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Patek Philippe Grand Complication 5531R
  • Patek Philippe Grand Complication 5531R

    Grand Complication Reference 5531R, a rose gold automatic wristwatch minute repeater, world time and cloisonné enamel lateen sail dial.

    Throughout the history of watchmaking, Patek Philippe world-time equipped watches have played a significant role in the brand’s development and collection. Building upon the complication pioneering efforts of Louis Cottier, the lineage began with the reference 96HU and was later succeeded by the references 1415HU and 2523HU. Being the first to integrate such a complication into a wristwatch, Patek Philippe has established a singular reputation for crafting timepieces denoting “Heures Universelles” or “Universal Hours” over the years.


    Building on this great lineage, the reference 5531R of 2017 departs from the traditional conceptions surrounding world time watches with the addition of the full integration of a chiming minute repeater.

    Released in 2017, this important modern reference was first introduced to celebrate “The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition,” Patek Philippe’s 10-day New York retrospective of works old and new. In honor of the occasion and the location of its hosting, the manufacture fitted 10 total examples with cloisonné enamel dials created by the celebrated artist Anita Porchet depicting a lateen sailing on a lake.


    Beneath this elegant and bold exterior lies the mechanical sophistication of this timepiece, the Cal. R27 HU movement. As complicated and expertly finished as you would expect from Patek Philippe, the reference specific movement is distinguished by how the world time function can be used in tandem with the minute repeater. Unlike traditional executions of the complication, where both function independently of each other, the caliber is capable of chiming a local time set using the pusher on the 2 o’clock position on the case’s side. This allows the wearer to easily keep track of their home time zone, while enjoying the chiming local time of wherever they may be.


    Similarly, the reference’s repeating complication has also been employed with a slight twist, further setting it apart from the rest and reinforcing Patek Philippe’s forward-thinking ethos. Another first, the 5531R’s introduction marked the manufacture’s first instance of attaching the repeater mallets to the case band instead of the movement plate. Though this decision yields a far more difficult sonority adjustment process, it also produces a far more resistant tone. Without question, all this puts the reference into a class of its own, still only occupied by Patek Philippe.


    In the metal, the 5531R carries significant presence by its 42mm case. Such presence is only furthered by the ornate clous de Paris finish found on the case’s sides and repeater slide, and surrounding both the world time pusher and repeater slide. Securing the watch to the wrist is a pair of dramatic skeletonize lugs, allowing for the full appreciation of this case finishing.

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