Category Archives: Patek Philippe

Gold Patek Philippe watches: why they are the best in the world

Patek Philippe watches are regarded as the world’s best: complete stop. Obviously, there are other impeccable Swiss watch manufacturers with distinguished pedigrees and watches that are tasteful, but Patek Philippe has lodged itself in the conscience of watch fans as the best manufacturer of all of them.
With beautiful Patek Philippe complications and supercomplications that defy the humanly possible, it is that the Grand Cru of their watchmaking terroir and among the most sought after brands on the collector circuit.
Now in its 176th year also at the hands of a fourth generation Stern family member, Patek likes to flaunt the fact it is the last family-owned independent Genevan watchmaker, free from the limitations of shareholders and therefore able to pursue the route it deems fit. Being the best is tough job, but Patek Philippe watches not don’t surprise. Following the sale of theGraves Supercomplication, abandoned, last November at Sotheby’s Geneva for $24 million, it became the most expensive pocket view on Earth. Known as the Mona Lisa of horology, this was the next time in the rodeo for this specific pocket watch, which had surfaced in 1999 and sold for $11 million, establishing a world record then. But if you are Patek Philippe, then you don’t rest on your laurels, and 24 complications are the invitation to generate more.

Patek Philippe


In the mid-1980s, the Maison chose to outshine the Graves Supercomplication with an even more complex timepiece called Calibre 89, top of article. Even a horological behemoth with 33 complications, 24 hands and 1,728 parts, Calibre 89 now occupies the podium as the planet’s most complex pocket watch and has been constructed to celebrate the watchmaker’s 150th anniversary.
How and why this has been possible is an intriguing story that starts with just two episodes of religious intolerance, persecution and exodus, and a nationalist uprising in Poland. The genesis of Patek Philippe watches is intimately linked to the city of Geneva, which had established itself as a watchmaking hub at the early 16th century, helped in part by Calvin’s strict religious agenda banning ornamentation and the wearing of jewellery, although watches were tolerated.
In still another chapter on exodus, Antoni Patek, a young Polish cavalry officer participating in the 1830 November Uprising – an insurrection of Poles against the invading Russian Tsarist forces – was injured. Following the downfall, he and many soldiers of the Polish army were encouraged to emigrate and, after various stops in France, Patek came at Versoix, Switzerland, in which he took painting classes and became fascinated with the watchmaking scene. Czapek made the watches, Patek sold themand the partnership lasted for six years before it was dissolved in 1845.
It is a common misconception that watchmakers in the 19th century were primarily interested in making pocket watches for gentlemen. In the instance of Patek Philippe, women played a pivotal part in the organization’s rise to fame – especially feminine members of royal households or quite well-to-do ladies – and the first three listed Patek Philippe ladies’ watches sold in 1839 were to Madame Goscinska. This was quickly followed by Princess Zubów of Russia, who purchased a minute repeater detailing her family coat of arms, and even Queen Victoria bought Prince Albert a quarter-repeating chronometer using all the keyless winding system. This high profile roster of queens, kings and even Popes ensured Patek Philippe’s name spread like wildfire among the courts of Europe, and as much abroad as Siam, tempting King Rama V to go to Geneva and carry home 56 timepieces. Not only royals, but intellectuals, writers, musicians and scientists came to the firm due to their watches, including Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Einstein and even Marie Curie.

patek philippe nautilus 5726 closeup

NAUTILUS 5726/1A-01

VARIATION ON A THEME

The Geneva-based manufacture proposes a contemporary aesthetic design for this timepiece combining an elegant sporty spirit with practical everyday calendar complications.

In 2010, Patek Philippe unveiled a steel Nautilus with an annual calendar, Moon phase display and a 24-hour indication. Versions with gradated gray and white dials then came along to round out the line. This year, the manufacture is proposing a new version with a subtle blue-to-black gradated dial, reference 5726/1A-014. This color may be in fashion, but it could already be found on the original model back in 1976. Time information come in a classic presentation, with the day of the week, month and date displayed in their respective apertures. The portions of the Earth’s satellite illuminated by the sun can be seen in a window at 6 o’clock. The baton-shaped hour and minute hands in gray gold, like the markers they point to, are coated in a luminescent material.

patek philippe nautilus 5726 closeupAll the time information is masterfully orchestrated by the caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303 comprising 347 parts. This self-winding movement, invented and patented by Patek Philippe in 1996, only needs to be adjusted once a year for the date, on 1 March. This mechanical architecture is protected by a 40.5-mm case that is watertight to 120 meters. Its gold central rotor central can be seen through the sapphire crystal case back. Once wound, it provides a power reserve of 35 to 45 hours.

A strap in the same material as the case, with a fold-over clasp, accompanies the 5726/1A-014 reference. Its links have a silky, polished finish.

Price: 41’670 EUR

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe 5172 G closeup

5172G

THE SHAPE OF SUCCESS

Increasing readability and personality, this is the option chosen by the Genevan manufacturer for redesigning the details of this watch, as sporty as it is elegant. Mastered!

In 2010, Patek Philippe presented the reference 5170 as a classic chronograph. This year, the Genevan manufacturer is offering a subtle evolution with the 5172G, which nevertheless changes its personality. To accentuate its distinguished appearance from the previous model, a varnished blue dial serves as the backdrop for the time information. On top are luminescent, appliqué Arabic numerals, encircled by a tachymeter scale. The measurement of short times is carried out using two round, engine-turned pushers. They are read by the central second hand and the 30-minute totalizer located at 3 o’clock. A small second hand at 9 o’clock visually balances the composition. The whole is now protected by a 41mm diameter and 11.45mm thick white gold case.

patek philippe 5172 G closeupThe triple gadroon fasteners that extend the box contribute to the vintage style of the piece. A calfskin leather strap and its folding clasp are added to complete the timeless elegance of the timepiece.

Price: 66,870 EUR

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe minute repeater 5078G 010 caseback closeup

5078G-010 MINUTE REPEATER

AN ODE TO DISTINCTION

Knowing the time without looking at the watch face, that is the offering from timekeepers equipped with the minute repeater complication such as this new magnified reference by Patek Philippe.

Unveiled for the first time in 2005 by Patek Philippe, the Reference 5078G Minute Repeater was then presented with a white face decorated with Roman figures. Twelve years later, they were replaced by their Breguet type homologues positioned on a cream colored disk. This year, the watchmaker has opted for an evolution stripped of any monogram. Discreet indexes take their place on an enamel decoration with a refined aesthetic made up of scrolls and arabesques in a combination of black and grey tints and brilliant and matt finishes. This mise en scène is skimmed over by the delicate leaf form hour and minute hands. A small second hand carries out its revolutions at 6 o’clock. The whole is protected by an elegant white gold case, 38mm diameter and 10.18mm thick.

patek philippe minute repeater 5078G 010 caseback closeupThe Reference 5078-010 Minute Repeater comes with a stitched alligator strap finished with a fold-over clasp.

Price on request

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe grandes complications 6300g side

GRANDES COMPLICATIONS 6300G

TWO FACES, TWENTY COMPLICATIONS

Patek Philippe is releasing an elegant, stylish variation of its most complicated wristwatch ever produced as part of its regular collection, the Grandes Complications 6300G.

To mark its 175th anniversary, Patek Philippe revealed an exceptional timepiece applying all the expertise it had acquired over the years, the Grandmaster Chime Référence 5175. In 2016, as part of the 6300 series, the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the brand joined the regular collection. This year, it returns in a new 47.7 mm white gold case with a thickness of 16.07 mm, comprising two blue opaline dials. One has a center decorated with a hand-guilloched Clou de Paris pattern and displays the time information, second time zone, chime mode indicator, and power reserve indicator. The other shows, among other things, the instant perpetual date and a four-digit year.

patek philippe grandes complications 6300g sidePrice on request patek.com

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe 5235 50r caseback closeup

5235/50R ANNUAL CALENDAR REGULATOR

A SHADE ABOVE

The choice of color and material can alter the personality of a timepiece. Not convinced? The 2019 version of this edition will make your mind up.

Unveiled to the public for the first time in 2011 in a white gold case and a silver-gray dial, the Annual Calendar Regulator by Patek Philippe has been brought back to life this year with a stylish new version. The dial sports an impressive combination of graphite and ebony-black shades, enhanced by a vertical satin finish. It contains two subdials which indicate the hours, at 12 o’clock, and the seconds, at 6 o’clock. The date, day and month are spread across the dial in their respective windows. This annual calendar only requires one adjustment per year, at the end of February. Sweeping over this timepiece is a large white central minute hand which is characteristic of regulators of the past which were used as accurate reference watches. This spacious composition ensures a very easy-to-read layout of all the information.

patek philippe 5235 50r caseback closeupTo accentuate this refined identity, the 5235/50R series comes with a matte black alligator strap finished with a pin buckle.

Price: 47,020 EUR patek.com

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe 5520 calatrava pilot alarm travel time dial closeup

CALATRAVA PILOT ALARM TRAVEL TIME

KEEPING TIME WITH TRAVEL

At Baselworld 2019, the Geneva watchmakers had the chance to unveil this impressive model, one of the most complex watches in its range.

In 2015, the traveller’s watch gained in prestige with the 5524 model by Patek Philippe. The watch stood out with a style inspired by pilot’s watches and featuring improved readability. A press on one of the two monopushers near the top and the bottom of the case were used to move local time forwards or back. This year, the Geneva manufacture has launched a striking new version, the Calatrava Pilot Alarm Travel Time (reference 5520P). The watch again features the practical GMT function, but now comes with an alarm.

patek philippe 5520 calatrava pilot alarm travel time dial closeupOn the dial, local time and the minutes are shown with Super-LumiNova®-coated hands. A third, skeletoned hand keeps track of the time at home. The date is shown in a counter at 6 o’clock. Two day and night indicators round off the time data. A double counter has made its appearance at 12 o’clock, showing the time set for the alarm. “On” and “off” are shown with a bell that changes colour depending on the setting. It is white when activated and black when turned off. You choose by pressing on the monopusher at 2 o’clock. When activated, the alarm rings for 35 seconds unless stopped beforehand. At 4 o’clock, the crown has several different roles. In the first position, you set the alarm clockwise. When turned anticlockwise, it winds up the watch. In position 2, the crown is used to change the alarm in either direction at intervals of 15 minutes. In position 3, you can set the time. It is worth noting that the date is synchronised to local time, as is the alarm.

The self-winding movement with 574 elements is housed in a 42.2mm-wide platinum case.

Price: 200,000 CHF patek.com

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe calatrava semainier closeup

CALATRAVA WEEKLY CALENDAR

GET OUR YOUR DIAIRIES!

For Baselworld 2019, the brand launched a fairly unusual combination in its collections: a new and practical complication combined with a steel case.

Behind the reference 5121A-001 is a new timepiece by Patek Philippe, continuing its tradition of practical watches for daily use with a full calendar display. As the names implies, the Calatrava Weekly Calendar shows the number of the week of the year. A slender hand with a red hammer at the tip displays the number clearly on a scale running around the outside of the dial. The feature completes the day display shown in the same way and the date in a traditional counter at 3 o’clock. All these elements stand out clearly against an ivory background. The typeface has a vintage feel and plays an essential role, both practical and attractive.

patek philippe calatrava semainier closeupThe central layout consists of five superimposed dials driven by the calibre 26-330, an optimised version of the 324. The crown’s three positions are used respectively to wind the automatic movement (45 hours of power reserve), adjust the date and set the time. Using the corrector at 10 o’clock, you can change the number of the week for years with 53 weeks. A second corrector at 8 o’clock is used to change the day. And you can set the watch to exactly the right time thanks to the stop-second system.

All these features come to life in a 40mm-wide steel case with a design inspired by a unique item from 1995, the reference 2512, especially for the lugs with double gadroons. The Calatrava Weekly Calendar will look good on the wrists of all men with high standards with its leather strap and tang buckle.

Price: 30,350 EUR patek.com

By Dan Diaconu

patek philippe twenty four auto collection

TWENTY-4 AUTOMATIC

TIME AS JEWELLERY

This is not an evolution but a design revolution! The feminine Twenty-4 launched in 1999 is given a radical change of shape to house an automatic calibre.

Until this year, the Twenty-4 model by Patek Philippe was famous for its elegant rectangular design. The brand wanted to give a new look to the watch, with a 36mm-wide case available in steel or pink gold. Whichever metal you choose, the chamfered bezel still shines out with the assistance of 160 diamonds. Depending on the version, the dial comes in a deep blue colour, shades of grey, a bright and sunny chocolate brown or a delicate motif recalling the texture of wild silk. The watch has two baton-style hands and large Arabic numerals. The simple display provides easy reading of the time information in all lighting conditions. The watches are all worn with a strap made of the same material as the case. A set of curved links and a folding clasp give them the flexibility to guarantee comfort.

patek philippe twenty four auto collectionIt’s worth noting that a rose-gold, jewelled version of the Patek Philippe – Twenty-4 Automatic is available, and set with 479 diamonds: 208 on the bezel and the lugs, 13 on the crown and 258 on the strap.

Price: 23,660 EUR (steel) – 41,150 EUR (pink gold) patek.com

By Dan Diaconu