The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every industry on a global scale and it has put a stop to various pleasures that we used to take for granted—attending exhibitions included. But, as the world gradually returns to some level of normalcy, brands are also starting to resume physical activities to engage their audience and attract more followers, such as Patek Philippe.
For its 2021 Rare Handcrafts exhibition, the Swiss luxury watch brand invited watch enthusiasts once more to revel in the wonders of horology with its prestigious display of the most comprehensive display. It was held from June through July at its headquarters on the Rue du Rhône 41 in Geneva. Among over 75 exceptional pieces and limited editions featured during the exhibition were 6 new watches which included a Patek Philippe Nautilus, four high-complication references, and a Golden Ellipse.
Patek Philippe Drops 6 New Watches During Its Exhibition
The global restrictions and protocols have forced Patek Philippe to postpone its 2020 exhibition, resulting in a wide range of artisanal crafts reserved for 2021. The exhibition is a showcase of limited-edition pocket watches, wristwatches, table clocks, and dome clocks, each with varying and outstanding features from manual engraving to gem-setting, and miniature paintings, just to name a few.
However, what probably piqued the most interest among watch fans is the spread of new references, composed of six new versions of the brand’s existing models.
Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 6002R-001
Introduced in 2001 with the Ref. 5002, the Sky Moon Tourbillon is the brand’s second most complicated wristwatch. It was previously presented in an 18K white gold case with a blue enamel dial. More recently, a white-gold case with a black enamel dial was also made available.
For the latest reference, the 44mm double-face Sky Moon tourbillon is dressed in 18K rose gold with a brown grand feu enamel dial. It features 12 complications and for the extra level of luxury, the dial, moon phase aperture, and the moon rotating disc are presented in champlevé enamel. Meanwhile, the dial is filled with grand feu cloisonné enamel.
Above all this, the highlight of the 2021 version is the manual engraving with scroll-like and Arabesque details on the case, crowns, minute repeater slide, and clasp. This alone took more than 100 hours of work and required an ultimate level of expertise.
Minute Repeater Ref. 5304/301R001
A repeater is a mechanical watch complication that chimes the time on demand. It often has three different sounds, signalling the hours, quarter-hours, and minutes. This complication is present on the Patek Philippe Minute Repeater and for its 2021 update, it is outfitted in high jewelry, particularly 80 Top Wesselton baguette diamonds of about 6.22 carats.
While attractive on its own, this level of luxury doesn’t distract from the mechanical mastery housed within. Visible through the transparent sapphire-crystal dial is the Caliber R 27 PS QR LU movement. The watch also features a retrograde perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and a flyback date display. A red crescent moon tip marks the numerals along the rim of the dial.
Despite its pretty busy background, the watch’s details remain prominent including the leaf-shaped hands in black-lacuqered white gold, rose gilt plates in perlage, and an 18K rose gold mini-rotor that is adorned with a leaf motif with rhodium sinks.
The Ref. 5374G-001 looks classic and more subtle beside the other ornate watches displayed during the exhibit. Nevertheless, it doesn’t fall short on high-quality materials and mechanical features that make it a Patek Philippe through and through.
First released in 2016 in a platinum case with a black grand feu enamel dial, the reference is updated with a high-gloss finished blue grand feu enamel and an 18K white gold case. Inside is the self-winding Caliber R 27 W movement which boasts a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and 24-hour display. Finishing details include a moon phase aperture in a champlevé technique, the cabochons on the end of the lugs, and the luminous, white-gold leaf-shaped hands that ensure legibility even against the dark setting.
The model is presented on a glossy blue alligator strap and is shipped with an interchangeable solid back in addition to the outfitted sapphire-crystal caseback. Overall, the watch comes in a more subtle package that looks appropriate for everyday wear.
This reference also features a pared-down look with its sunburst dial just showing the hours and minutes, and featuring a sub-dial display for the seconds. However, its seemingly discreet appearance is deceiving. The watch is actually surrounded by 168 Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds and inside is the self-winding Caliber R 27 PS movement, visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. It features a minute repeater and a 22K gold mini rotor.
Golden Ellipse Artisinat Ref. 5738/51G-001
The unusual case shape of the Golden Ellipse, alone, sets it apart from any other Patek Philippe watch. But, add an engraved floral motif that spans the dial and you’ve got a timepiece that takes a specific sense of bold style to wear.
The latest version of the Golden Ellipse is presented in a 34.5mm by 39.5mm case and looks almost identical to the platinum with black enamel dial version released in 2018. But, where it sets itself apart is its unique pattern and the use of an 18K white gold dial. It is powered by the self-winding Caliber 240 movement and is presented in a hand-stitched shiny black alligator strap. It is limited to just 100 pieces and marks the 50th anniversary of the model.
Nautilus Ref. 7118/1450G-001
Concluding the list is the blingy Nautilus with an impressive 2,553 Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds that are approximately 12.69 carats. It comes in white gold in a snow setting and is powered by a self-winding Caliber 324 S movement, visible through the transparent caseback. Fans of Patek Philippe Nautilus are known to have their watches customized with diamonds. But, this doesn’t have to be the case with the new reference.
Patek Philippe’s Rare Handcrafts exhibition is a remarkable attraction where collectors and enthusiasts alike can renew their appreciation for craftsmanship and horology. The event didn’t fall short in displaying a wide array of cutting-edge designs that reflect the skills and expertise that go with each.
Which of these Patek Philippe watches appeal to you most? Let us know by leaving a comment below.