Patek Philippe combines watchmaking artistry with exquisite rare handcrafts
On the occasion of the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition, the Genevan manufacture presents a world debut with six models of grand complication timepieces or icons of watch design featuring artistic decorations such as manual engraving, grand feu cloisonné enamel, grand feu champlevé enamel, grand feu flinqué enamel, manual guilloching and gemsetting.
Since the company was founded in 1839, Patek Philippe has always considered its watches to be works of art that reflect the refined aesthetics of mechanical perfection. The quest for immaculacy and harmony comes to the fore in understated, elegant, and timeless designs. It is further emphasized by quality in craftsmanship and the manually executed finissage. With the same passion, Patek Philippe cultivates all techniques used to decorate timepieces, assuring that these skills are handed down from one generation to the next.
This manifestation of ancestral artisanship is not reserved exclusively for one-of-a-kind pieces and limited editions that, year after year, constitute a new rare handcrafts collection. Patek Philippe also perpetuates these skills in its everyday work and with them decorates watch models from the current collection. Manual engraving enlivens the cases and dials of watches such as the Ref. 5160/500 perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, the Ref. 5088/100 Calatrava “Volutes and Arabesques”, and the Ref. 5180/1 skeletonized Calatrava. Guilloched hobnail motifs decorate the cases of exceptional models such as the Ref. 6300 Grandmaster Chime (the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch with 20 complications) and the Ref. 5531 World Time Minute Repeater. Grand feu enamel enhances the dials of certain grand complications, including several minute repeaters. As a special facet, the famous World Time watches feature dials with manual guilloching or decors in cloisonné enamel. Gemsetting is a sparkling highlight of a number of grand complications and transforms haute joaillerie models into precious jewels. Patek Philippe is adding six debuts to this rich selection.
Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
A hand-engraved rose-gold case with a brown dial in grand feu champlevé and cloisonné enamel
Launched in 2001, the Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon is Patek Philippe’s second most complicated wristwatch and has become one of the grand complications most coveted by collectors and connoisseurs. From 2013 to 2016, this double-face wristwatch was available in a rare handcrafts version with a white-gold case and a blue enamel dial (6002G-001). It was followed in 2016 by a new version with a black enamel dial (6002G-010).
Now, the manufacture has endowed this emblematic timepiece with a new face, combining the warm shimmer of rose gold with brown grand feu enamel. The periphery of the dial, the moon-phase aperture, and the moon of the rotating disc are executed in champlevé enamel. With this technique, the base metal must first be precisely milled out so that individual elements such as the minute scale remain relieved.
Then, the recesses are manually filled with enamel compound. The center of the dial features a decor in grand feu cloisonné enamel that was created with the help of thin flat gold wire. The case, the crowns, the repeater slide, and the fold-over clasp are manually engraved with a motif of volutes and arabesques on all sides. The master engraver invests more than 100 hours of work and considerable 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 on cathedral gongs. The front dial shows a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, a moon-phase display and the leap year cycle. The other side shows a celestial chart on which the apparent motion of the moon and the stars can be viewed from the northern hemisphere. To orchestrate the grand ballet of the celestial bodies, Patek Philippe developed a system of three superposed discs that move in different, precisely calculated trajectories.
The new Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon is delivered with hand-engraved cufflinks in rose gold. It replaces the Ref. 6002G-010 in white gold with a black grand feu enamel dial.
Ref. 5304/301R-001 Minute Repeater with a retrograde perpetual calendar
A marvel of transparency in a new rose-gold case set with 80 baguette diamonds
The first Patek Philippe grand complication with a transparent sapphire-crystal dial was launched as the Ref. 5104 in 2006; it had a platinum case with rose-gold intarsias. From 2014 to 2018, it was followed by the Ref. 5304 in rose gold with white-gold intarsias. Now, Patek Philippe has reinterpreted this unusual timepiece as a new haute joaillerie version in rose gold. Its bezel, lugs, and fold-over clasp sparkle with the fire of 80 flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds (~6.22 ct). It puts the focus on a grand spectacle, highlighting the movement on the dial side.
To allow this immersion into the mechanical heart of the watch, Patek Philippe developed an ingenious system for displaying the day, month, and leap year cycle with transparent sapphire-crystal disks in which the respective displays stand out in white against the black background of the small apertures beneath them. To attach the extremely thin sapphire-crystal disks to their minuscule steel arbors, it was necessary to develop an exclusive, patented assembly process.
The pierced leaf-shaped hands in black-lacquered white gold also enhance the view of the movement and its steel parts with beveled and polished edges that stand out beautifully against the rose gilt plates decorated with perlage. The flyback date display features a hand with a crescent moon tip that marks the numerals on a scale at the outermost edge of the dial. The perpetual calendar is complemented with a moon-phase display at 6 o'clock and a subsidiary seconds dial.
To further refine the appeal of this timepiece, Patek Philippe integrated delicate white-gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs in the case flanks and the repeater slide.
The sapphire-crystal case back reveals the architecture of the self-winding caliber R 27 PS QR LU movement, especially the minute repeater mechanism with two gongs or the centrifugal governor beneath the pierced Calatrava cross motif. Special emphasis was placed on movement finissage as evidenced by the recessed off-center minirotor in rose gold that is decorated with a leaf motif and rhodiumed sinks.
Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a perpetual calendar
A chiming watch with cathedral gongs and a white-gold case with a blue grand feu enamel dial
Introduced in 2016, the Ref. 5374 with a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar appealed to connoisseurs and aficionados of striking timepieces as an exceptional mechanical masterpiece in a platinum case beneath a black grand feu enamel dial. Now, Patek Philippe has reinterpreted this grand complication with a new approach in white gold with a blue grand feu enamel dial.
The case shape shows the subtle and harmonious interplay of rounds and cambers. The bezel has a concave profile. The same finesse is encountered in the manually satin-finished recesses in the case flank. They contrast beautifully against the polished case segments and against the cabochons that decorate the ends of the lugs.
The blue grand feu enamel dial is high-gloss finished, a role model of superb craftsmanship. Its intensive color and saturated luminosity are fascinating. The dial plate in 18K gold is manually covered with enamel powder which is then melted at 850°C. As a next step, tiny holes must be drilled into the hard and brittle enamel. They will accommodate the feet of the applied white-gold Breguet numerals. The displays of the perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year cycle) are placed on slightly enlarged subsidiary dials, complemented with a 24-hour display. The leaf-shaped hands in white gold are filled with a luminous coating for excellent legibility. The moon-phase aperture is executed with the champlevé technique and framed in white gold.
The self-winding caliber R 27 Q features a minute repeater that strikes on two cathedral gongs; their extended length of nearly twice the circumference of the movement produces a full, reverberant sound.
The new Ref. 5374G-001 is worn on a shiny dusk blue alligator strap secured with a white-gold fold-over clasp. The scope of delivery includes a sapphire-crystal case back and an interchangeable solid back. It replaces the Ref. 5374P-001 in platinum with a black grand feu enamel dial.
Ref. 7040/250G-001 Rare Handcrafts Minute Repeater for ladies
A new feminine minute repeater with a blue grand feu flinqué enamel dial and a bezel with a Flamme® diamond setting
Available from 2011 to 2017, the Ref. 7000R-001 Ladies First Minute Repeater in rose gold with a creamcolored dial is making way for a new, highly refined model in white gold. It has a slightly larger diameter, a blue grand feu flinqué enamel dial and a diamond-set bezel. Its contemporary yet timeless looks grace a case in the typical officer’s style with straight lugs and screwed bars.
The gold dial plate is fully guilloched by hand with a gently undulated sunburst motif inspired by the Ref. 992/137G-001 “Siamese Fighting Fish” pocket watch (a one-of-a-kind piece created in 2019). It is then coated with transparent blue enamel that allows the underlying decor to shine through; the venerable technique is referred to as flinqué enameling. The enduring color and timeless sheen of this dial is the background for the faceted, lancet-shaped hour and minute hands in white gold; they hover above printed hand-shaped gold markers, and a subsidiary seconds dial is discreetly positioned at 6 o'clock.
The bezel is remarkably radiant with 168 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds set in two offset rows using the “Flamme® ” technique. With this exclusive and patented setting method, the artisan uses Page 4 a sharp burin to cut notches in the gold between the individual stones so that the light can ignite the fire of the diamonds from below as well, enhancing the airiness of the precious creation.
The self-winding caliber R 27 PS is powered by a 22K gold eccentric minirotor recessed in the movement. It stands out not only with its very thin profile (height: 5.05 mm), allowing a svelte case silhouette, but also with the harmonious sound of its two classic gongs. Its architecture and the lavish finissage can be admired through the sapphire-crystal display back. It can be swapped with the solid back in white gold that comes with the watch.
The new Ref. 7040/250G-001 Ladies Minute Repeater is worn on an alligator strap in patinated ocean blue. Its white-gold prong buckle is set with 26 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.18 ct)
Ref. 5738/51G-001 Golden Ellipse Haut Artisanat
A large Patek Philippe classic in white gold with a dial in champlevé enamel and manual engraving
In 2018, on the occasion of 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; it paid tribute to rare handcrafts that have become scarce assets. To yet again reaffirm its technical and aesthetic competence, the manufacture enriched its current collection with a new interpretation of this exceptional watch with a polished white-gold case and subtly reworked dial decor details.
First, the dial plate in 18K gold is pieced to create the recesses that will be filled with black grand feu enamel (champlevé enamel). The zones that are raised are then manually engraved with vegetal or floral motifs. In this manner, Patek Philippe combines two of the most venerable working methods (hand engraving and enamel) used for decorating timepieces. The decor, with its volutes and arabesques ideally complements the inimitable case shape of the Golden Ellipse. Moreover, it emphasizes the harmonious proportions of the case that are inspired by the golden section, also referred to as the “Divine Proportion”. It is the foundation for some of humanity’s greatest architectural and artistic creations. The course of time is tracked by very slender “cheveu”-style hands in white gold. The crown is tipped with an onyx cabochon.
The self-winding caliber 240 movement ticks beneath the artistically finished dial. It is powered by an offcenter recessed minirotor in 22K gold; thanks to its ultra-thin design, it will fit a very elegant case (height: 6.58 mm). The timeless design of the watch is emphasized by a hand-stitched shiny black alligator leather strap with square scales. Its prong buckle echoes the shape of the case.
The new Ref. 5738/51G-001 Golden Ellipse Haut Artisanat joins the current collection, meeting the Ref. 5738P-001 in platinum with a blue sunburst dial and the Ref. 5738R-001 in rose gold with an ebony black sunburst dial.
Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie
A new version in white gold with diamonds in a random pavé setting
Since April 2021, Patek Philippe has been combining the iconic design of the Nautilus with the finesse of haute joaillerie and now presents the Ref. 7118/1450R-001 in rose gold. The case, the bezel, and the bracelet are decorated with diamonds in so-called snow settings. Several rows of stones sparkle on the dial, tracing the gently undulated relief, a typical facet of Nautilus ladies’ models. Now, the manufacture Page 5 is presenting this glittering garb in a new white-gold version. It is a magnificent example of the jeweler’s art in the Patek Philippe style that combines creativity, artistic sensitivity, and flawless execution in a unique way.
The new Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie sparkles with the fire of 2553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds (~12.69 ct). To further refine its aesthetic appeal, Patek Philippe chose the extremely elaborate technique of snow setting, also referred to as random pavé setting. The gemsetter places diamonds of different sizes side by side in a liberal fashion, making sure that as little of the gold matrix is visible between the individual stones. This is why each watch with a snow setting has a unique face. As an integral part of the watch, the gemsetting must comply with the extremely strict criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal.
To assure perfect legibility – a requirement that also applies to haute joaillerie watches – the dial features luminous Alpha hour and minute hands in blackened white gold, and the applied Arabic numerals made of the same precious metal also have a luminous coating.
The white-gold case is fitted with the self-winding caliber 324 S movement. Its elaborate finissage can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back. The 18K white-gold bracelet combines elegance with snug comfort. The watch features a patented Patek Philippe fold-over clasp that is secured with four independent catches. in the current Patek Philippe collection, the new Ref. 7118/1450G-001 Nautilus Haute Joaillerie in white gold joins the Ref. 7118/1450R-001 in rose gold.