No other watch brand compares in prestige to the storied Patek Philippe, and the limited production 10-DAY-GOING TOURBILLON REF. 5101p is a shinning example of their pursuit of excellence. Maybe be less than 150 pieces ever produced and the movement has won awards as it is nearly impossible to have these complications in a rectangular case this size.
To this very day, the tourbillon – French for “whirlwind” – is considered to be one of the most fascinating complications ever devised. It pays tribute to the unfaltering quest among watchmakers to continually improve the precision of their masterpieces. The continuously rotating tourbillon cage counteracts the positional errors that can occur in a mechanical watch due to the effect of gravity pulling the watch escapement downward.
The Patek Philippe 10-DAY-GOING TOURBILLON REF. 5101p features a rich 18K gold dial with a “vintage rose” hue and an elegant Platinum case with convex sapphire-crystal glass and sapphire-crystal caseback, and a single Top Wesselton diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock.
The watch is worn with a hand-stitched brown crocodile strap that is secured with a platinum tang buckle to match the case.
The sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the meticulously decorated plate with jewels set in gold chatons and the intricate spinning tourbillon.
Most tourbillon watches from other watch manufacturers showcase the tourbillon cage through an aperture in the dial. Patek Philippe with this 5101 model decided to showcase the tourbillon through the sapphire crystal in the back of the watch. One reason for this is to keep the watch consistent with the discreet and understated design that Patek Philippe favors – Only the owner and an elite few will know of the complication and surprise within. The other reason for placing the tourbillon view in the back is more practical – it prevents UV Rays from drying out the mechanism’s lubricants that keep the watch running accurately.
The watch movement also contains two tandem mainspring barrels that provide the watch with 10 continuous days of power when fully wound.
Because of the immense amount of work needed to craft it, the handmade Ref. 5101P “10 DAY TOURBILLON” will always remain a rare timepiece. Only a few dozen of these watches are manufactured each year.