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RETAIL | editor, Hong Kong

Patek Philippe presents a bouquet of technical and aesthetic debuts

The manufacturer is adding a brand-new perpetual calendar with an original in-line display to its rich range of calendar watches.

Patek Philippe is launching a new grand complication with a perpetual calendar and an innovative, patented in-line display (Ref. 5236P-001). The famous Calatrava with the “Clous de Paris” bezel makes a strong comeback with a contemporary design and a new manually wound movement (Refs. 6119R-001 and 6119G-001). The patented Annual Calendar celebrates its first appearance in a round steel case with an integrated metal bracelet (Ref. 4947/1A-001). The Calatrava ladies’ model with a guilloched, blue lacquered dial has a slightly larger case and now accommodates a self-winding movement (Ref. 4997/200G-001). These new facets reflect Patek Philippe’s extensive know-how and enrich the very broad and continually updated collection in many segments that fulfill the expectations of women and men.

As the last independent, family-owned Genevan watchmaking company, Patek Philippe stands out with a rich range of watches for ladies and gentlemen. As a specialist for complicated timepieces (they make up nearly half of the current collection), the company has a leading position in watch design as evidenced by some of the most recent and important iconic models of our era – including designs such as the Calatrava or the Golden Ellipse. In the domain of casual elegance, Patek Philippe stands in the forefront with two models that have become
genuine cult objects: the Nautilus and the Aquanaut. Today, the manufacture’s collection embraces about 140 different references that are produced in small series with a dozen watches
to a few hundred pieces for which a broad selection of movements is available, all of them crafted in the company’s own workshops. Year after year, this collection is evolved in a
conceptually balanced manner.

On the occasion of the opening of “Watches and Wonders Geneva 2021” – Patek Philippe participated in the event for the first time on April 7 – the manufacture showed four new faces in its Nautilus collection. The Ref. 5711/1A in stainless steel features an all-new sunburst dial in olive green (Ref. 5711/1A-014). The casually elegant legend in steel with an olive green sunburst dial is also available with a baguette diamond-set bezel (Ref. 5711/1300A-001). The Ref. 5990/1 Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph with a self-winding movement, two time zones, a flyback chronograph and local-time date indication combines rose gold with a blue sunburst dial (Ref. 5990/1R-001). The very rare and precious Nautilus Haute Joaillerie, also in rose gold, has a sparkling random pavé set diamond complement (Ref. 7118/1450R-001).

Patek Philippe is enriching this first spring bouquet with four new models that reflect the technical and design know-how, showcasing the many different métiers and talents pursued in the company’s ateliers. These debuts for 2021 will be followed by further launches in the course of the year.

Ref. 5236P-001 In-line Perpetual Calendar: a new, exclusive, and patented calendar display
The grand complications are the true domain of horological excellence. Patek Philippe is now enriching its broad range of calendar timepieces with a new perpetual calendar that shows the day, date, and month in a single panoramic aperture at 12 o’clock. This in-line display was already adopted in some of the manufacture’s pocket watches. But this was never done in a wristwatch, a veritable feat as regards the degree of miniaturization and the many technical challenges that had to be mastered.

To combine uniqueness with crisp legibility and high reliability, the designers developed a new self-winding ultra-thin movement: The caliber 31-260 PS QL with a recessed minirotor and a customized module for which three patent applications were filed. The in-line display system relies on four disks (of which two for the date) that are arranged on one level. It consists of 118 additional parts. It is complemented by two round apertures that show the leap-year cycle as well as the day/night indications. A further window displays the moon phases.

This extremely elaborate mechanism is premiering in a fully hand-polished platinum case with a diameter of 41.3 mm and a height of merely 11.07 mm. The blue dial with a black gradation to the periphery is adorned with a vertical satin finish. The course of time is displayed with applied hour markers and baton hands in white gold. The navy blue alligator leather strap is secured with a fold-over clasp and harmonizes perfectly with the dial.

Refs. 6119R-001 and 6119G-001 Calatrava “Clous de Paris”: a delicately reworked cult style with a new manually wound movement
Second debut: the comeback of a grand classic. Among all Calatrava watches since 1932, one model series was greeted with particular enthusiasm. It is the one with a bezel decorated with a guilloched “Clous de Paris” pattern. The most prominent model is the Ref. 3919 introduced in 1985. It has a white dial and black lacquered Roman numerals that was produced for over 20 years.

Today, it is deemed one of the most coveted wristwatches in the world of timepieces. Patek Philippe has added fresh impetus to this emblematic model by updating its design and slightly enlarging its diameter to 39 mm. The applied and faceted “obus” hour markers in gold, give the dial a timeless, well-organized face. The guilloched bezel has a somewhat wider chamfered profile.

This sleek yet refined watch is available in two versions: the Ref. 6119R-001 in rose gold has a silvery grained dial with applied hour markers and hands in rose gold; the Ref. 6119G-001 in white gold features a charcoal gray dial with a vertical satin finish, a snailed subsidiary seconds dial as well as applied hour markers and hands in white gold.

The launch of these models gives Patek Philippe a welcome occasion to present a totally new manually wound movement. Despite its generous diameter (inside case diameter 30.4 mm), the caliber 30-255 PS retains its thin proportions (2.55 mm), allowing the construction of very elegant cases. Endowed with two mainspring barrels connected in parallel, it also explores new avenues in energy management: the high-performance movement has a power reserve of 65 hours. Thanks to the stop-seconds function, the watch can be set to the correct time with onesecond accuracy.

Ref. 4947/1A-001 Annual Calendar: the very first version of this queen among useful complications with a round case in steel and a metal bracelet
The third notable debut: one of the biggest successes of the manufacture in a totally new version. Patek Philippe invented the ingenious Annual Calendar mechanism that was patented in 1996. It requires only one manual correction per year and so far has been available in various ladies’ and men’s models in three gold colors and in platinum. However, this useful and convenient complication has never come in a round Calatrava case in stainless steel. So far.

With a polished bezel and a diameter of 38 mm that matches virtually every wrist, the new Ref. 4947/1A-001 also stands out with its new, totally integrated steel bracelet. It consists of five rows of fully polished links and is fitted with a patented fold-over clasp secured with four independent catches.

The light reflected by the polished steel harmonizes very elegantly with the night blue dial that with a horizontal and vertical satin finish evokes the beauty of Shantung silk. The course of time is tracked with applied Arabic numerals and leaf-shaped white-gold hands with luminous coatings. The Annual Calendar displays are quickly and easily legible. Two subsidiary dials between 9 and 10 o’clock indicate the day and, between 2 and 3 o’clock, the month; the date appears in an aperture at 6 o'clock. The extremely precise moon-phase display rounds out the calendar functions.

The sapphire-crystal case back reveals the refined architecture and exquisite finissage of the self-winding caliber 324 S QA LU movement.

Ref. 4997/200G-001 Calatrava ladies’ watch: with a slightly larger diameter and a selfwinding movement
The fourth masterpiece of this spring quartet: the debut of a grand classic of feminine elegance. Launched in 2009, the Ref. 4897 Calatrava ladies’ watch with a guilloched and lacquered dial and the manually wound caliber 215 movement was available in various colors (brown, night blue, crème, silvery gray) and with a bezel set with brilliant-cut diamonds or baguette diamonds. Now, this icon is followed by a new version with a self-winding movement and a white-gold case with a slightly larger diameter of 35 mm instead of 33 mm. It leverages its seductive power within a feminine circle of customers who expect a combination of aesthetic refinement and the exclusivity and convenience of a mechanical movement that winds itself with every motion of the wrist.

The precious dial requires considerable work and artisanship. Its base is exquisitely guilloched with concentric waves and then coated with consecutive layers of a translucent night blue lacquer. This decor creates fascinating depths above which the arrow-shaped white gold “poudré” hour markers and faceted Dauphine hands in white gold seem to float.

The bezel is set with 76 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.52 ct.) and casts its light on the radiant decor of the dial.

The ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement with a recessed minirotor in 22K gold offers the ideal basis for crafting exceptionally svelte cases with compact dimensions. The elegant architecture of the movement with its highly elaborate finissage and strict compliance with the criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back. The suave personality of this new watch is emphasized by a new brushed, satin-finished calfskin strap. The shiny navy blue strap is secured with a white-gold prong buckle.

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