Launched as a prototype at Basel in 2006, the Ref.5104 was unlike any other Patek Philippe wristwatch made. With the same large 43mm case diameter as the Ref.5002 flagship model, the 5104 offered a more daring and imposing design, vying away from the understated traditional style they are famous for. The model emphasized the demand of today for visually appealing complex mechanisms that marvel the wearer and admirer. With a sapphire dial revealing, for the first time, the complexity of a grande complication movement from the front and reverse the model presented the company with numerous, never before experienced, hurdles resulting with a new patent for their ingenuity. To achieve the desired look the Patek Philippe sought, a different approach to displaying day, month, moonphase and leap-year indications was required. A common aspect skeletonized watches suffered from was making the functions visible, thus the company developed a way to fuse sapphire crystal and steel together offering a blank canvas on which the relevant indicators could be highlighted. To emphasis the colour combination offered by the visible movement, the case received similar design attributes with pink gold used to offer depth and colour to the platinum body. Perhaps due to difficulties in production, in 2012 the ref.5104 remains the only grande complication wristwatch offered by Patek Philippe with the movement visible through the dial, this unique feature allows the model to resonate the repeater gongs louder and clearer than perhaps any other Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatch made.
This example is the first unworn Patek Philippe Ref.5104 model to be offered at auction.
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