Unveiled in 2000, the Patek Philippe Star Caliber is a dual faced grand complication pocket watch. Created to mark the arrival of the third millennium, this spectacular timepiece incorporates 21 complications.
The Star Caliber 2000 is the result of eight years of meticulous research and development by Patek Philippe. Incorporating six patented innovations, it is the only pocket watch ever to reproduce exactly the celebrated chimes of the Westminster clock tower in London.
Its “running” equation of time, synchronized with the perpetual calendar, enables the reading of local mean time and true solar time. The indications of sunrise and sunset, the celestial chart and the moon-phases also accord their movements with the perpetual calendar, whose innovations include a rapid correction feature, which simultaneously adjusts all indications to the perpetual calendar date. A further distinction is the ingenious system for opening the two covers by means of the pendant at three o’clock.
Comprised of more than 1,000 parts, Star Caliber is one of the most complex manually wound watch movements ever made. It is the third most complicated Patek Philippe watch after the Calibre 89 and the Henry Graves Super complication.
Patek Philippe created this masterpiece in three types of gold – yellow, white and rose gold – as well as in platinum. It has two dial sides: Solar / Time and Lunar / Celestial.
In the Solar / Time dial side, the Star Caliber 2000 displays Time (Hours, minutes, seconds), Power reserves of the movement and the chime, Date, Year, Day of the week, Month, Season, Sunrise and sunset, 24-hour day/night display and Running equation of time.
In the Lunar / Celestial Side, it offers Sky chart, Time of meridian passage by Sirius, Lunar orbit, Moon phases and Time of meridian passage by the moon.
Name of the timepiece: Patek Philippe Star Caliber 2000
Two barrels (movement and chiming mechanism) with bidirectional winding
Escapement: Swiss lever escapement
Balance: Screw balance
Balance spring: Breguet
Power reserve of movement: 30 hours, barrel limited to 4 revolutions
Power reserve of chime: 24 hours when set to strike in passing (without operation of the minute repeater), barrel limited to 5 revolutions
Diameter: 55.40 mm
Height: 21.03 mm
Weight: 250 g
Solar / Time Side
Hours, minutes, seconds
Power-reserve indicator for the movement
Power-reserve indicator for the chime
Day of the week
Sunrise and sunset
24-hour day/night display
Running equation of time
Lunar / Celestial Side
Time of meridian passage by Sirius
Time of meridian passage by the moon
Number of parts of the movement
1118, of which
172 other mechanical components
3 ball bearings
Material: 750 yellow, white, or rose gold or 950 platinum
Diameter: 73.20 mm
Height: 32.30 mm
Weight of gold case: 280 g
Weight of platinum case: 364 g
In addition to displaying mean solar time in hours, minutes and seconds, the Star Caliber 2000 provides 21 additional indications.
– Running equation of time
– Time of sunrise
– Time of sunset
– 24-hour day/night display with passage of the sun
– Perpetual calendar
– Leap year cycle
– Day of the week
– Sky chart
– Lunar orbit
– Moon phases
– Power-reserve indicator for the movement
– Power-reserve indicator for the chime
– Bidirectional winding
– Precision adjustment of movement from the outside
– Pendant push button for opening sprung covers
– Westminster chime in passing on five gongs
– Minute repetition on five gongs
– Chime in passing is blocked when mainspring is run down
(1) Pièce d’horlogerie à carillon: Timepiece with chime
A Grande Sonnerie automatically sounds the hours and quarter-hours in passing and the minutes on demand with tiny hammers that strike precision gongs. Pocket watches with the so-called “Westminster Chime” so far have not been capable of playing the original melody as it peals from the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London. Even the well-known designs with four quarter racks play an incorrect sequence of tones when the same gong must be struck twice in succession.
Now, with a mechanism patented for the Star Caliber 2000, Patek Philippe has succeeded in building the chime for a pocket watch that faithfully reproduces the Westminster melody and can also correctly strike two identical tones in immediate succession.
(2) Mouvement d’horlogerie à quantième perpétuel comportant un mécanisme à équation de temps avec affichage: Timepiece movement with perpetual calendar incorporating an equation-of-time mechanism with display
At any given moment, so-called mean solar time deviates by a few minutes from true, or apparent, solar time. This difference is referred to as the equation of time. It varies from day to day and in mechanical watches can be displayed with the aid of a special cam mechanism.
If the cam for the equation of time is not synchronized with the calendar, the deviation between actual time and displayed time will grow progressively. This is also the case when the watch is reset to the correct date after having been left unwound for a longer period of time.
To correct such a deviation, a watchmaker must expend considerable effort to disassemble the watch and realign the cam that controls the equation of time to the correct date. In the design patented by Patek Philippe, however, the cam is controlled directly by the perpetual calendar mechanism. Thus, the display of the equation of time always corresponds to the current date.
(3) Mécanisme de lever et coucher du soleil destiné à équiper un mouvement d’horlogerie à quantième: Sunrise and sunset mechanism intended for a calendar watch movement
The sunrise and sunset times at a specific location depend on the date, and the respective displays are controlled by cams. If these cams are not synchronized with the calendar, the deviation between actual and displayed sunrise and sunset times will grow progressively. This is also the case when the watch is reset to the correct date after having been left unwound for a longer period of time.
To correct such a deviation, a watchmaker must expend considerable effort to disassemble the watch and realign the cams that control the display of sunrise and sunset times to the correct date. In the design patented by Patek Philippe, however, the cams are controlled directly by the perpetual calendar mechanism. Thus, the times displayed always correspond to the current date.
(4) Mécanisme additionel de représentation astronomique pour pièces d’horlogerie: Supplementary astronomical display mechanism for timepieces
In conventional astronomical displays, the moon phases are indicated on a small subsidiary dial and a separate hand indicates lunation. If integrated in the celestial dial, these displays typically cover a significant portion of the sky chart.
The refined design developed for the Star Caliber 2000, however, makes it possible to display the moon phases and the lunar orbit in a manner which only marginally affects the size of the sky chart so that many more stars can be depicted than is the case with customary designs for pocket watches of a comparable format.
(5) Rapid calendar correction
Owners of watches with perpetual calendars know how cumbersome it can be to set the display to the correct date when the movement has been left unwound for a long period of time. Usually, this requires pushing several buttons in the case – often dozens or even hundreds of times, depending on how long the watch remained unwound.
This awkward procedure has been considerably simplified by the patented rapid correction feature of the Star Caliber 2000. With one single push of the rapid corrector slide, the owner can perform a correction of nearly one month. And because of the extensive synchronization concept, the running equation of time as well as the sunrise and sunset times are corrected automatically. Once the date is set, only two more adjustments are required: the day of the week and the time.
(6) Pièce d’horlogerie, notamment montre de poche, munie d’un couvercle sur chaque face: Timepiece, especially pocket watch, with sprung covers on both sides
Ordinary pocket watches with front and back sprung covers generally have a push button inside the crown or a slide in the case for opening the covers. In contrast, the Star Caliber 2000 has a bow with a Calatrava cross engraved on one side; it can be pushed in and rotated by 180°. Depending on the direction in which the Calatrava cross is facing, the front or back sprung cover will open when the push button in the winding crown is pressed.
This sophisticated and complex mechanism is fully integrated in the bow. Its design is very elegant and aesthetic, and it also has symbolic meaning: 150 years ago, Patek Philippe co-founder Adrien Philippe invented a keyless mechanism for winding a movement with a crown in the bow.
Since its first one was granted in 1845 (invention of the crown for winding the movement and setting the hands), Patek Philippe has received some 70 patents.