What Goes Into Crafting One Of The World's Most Intricate And Extravagant Watches?

Introducing Patek Philippe's most extravagant release to date.
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Late last year, Swiss ultra-luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe unveiled the Grandmaster Chime 5175R watch (ref. 5175R-001) to commemorate their 175th anniversary. Released as the storied watchmaker's most complicated timepiece ever, the 5175R features 20 complications across two dials – including three gongs and three hammers – altogether comprising 1,366 intricate components inside a massive 47.4 millimeter wide and 16.1 mm thick case. The Grandmaster's case is also reversible, meaning it flips around, and the movement also has a unique 3.5 Hz (25,200 bph) frequency.

No doubt inspired by the company's iconic Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch that was originally released in the 1930s and re-auctioned in November 2014, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime features a very new novelty from Patek: a swiveling case. Not functionally or aesthetically dissimilar from some of the most highly complicated pocket watches ever released, the Grandmaster 5175R manages to display all related information of its numerous complications on not one, but two dials.

Beyond stunning features, the heavily engraved 18k rose gold case – which in itself is composed of 214 parts – is suspended between elaborately decorated lugs, making the case rotatable on its longitudinal axis, allowing the owner the ability to wear the timepiece with either of its two dials facing up without having to swap straps as seen on many other "two-faced" watches.

For its 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek released the Calibre 89 pocket watch. At the time it was the most complicated watch ever produced and only four were manufactured. 25 years later the Swiss firm has outdone itself yet again with some pretty unusual complications, like a dial that shows the date of Easter.

To celebrate the release, Patek have released what can only be described (other than pure watch porn) as one of the most detailed insights into the craftsmanship behind such an intricate timepiece. With a $2.5 million USD price-tag, the Grandmaster Chime 5175R is undeniably one of the unique timepieces we will see released for quite some time.