Photos: Wristwatch windup

Photos: Wristwatch windup

Summary: As watch companies and jewelers congregated for the Baselworld trade show, aficionados celebrated the watchmaker's art.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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  • Patek 5101 P

    Patek Philippe's 5101 P features a movement that, after being fully wound, will run for 10 days without rewinding. The "power reserve" dial at 12 o'clock indicates the amount of power stored in coiled springs that drive the movement. This watch also features a tourbillon--a device that rotates the balance, lever and escapement around a single axis. Originally intended for use in pocket watches, the tourbillon is designed to average out irregularities in the timing of the balance wheel due to gravity. Because even with current technology it is relatively difficult to create, a tourbillon can increase the cost of a watch dramatically. Although the market for such watches is relatively tiny, demand is strong enough so that stores carrying them typically don't sell them for less than their full retain price, which in this case tops $170,000. "We got only one, so we're waiting for another," says Alexandre Alesandrini, watch specialist at Shreve & Co. in San Francisco.

    The most recent issue of WatchTime, a quarterly magazine for watch buffs, cites statistics from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry that show exports of complete watches in 2005 hit $9.68 billion, a 12 percent increase over the year before.

  • Patek 5102 G

    This Patek Philippe 5102 G in white gold features a self-winding movement. In addition to the sky chart, it shows the phases and orbit of the moon.

  • Patek 5970 R

    Patek's 5970 R is a manually wound chronograph that also includes what watchmakers call a perpetual calendar--a mechanical system for displaying the day, date, month and year, including leap years.

Topic: Hardware

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