A quartet of intriguing timepieces that exemplify the Genevan manufacturer mastery of watchmaking artistry and rare handcrafts.
From mid-June until early July this year, Patek Philippe presented the “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition at its famed salon in Geneva, Switzerland. There, the brand showcased its commitment to the perfection and preservation of decorative arts such as manual engraving, grand feu cloisonné enamel, manual guilloching and many more – rare handcrafts in the truest sense. What’s even more unique about Patek Philippe’s approach to these forms of ancestral artisanship is that they are not reserved solely for one-of-a-kind pieces or limited editions. Instead, timepieces decorated using these crafts regularly make their way into the brand’s current collections. And among the rare handcraft treasures exhibited at the aforementioned exhibition, there were six exquisite watches making their debut for 2021. Today, we invite you to take a closer look at four of those novelties…
Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
The story of the Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat – Patek Philippe’s second most complicated wristwatch – began in 2001, with its first rare handcraft incarnation launched in 2013. Its newest incarnation combines the warm shimmer of rose gold with brown grand feu enamel. The Ref. 6002R-001 also sees judicious application of champlevé enamel and manual engraving. On top of that, it houses a total of 12 complications including, of course, a moon-phase display and tourbillon, as well as a minute repeater and even a celestial chart.
Minute Repeater with Retrograde Perpetual Calendar
This watch invites its wearer and admirers to immerse themselves in the intricate workings of its perpetual calendar mechanism by way of a transparent sapphire-crystal dial. The view of the movement and its stell parts is further enhanced by pierced leaf-shaped hands in black-lacquered white gold, as well as the integrated delicate white-gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs in the case flanks and the repeater slide. And even more intriguing details of the self-winding caliber R 27 PS QR LU’s architecture can be seen through the sapphire-crystal case back.
Minute Repeater with Perpetual Calendar
The intense blue dial of this rare handcraft watch is brought to life using the precise art of grand feu enamelling. On this exquisite canvas, Patek Philippe’s artisans have laid out white gold Breguet numerals, leaf-shaped hands – in white gold as well – along with subsidiary dials for the perpetual calendar displays and a moon-phase aperture executed with the champlevé technique. As impressive as it is visually, the Ref. 5374G-001 is also an aural delight, thanks to its two extended-length cathedral gongs that create a full, reverberant sound.
Ladies’ Minute Repeater
A decidedly feminine design, the Ref. 7040/250G-001 catches the eye through a succession of exquisite touches. First is the undulating sunburst motif on the dial that is fully guilloched by hand. The visual impact of this design is then enhanced by a transparent blue enamel coating – a technique known as flinqué enamelling. Framing the dial and its array of lancet-shaped hands, gold markers, and subsidiary seconds dial are two offset rows of brilliant-cut diamonds set using the Flamme technique.