An astonishing feat from a revered name, this white-gold, double-dialed model boasts a whopping 23 complications within an 8.7mm thickness, many of them essentially astronomical in nature. It offers three differing conceptions of time: “civil” time (the standardized fiction we all adhere to), “solar” time (based on the actual trajectory of the sun) and a reverse dial devoted to “sidereal” time (based on the movement of the stars, and corresponding to a day that is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds in length). A plethora of other astronomical functions (including Zodiac signs, seasons, solstices and equinoxes) complement another watchmaking coup: a tourbillon.
A spray of stars shoots across the face of Patek Philippe’s astronomical achievement, each one on the map representing something far greater than itself: a commitment to capturing time in its varied manifestations, including the apparent slow-motion trajectory of the night sky. An ellipse carved into a sapphire crystal disc frames the portion of the starry sky visible from Geneva.
It’s right there in the name: sidereal, relating to the far-off stars. The model’s efficiently laid out dial hides an expansive twin: the caseback features a star chart complete with horizon, ecliptic and celestial equator.