July 13, 2021
PATEK PHILIPPE – COMBINING WATCHMAKING ARTISTRY WITH EXQUISITE CRAFTSMANSHIP
In six new watch models from its current collection, Patek Philippe combines watchmaking craftsmanship with exquisite rare handcrafts.
On the occasion of the Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 exhibition, the Geneva-based manufacture presented for the first time six models of grand complication timepieces, icons of watchmaking design characterised by artistic embellishments such as hand engraving, enamelling, hand guilloche and gilding.
Since the company was founded in 1839, Patek Philippe has always considered its watches to be works of art that reflect refined aesthetics and mechanical perfection. The pursuit of flawlessness and harmony comes to the fore in the elegant and timeless designs. This is further emphasised by the quality of the craftsmanship and handcrafted finesse. With the same passion, Patek Philippe cultivates all the techniques used to decorate timepieces, ensuring that these skills are passed on from generation to generation.
This manifestation of ancestral craftsmanship is not reserved exclusively for one-of-a-kind pieces and limited editions that create a new, rare collection of craftsmanship year after year. Patek Philippe also perpetuates these skills in its daily work and decorates the watch models of its current collection with them. Hand engraving brings the cases and dials of watches such as the Perpetual Calendar, the Calatrava “Volutes and Arabesques” and the skeletonised Calatrava to life. Guilloche motifs adorn the cases of exceptional models such as the Grandmaster Chime (the most complicated Patek Philippe watch) and the World Time Minute Repeater. The particularly famous World Time watches have dials with hand guilloche or enamel decorations.
Patek Philippe presents six models from the new collection:
Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Hand-engraved rose gold case with bronze dial.
Launched in 2001, the Sky Moon Tourbillon is the second most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch and has become one of the most coveted by collectors and connoisseurs of grand complications watches. From 2013 to 2016, this double watch was available in a rare craftsman version with a white-gold case and a blue enamel dial. It was followed in 2016 by a new version with a black enamel dial.
Now the manufacture has gifted this emblematic timepiece with a new dial, combining the warm lustre of rose gold with brown enamel. In the technique used, the base metal must first be precisely milled so that individual elements, such as the minute scale, remain relieved.
Then, the recesses are hand-filled with the enamel compound. In the centre of the dial is the enamel decoration, which was created using a thin flat gold wire. The case, crown, repeating glass and clasp are hand engraved with a motif of volutes and arabesques on all sides. The master engraver invested over 100 hours of work and a lot of patience to complete the process to the highest standards.
The Sky Moon Tourbillon combines 12 fascinating complications, including a tourbillon and a minute repeater that strikes cathedral chimes. The front dial shows a perpetual calendar with retrograde date, moon phase display and leap year cycle. The other side shows a sky chart where you can see the movement of the moon and stars from the northern hemisphere side. To orchestrate the great dance of the celestial bodies, Patek Philippe has developed a system of three superimposed dials that move along different, precisely calculated trajectories.
The new Sky Moon Tourbillon comes with hand-engraved cufflinks in rose gold.
Minute Repeater with perpetual retrograde calendar
A miracle of clarity in a new rose gold case set with 80 diamonds.
The first Patek Philippe grand complication watch with a transparent sapphire crystal dial was launched in 2006; it had a platinum case with rose gold inlays. From 2014 to 2018, it was followed by a model in rose gold with white-gold inlays. Now Patek Philippe has reinterpreted this extraordinary watch as a new version in rose gold. Its bezel, lugs and folding clasp sparkle with the fire of 80 flawless diamonds.
To provide a glimpse into the mechanical heart of the watch, Patek Philippe has developed an ingenious system for displaying the day, month and leap year cycle by means of transparent sapphire crystal dials, in which the respective indicators stand out white against the black background of the small holes beneath them. To attach the extremely thin sapphire-crystal dials to their miniature steel pins, a unique patented assembly process had to be developed.
Leaf-shaped hands in black lacquered white gold also enhance the view of the mechanism and its steel parts with bevelled and polished edges that stand out beautifully against the gilded plates. The flyback date display features a crescent-tipped hand that marks the numerals on a scale at the edge of the dial. The perpetual calendar is complemented by a moon phase display at 6 o’clock and an additional seconds dial.
To further enhance the appeal of this timepiece, Patek Philippe has integrated delicate white gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs on the case sides and on the repeater glass.
The sapphire case back reveals the architecture of the self-winding mechanism, particularly the minute repeater mechanism with two chimes or the centrifugal regulator. Particular emphasis was placed on the finesse of the movement.
Minute repeater with perpetual calendar
A watch with cathedral chimes and a white gold case with a blue enamel dial.
Introduced in 2016, the model with a minute repeater and perpetual calendar appealed to connoisseurs and lovers of striking timepieces as a unique mechanical masterpiece in a platinum case under a black enamel dial. Now, Patek Philippe has reinterpreted this grand complication in white gold with a blue enamel dial.
The shape of the case shows subtlety and harmony. The bezel has a concave profile. The same finesse appears in the hand-satinated indentations on the sides of the case.
The high-gloss finish is an example of excellent craftsmanship. Its intense colour and saturated luminosity are fascinating. The clock face in 18-carat gold is hand-coated with enamel powder, which is then melted at 850°C. In the next step, tiny holes have to be drilled in the hard and fragile enamel. These will accommodate the feet of the applied white-gold Breguet numerals. The indications of the perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year cycle) are placed on slightly enlarged subsidiary dials, supplemented by a 24-hour indication.
The self-winding calibre R 27 Q has a minute repeater that strikes two cathedral chimes.
The new model is worn on a glossy blue alligator strap, secured with a white-gold folding clasp. The overall design includes a sapphire-crystal case back and an interchangeable solid back. It replaces the model in platinum with a black enamel dial.
Rare Handcrafts Minute Repeater for ladies
New women’s minute repeater with blue enamel dial and Flamme® diamond bezel.
Available from 2011 to 2017, the Ladies First Minute Repeater in rose gold with cream dial gives way to a new, highly refined model in white gold. It has a slightly larger diameter, a blue dial and a diamond-studded bezel. Its contemporary but timeless look is graced by a case in typical officer style with straight lugs.
The gold dial is fully guilloched by hand with a delicately undulating sunburst motif inspired by the “Siamese Fighting Fish” model. It is then coated with transparent blue enamel to make the decoration visible. The lasting colour and timeless lustre of this dial is the backdrop for the white gold hands; they float above printed, hand-formed gold markers.
The bezel is extremely luminous thanks to 168 pristine diamonds set in two offset rows using the “Flamme®” technique. In this exclusive and patented setting method, the artisan uses a sharp drill to make cuts in the gold between each stone so that the light can ignite the diamonds’ fire from below as well.
The self-winding calibre is powered by a 22-carat gold eccentric mini rotor set into the movement. It stands out not only for its very thin profile (height: 5.05 mm), allowing for a slim case silhouette, but also for the harmonious sound of the two classical chimes. Its architecture and rich finish can be admired through the sapphire-crystal display on the back. This can be swapped for the solid white gold back that comes with the watch.
The new Ladies Minute Repeater is worn on an alligator strap in patinated ocean blue
Its white gold buckle is formed with 26 diamonds.
Large Patek Philippe classic in white gold with dial in chamotte enamel and hand engraving
In 2018, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Golden Ellipse collection, Patek Philippe presented a limited edition of 100 sets consisting of a platinum timepiece and matching cufflinks; this was a tribute to rare crafts that have become scarce goods. To once again confirm its technical and aesthetic competence, the manufacture has enriched its current collection with a new interpretation of this exceptional timepiece with a polished white gold case and subtly reworked dial decoration details.
Firstly, the 18K gold dial is incised to create indentations that will be filled with black enamel. The zones that are raised are then hand-engraved with floral or plant motifs. In this way, Patek Philippe combines the two working methods (hand engraving and enamelling) used to decorate timepieces. The decoration, with its volutes and arabesques, perfectly complements the unique shape of the Golden Ellipse case. Furthermore, it highlights the harmonious proportions of the case, which are inspired by the golden section, also known as the “Divine Proportion”. This is the basis for some of the greatest architectural and artistic works. The passage of time is tracked by very slender hands in white gold. The crown is finished with an onyx cabochon.
The self-winding calibre 240 movement ticks under the artistically finished dial. Thanks to its ultra-thin design, it will fit into a very elegant case (height: 6.58 mm). The timeless design of the watch is accentuated by the hand-stitched, glossy black alligator leather strap with square scales. Its push-button clasp reflects the shape of the case.
The new Golden Ellipse Hautisanat model
The new version is made in white gold with diamonds in a random setting.
From April 2021, Patek Philippe combines the iconic design of the Nautilus with the finesse of the haute joaillerie, and now presents a new model in rose gold. The case, bezel and bracelet are decorated with diamonds in so-called snow settings. Several rows of stones sparkle on the dial, tracing the gently undulating relief typical of the Nautilus ladies’ models. Now, the manufacturer
presents this style in a new version in white gold. It is a wonderful example of Patek Philippe-style jewellery art that combines creativity, artistic sensitivity and flawless execution.
The new Nautilus Haute Joaillerie model
It sparkles with the fire of 2553 flawless brilliant cut diamonds. To further refine its aesthetics, Patek Philippe has chosen an extremely sophisticated snow setting technique. The gemsetter places diamonds of different sizes next to each other in different ways, making sure that as little of the gold matrix as possible is visible between each stone. This is why each snow setting watch has a unique dial.
To ensure excellent legibility – a requirement that also applies to haute joaillerie watches – the dial features luminescent hour and minute hands in blackened white gold, and the applied Arabic numerals in the same precious metal also have a luminescent coating.
The white gold case is fitted with a self-winding mechanism. Its intricate finishing can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back. The 18-carat white gold bracelet combines elegance with comfortable wear. The watch features Patek Philippe’s patented fold-over clasp, which is secured by four independent clasps