Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/02/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Pateks and Rolex
From: Kip Babington <>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 13:38:12 -0600
References: <>

A number of companies offer mechanical watches that take account of leap 
years, and at least one other (International Watch Co.) that offers one 
that adjusts for leap years in century years (there's a leap year if the 
century is evenly divisible by 400.)  But I've read that Patek has made, 
and will make again if somebody will put up the cash and wait 5 years or 
so, a watch that includes a hand or hands that indicate the date of Easter 
(presumably as observed in the Western churches - the Orthodox churches 
calculate the date differently).  This is, roughly, the first Sunday after 
the first full moon after the vernal equinox - I can't imagine the 
mechanical gear train that drives those hands.  My impression is that this 
comes in a pocket watch, which has hands on both sides.  The downside of 
these complications is that if the watch stops for any length of time it 
can be a real bugger to get it back in sync with the world - in face, it 
may need factory service to do so.

Another claim I've read about Patek is that they have an incredible stock 
of parts for older watches, as well as records which will let them recreate 
parts that are no longer in stock (if you're willing to pay the 
freight.)  Leitz stopped fixing screw mount cameras after, what, 30 or so 
years after the last one was made?  Patek supposedly will fix stuff they 
made in the 1700s.  Always assuming, of course, that you're willing to pay 
for it.


At 2/15/2002 10:31 AM -0800, you wrote, in part:

>The most expensive watch to-date sold for
>a record $USD7.5 million at auction and its a vintage
>watch made in the 1940s. It was a complicated model
>consist of moonphase, hour, min, sec, weekday, month
>AND this is the most complicated function, the leap
>year. Except for the year 2100, which is not a leap
>year, the watch once adjusted will never have to
>account for the leap year forever, if it runs forever.
>All these complexities are achieved by mechnical means
>(in a miniaturized watch), not based on the modern
>electronic programming algorithm timepiece such as
>Timex, Casio or Seikos.

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