For anyone who hasn’t managed to keep up with the launches by Patek Philippe, here’s a quick run-through for your easy reference.
Like every other industry, the watch industry has had to adapt quickly to global changes, more so this year than ever. Despite that, it’s been an incredible year of great releases by Patek Philippe. While we could not travel to Switzerland, Patek Philippe continued to introduce new models to the world virtually, releasing 7 models this year in 8 references. We’ve broken down the releases for you for easy reference and reading.
The Grand Complications
Patek Philippe introduced two new chiming complication watches this year, the Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon and Ref. 6301P-001 Grande Sonnerie. The latter is especially important, as this is Patek Philippe’s first wristwatch with a standalone grande sonnerie complication. The Ref. 6301P-001 Grande Sonnerie was launched virtually and specially timed by Mr Thierry Stern to be launched on his father, Mr Philippe Stern’s birthday.
We’ve only heard audio samples and seen images, the watch looks spectacular, with its jet-black grand feu enamel dial with the “glacé” finish. A slide switch between the lower lugs of the case controls the sonnerie functions, and a single crown with a pusher manages the winding and triggering of the minute repeater function respectively. The stunning movement is visible through its sapphire crystal caseback. You can read about the watch here.
Blending Tradition and Innovation
The Ref. 5303R Minute Repeater Tourbillion, initially unveiled at the 2019 Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore as a limited-edition model, is now part of Patek Philippe’s regular collection as the Ref. 5303R-001. The watch is another bold departure from traditional Patek Philippe design, as it bears a dial-side repeater, and an open architecture that reveals the tourbillon from the front of the watch. More details on the watch are available here.
The other two high complications are the Ref. 5370P-011 split-seconds chronograph in a stunning blue grand feu enamel dial, that beautifully complements the black enamel dial edition launched in 2015. The Ref. 5270J Perpetual Calendar Chronograph means the watch is now available in the most traditional of precious materials – yellow gold. Both Grand Complications are powered by variations of the calibre 29-535. Read about the Ref. 5370P-011 here and details of the Ref. 5270J-001 can be found here.
Time for the Ladies to Shine
Patek Philippe has been strengthening its ladies’ offerings in recent years. The Twenty~4 Automatic, launched in 2018, has had new jewelled models added last year. This year, the original Twenty~4 that was launched in 1999 enjoys a design refresh. The cambered rectangular case and “manchette” bracelet are designed to follow the form of a wrist perfectly, and both models in blue and grey sunburst dials are adorned with diamonds along the sides of the case.
More exciting for collectors of complication timepieces is the 37.5mm sized Ref. 7234G-001 Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, which is Patek Philippe’s take on the pilot’s watch with a dual time function. The original Ref. 5524 was introduced by the brand at Baselworld in 2015, and is powered by the automatic calibre 324 S C FUS.
The new model offers exactly the same functions – dual time zone with day/night indicators for both home and local time, and the local date on a counter – but in a much more compact 37.5mm case size that is excellent for the slim-wristed. It is also relatively slim as well at just over 10mm thick. (Stocks of the Ref. 7234G are available at the Patek Philippe boutique at ION Orchard, if you have a hankering for one.)
The Already Sold Out Limited-Edition Calatrava
This year, apart from unveiling many notable models, Patek Philippe also officially opened their new production building – PP6. To celebrate this occasion, they launched a limited edition Calatrava model, the Ref. 6007A-001, in stainless steel – yes, this is a rare steel Calatrava.
The dial demonstrates a new phase of Patek Philippe’s design philosophy, one that is highly modern while still representing traditional crafts. The inner hour track has triangular markers under the Arabic numerals, which area modern font type, with a guilloché engraving that’s similar to a carbon texture in the centre of the dial.
The 40mm watch is slim and bears a caseback that is decorated with the Calatrava cross and ‘New Manufacture 2019’ inscribed on it. It is a really handsome watch and comes with a calfskin strap that’s embossed with a fabric pattern in a matt grey-blue tone to match the dial. Unfortunately, all 1,000 pieces have been spoken for, as we understand. That sums up the year for Patek Philippe, and the many unexpected surprises we’ve seen from the brand.