after a few months can lose its lubricating ability under the influence of sunlight. The consequences would be increased friction and wear as well as a deterioration of accuracy. This can not be the target of watches, which, like tourbillons, are destined to attain the most accurate rate. Patek Philippe therefore consistently avoids to uncover the tourbillons through a hole in the dial and expose it to the harmful influence of daylight. The refined design only opens up to the viewer through the sapphire crystal caseback, revealing the intricate bogie, protected from direct sunlight, regularly rotating once per minute on its axis.
Because of its extremely labor-intensive construction the Ref. 5101P "10 Jours Tourbillon" can be produced only in a small edition and with a few dozen pieces per year will always remain a rarity.