Patek Philippe’s Incredible Precision Chronograph Measures Tenths Of A Second
The horological marvel houses two separate chronograph movements behind a classic blue dial.
Patek Philippe’s first-ever 1/10th-second chronograph watch is a wearable mechanical masterpiece.
In fact, the Patek Ref. 5470P-001’s classic look almost belies the expert horological engineering behind the elegant blue dial. Hodinkee points out that 1/10th-second chronographs—referred to as high-beat for the requisite movement oscillation of 5 Hz or above that allows for incremental second measurement to the tenth—have been on the market since the late ’60s.
But this one contains two separate chronograph movements—one for the seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter, the other for measuring and displaying stopped tenths of a second.
The mechanical minutia that allows those two movements to operate in sync is complicated—Hodinkee published a fantastic breakdown of the components and their functions with illustrations.
For those who are simply interested in how read the time, here’s more from Patek Philippe:
The watch features two sweep chronograph hands, each of them
driven by an independent mechanism. The hand that performs a complete revolution per minute shows the stopped seconds in the traditional manner. The other hand (lacquered red in the new Ref. 5470P001) performs one revolution per 12 seconds, i.e. five times faster than an ordinary chronograph hand and sweeps across 12 sectors subdivided into tenths.
In this way, the user can immediately read the elapsed seconds guided by the pearl markers and then, on the outer railway track scale, read the number of elapsed tenths of a second departing from the last red marker. The minutes of the short-time measurement are displayed by the instantaneous 30-minute counter on the subsidiary dial at 3 o’clock.
The rounded platinum case is identical to that of the manually-wound Ref. 5370 Split Seconds Chronograph launched in 2015. A diamond set between the lugs at 6 o’clock indicates membership in Patek’s Platinum range, while a sapphire-crystal case back (interchangeable with an included solid platinum back reveals the caliber’s decorative components, including the polished bridges.
Chronograph seconds are indicated with a sandblasted and rhodiumed steel hand on a minute scale with small gold pearls, and tenths of a second are displayed with a slender red hand in Silinvar—a proprietary, shock-resistant. silicon alloy.
The watch is attached to a navy blue calfskin strap with an embossed fabric pattern, red decorative seams, and a fold-over clasp in platinum.
Pricing for the Patek Ref. 5470P-001 was not released, but is available upon request.