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The Unprecedented Authority of Patek Philippe by Stephen Watson

By The Watches of Switzerland Group   |   4 minute read

The Unprecedented Authority of Patek Philippe

After teasing collectors with a series of four Nautilus watches that most collectors will never get a chance to see in person, Patek Philippe closed out Watches and Wonders with a few more surprises equally as jaw-dropping. During a highly polished video presentation, Theirry Stern spoke to the audience about the initial Nautilus offering and the scarcity versus the overwhelming demand. He further explained that even with the Plan-les-Ouates headquarters closing for two months, Patek still managed to have a very successful year. It’s an unprecedented position for any brand to find itself. After revealing today’s latest offerings, it remains quite clear. The stature of Patek Philippe will not be eclipsed any time soon.

The Unprecedented Authority of Patek Philippe

Ref. 5236P-001, In-Line Perpetual Calendar

What appears to be a simple, easy-to-read calendar wristwatch deceptively hides its incredible complexity. Based on pocket watches found in the Patek Philippe Museum, this exclusive patented calendar display allows for the day, date, and month to be read in a single line. An entirely new movement was created to accomplish this feat, mechanical mastery involving four rotating disks consisting of 118 parts just for this one aperture. It’s miraculous to observe a leap year rotation; when the date skips ahead, the watch automatically compensates. It may sound simple, but fitting all this mechanical magic to fit inside a 41.3 mm case, is precisely the type of expertise that makes Patek collectors swoon. As if this wasn’t enough, Ref.5236P also features a leap year cycle and day/night indicators with an additional window displaying moon phases. The blue dial and matching blue alligator strap contrast beautifully with the hand-polished platinum case with indices and baton-shaped hands in white gold. A rare Grand Complication that is as special as it is easy to read.

Refs. 6119R-001 & 6119G-001, Calatrava “Clous de Paris”

Refs. 6119R-001 & 6119G-001, Calatrava “Clous de Paris”

The Calatrava is an icon within the collection, a pure definition of Patek Philippe’s elegant esthetic. Based on Ref. 3919 from 1985, the current version of the Calatrava “Clous de Paris” features details that refresh and improve upon the bestselling icon. The bezel guilloche with the textured “Clous de Paris” pattern gives the watch its name, now available in rose gold with a silver grained dial (Ref.6119R-001) and white gold with a charcoal grey dial with a vertical satin finish (Ref. 6119G-001). A stop second mechanism enables the watch to be set with one-second accuracy. A manually wound movement powers the watch, and the enlarged case is now 39 mm, making this Calatrava a classic ready for the next twenty years.

Ref. 4947/1A-001, Annual Calendar

Ref. 4947/1A-001, Annual Calendar

A beloved Annual Calendar first introduced in 1996 gets reimagined in a new shape and a new material for 2021. Ref. 4947 has only been available in gold and platinum until now, taking a useful complication and making it even more attractive in a 38 mm stainless steel case. The unusual dial looks similar to navy blue silk shantung fabric, giving Ref.4947 an unexpected informal vibe especially paired with a sporty steel bracelet. The watch indicates the day, month, date, and moon phase in addition to hours and minutes. Stainless steel watches from Patek are especially desirable, so any appearance becomes a watch of note, and we all know what happens when collectors hear the words limited production.

Ref. 4997/200G-001, Ladies Calatrava

Ref. 4997/200G-001, Ladies Calatrava

A beautiful new ladies Calatrava, takes it up a notch with the addition of a self-winding movement, replacing the manual wind movement found in previous models. The exceptional beauty and craftsmanship remain, with a gorgeous reflective guilloche and lacquered navy blue dial paired perfectly with a navy brushed satin finished calfskin strap. The bezel is set with 76 flawless brilliant-cut diamonds on a slightly enlarged 35 mm white gold case, highlighting the stones’ clarity and the dial’s mesmerizing optical effect, allowing for a bit of sparkle and fun atop a serious timepiece.

CREDIT: Stephen Watson serves as an authority within the US watch industry. He was most recently the Editor in Chief of Revolution following his post as the Editor in Chief of Watch Journal and Executive Editor of Surface Magazine. Stephen Watson is a GPHG academy member.

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