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Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118 Haute Joaillerie

Patek Philippe had dazzled the virtual audience with the Nautilus in rose gold gem setting (Ref. 7118/1450R-001) earlier this year during Watches & Wonders event. The addition of the white gold appears to be a logical step for the collectors preferring white gold over rose gold.

The case, the bezel, and the bracelet are decorated with diamonds in so-called snow setting. Several rows of diamonds sparkle on the dial, tracing the wave-like pattern that is typically found on Nautilus ladies’ models. It is a noteworthy example of Patek’s breadth in style that combines creativity, and delicate gem-setting in a bold yet elegant way on the Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118platform. Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie sparkles with 2553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds (~12.69 ct). Patek chose the extremely elaborate technique of snow setting, also referred to as random pavé setting. The gem setter places diamonds of different sizes side by side in a random fashion, making sure that as little of the gold matrix is visible between the individual diamonds. Hence, each watch with a snow setting has a unique dial. The dial features luminous Alpha hour and minute hands in blackened white gold, and the applied Arabic numerals made of the same precious metal also have a luminous coating for a perfect legibility, even on an haute joaillerie watch where the emphasis generally tends to be on the stones. The white gold case is powered by Patek’s caliber 324 S automatic movement, the same movement that powers Ref. 5711. The finely finished movement with gold rotor is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. The 18K white-gold bracelet is paved with diamonds (~9.22 ct) and features a patented fold over clasp set with diamonds.

The steel Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118 is one of the most iconic sports watches, the most Instagrammed object, and hardest to purchase at the retail price. The “Snowhite” Ref. 7118/1450G-001 in white gold takes it several notches above the steel sports watch with over 12.6 carats of diamonds on the dial, case, and the bracelet. Patek Philippe combines high watchmaking artistry with delicate and rare handcrafts, in this case with gem setting. While Nautilus steel is an understated and refined sports watch, Ref. Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118 transforms the Nautilus from an everyday timepiece to a rare jewelry object. I appreciate that Patek has not added any limitation to this reference, and it is now part of the brand’s standard collection. Although, due to the skills and resources required, it will likely be manufactured in a very limited fashion.

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Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Philippe Stern

On Friday, the watchmaker revealed a very personal and very rare Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Philippe Stern, Ref. 1938P-001. The watch is a tribute from Patek Philippe president, Thierry Stern, to his father, former Patek Philippe president, Philippe Stern on the occasion of his 85th birthday. The watch, rather unusually, features the face of Stern Sr., rendered in a white and gray miniature portrait executed in grand feu enamel on a grand feu enamel black dial (“Email” beneath the seconds counter means “enamel” in French). It’s a touching gesture from son to father, however, one wonders which collectors will want to wear the elder Stern’s on their wrist. But Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Philippe Stern aficionados might appreciate what’s beneath the surface. Not surprisingly, Thierry Stern went all out for this appreciation piece, which houses a brand new Caliber R AL 27 PS. The movement combines the Swiss brand’s famous R 27 caliber, used in its Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175 for the company’s 175th anniversary, with a 12-hour alarm function chiming a programmed time, read via the 18-karat rose-gold Breguet-style hand. And what’s more, the new caliber will be used only in the 30 iterations of this watch and never employed again, increasing the rarity of the timepiece. The movement is visible beneath a hunter caseback engraved with “A Mon Père, 85 ans de passion horlogère” (“To my Father, 85 years of watchmaking passion”) on the cover. Beneath the sapphire crystal glass, another sentimental touch was added to the 22-karat yellow-gold rotor, which is adorned with an engraving of Philippe Stern’s signature. Driving home even further the special nature of the piece are the chamfered edges of the bridges and hammers, which are gilded.

The self-winding caliber R AL 27 PS takes the alarm function and integrates it into the caliber R 27. Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Philippe Stern engineers had to rethink the minute repeater mechanism to combine the two. Both the alarm and the minute repeater chime on the same two gongs. Once activated via the slide piece on the left flank of the case, the movement can either instantly strike the time on the dial in minute repeater mode or put the stake on hold until the time displayed corresponds to the scheduled alarm time. The two modes are indicated via the bell-shaped aperture beneath the Patek Philippe signature. When in minute repeater mode, the bell is black; in alarm mode the bell is red. A push-piece in the crown allows the user to choose between the two. When in alarm mode, the slide must be actuated again to wind the alarm, changing the bell from red to white. When in alarm mode is white, it means that the alarm has been set but has not yet sounded. While the bell is set to white it’s possible to return to minute repeater mode by pressing the push-piece without the striking mechanism being activated. Like a traditional minute repeater, the piece will sound the hours, quarters, and minutes on demand, but the 12-hour alarm, which is set from one quarter-hour to the next via the crown pulled out in its middle position, strikes two minutes before its set time in order to allow the maximum number of chimes (thereby providing more of a melody). For instance, if the alarm is set at 3 o’clock it would actually go off at 2:58, so the user would hear two low-pitch strikes for the hour, three double high-low strikes for the quarters, and 13 high-pitch strikes for the remaining minutes.

All in all 227 parts had to be added to the movement to accomplish its technical feats. Plus, four new patents were filed for a unidirectional coupling mobile system, a timepiece incorporating a minute repeater and alarm with reversible selection, a timepiece with a repeater and constant-travel slide piece, and a striking mechanism equipped with a delaying device.

The piece is limited to just 30 pieces worldwide. While Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Philippe Stern collectors may not be sold on wearing Philippe Stern’s face, Patek Philippe enthusiasts may want to get their hands on a piece for the art of its mechanics and, of course, to have the bragging rights of owning the most elevated complication from one of the most coveted (and hard to get) watch brands on the planet.

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New Patek Philippe Aquanauts Chronograph And Aquanaut Luce

It’s the year of rose gold for the Aquanaut. Patek has introduced a trio of new models for the Aquanaut, all in rose gold: an Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph, and for good measure, an Aquanaut with 48 diamonds on the bezel.

First up is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph 5968R to the collection. Here, the rose gold case measures 42.2mm by 11.9mm, and a composite brown strap matches the brown dial. The 5968R takes the familiar form of the Aquanaut chronograph and renders it in rose gold.
That means the 42mm case has 120 meters of water resistance, and the brown dial has a sunburst effect that ends in a black rim towards the dial’s edge. Through the sapphire caseback, you can see Patek’s self-winding flyback chronograph CH 28-520 C. It powers the central chronograph hand and the Aquanaut’s signature 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. It’s a column wheel movement with a vertical disk clutch. MSRP is CHF 64,000.

Just a couple of millimeters smaller, Patek has added the new Aquanaut Luce reference 5261R. It’s an annual calendar – a complete day, date, and month calendar that needs just one manual correction (at the end of February).
The rose gold case measure 39.9mm by 10.9mm in thickness, and it’ll come on the well-known Aquanaut composite strap in a blue-grey that matches the dial. Of note, Patek’s introducing a new movement in the 5261R, the 26-330 S QA LU. It’s based on the 26-330 S C Patek introduced in 2019 (and used in the last generation of the 5711 and this year’s 6007G release, among others). MSRP on the new Aquanaut Luce will be CHF 52,000.

Alongside the 5261R, Patek has added thePatek Philippe 5268/200R to its Aquanaut lineup – a 38.8mm Aquanaut with 38 diamonds on the bezel. This one’ll set you back CHF 45,500. That means the 42mm case has 120 meters of water resistance, and the brown dial has a sunburst effect that ends in a black rim towards the dial’s edge.

Through the sapphire caseback, you can see Patek’s self-winding flyback chronograph CH 28-520 C. It powers the central chronograph hand and the Aquanaut’s signature 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. It’s a column wheel movement with a vertical disk clutch. MSRP is CHF 64,000.
Since Patek launched the Aquanaut Flyback Chronograph in steel in 2018 (as the 5968A), we could’ve assumed it’d make it’s way into rose gold, and probably in something that looked kind of like the 5968R we see her now. It’s got the brown dial we’ve seen in other rose gold Pateks (hello there, 5167R), and the matching brown strap is a delightful chocolate bar. It joins the steel 5968A and a pair of white gold 5968G models as Patek continues to fill out its collection of Aquanaut chronographs.

While we might’ve known something like the 5968R was coming eventually, I’m not sure many people expected the Aquanaut Luce, and I think that makes it even better. It’s in a 40mm Aquanaut case, which Patek refers to as its ladies’ line. The last few years, Patek’s added the Travel Time 5269R and the “Rainbow” chronograph 5968R, and now Patek’s adding a sportier, non-gemset watch to its lineup of smaller Aquanauts. And I might just love it.

Patek only introduced the annual calendar in the 1990s as a practical (and cheaper) alternative to more complex calendars, so it’s a natural fit for a smaller Aquanaut. Instead of the brown seen in the chronograph, the dial is a soft blue-grey that’s a monotone across the entire dial. There’s a composite strap to match. Patek’s put the moonphase under 12 o’clock, and the month and day sit at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively

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Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300

Let’s cut to the chase: Patek Philippe’s Grandmaster Chime is one of the most ridiculous watches in existence. It comes with two reversible dials and is tricked out with almost every complication in existence. A version of the Grandmaster Chime, known as the 6300, set the record for most-expensive ever moved at auction when it sold for $31 million in 2019. When Jay-Z wore a version of it out in 2019, heads exploded in the watch world. A world record at auction and a Jay-Z cosign? The 6300 has everything it needs to submit its credentials for world’s coolest watch. But that apparently wasn’t enough for Patek, who have just announced two new versions of the 6300.  The new 6300s will only enhance its reputation as the holiest of grails. Patek took a different approach with each. The first is the subtler of the two: both dials are a rich cocoa brown, but the case features both white and rose gold, a first for this particular watch. It’s hard to make a watch that combines two types of gold look understated, but that’s what this model does.

The other 6300, which features multiple emerald-set tracks around the bezel, is anything but understated. The numbers here are jaw-dropping: 118 baguette-cut emeralds and 291 baguette-cut diamonds. There are 28.41 total carats on this watch. This is the type of treasure they base an entire Oceans movie on.  The headliner might be these very high-end Grandmaster Chimes, but the rest of the Patek collection is notable, too, for being so sporty. Last year, Patek seemed to pointedly remove itself from the sport watch conversation, saying RIP to the beloved 5711 Nautilus and skipping new models from that line and the Aquanaut, Patek’s other sport collection. Patek is making another 180 this year, expanding the Aquanaut line, the even more casual and athletic little brother to the Nautilus, with three new grown-up additions. The first is simple, with a brown-dial version and a chronograph. Things escalate quickly from there. Patek used rose-gold for all three of the new Aquanauts, which goes particularly well with the navy-dial model bolstered with an annual calendar and moonphase. The last of the trio is – why the hell not? – set with 48 diamonds on the bezel.  Our favourite of the new Pateks, though, are the three colourful Calatravas. Patek debuted this reference in 2020 to celebrate the opening of a new manufacturer and is now expanding the range with more casual watches. I always appreciate when the always-elegant Patek gets a little loose – it’s like seeing James Bond change out of his tux and into his Barbour jacket. Each new Calatrava comes with a different accent colour: red, sky blue, and yellow. The red and yellow, in particular, have a delightful racing bite to them.

With this collection, Patek was apparently hellbent on proving it can do sport watches as well as anyone. It quickly pivots from the world of racing to pilot watches. The reference 5924 takes Patek’s Pilot-style watch, with those chunky can’t-miss numerals, and adds a chronograph for the first time. The watch comes in standard navy but I really love the khaki-green model. And if you’re more comfortable in the plane’s cabin than the cockpit, Patek also has a new GMT. The brand’s spin on the travel-time complication features the 24-hour markers set straight onto the dial.  Patek Philippe’s full-throated re-commitment to sports permeates the entire collection. This year, even the fancy watches are imbued with a certain je ne sais sport. Patek’s two collections are divided into two categories, one of which is home to only the ritziest of pieces and described as the “Rare Handcraft” selection. Here is a version of the Calatrava with a miniature painting done entirely by hand. This rare, painstakingly done art features a red racecar inspired by the 1948 Nations Grand Prix.

To start, the new Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Reference 6300GR-001 is a mixed-metal version of the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime, launched in 2014 as a limited edition before joining the current collection in 2016.

The Grandmaster Chime is Patek’s most complicated timepiece with 20 complications including five chiming modes, an alarm that strikes a pre-selected time, and a date repeater that strikes the date on demand.

The Ref. 6300GR-001 is rendered in white and rose gold. It has two brown opaline dials and a hand-guillochéd “Clou de Paris,” or hobnob pattern, on the side showing the time of day. The rich chestnut brown alligator strap is closed with a white and rose gold mixed metal buckle.

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Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Travel Time 5224R

Earlier today, we introduced you to the Patek Philippe Travel Time Chronograph ref. 5924G, a new take on a watch from Patek that combines a chronograph with a travel time function, the latter a complication that’s become something of a signature for the brand. Well, here’s that signature complication in another form: the Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time ref. 5224R-001. It’s a travel time, but distinguished by its 24-hour display.

The new Patek Philippe Calatrava 5224R keeps home and local time with two central hands that track a 24-hour dial. Patek has produced 24-hour dials like this in past – notably for Gondolo pocket watches, one of which now sits in the Patek Philippe Museum – so it’s a nice historical nod to revive the 24-hour indication in a modern reference. You’ll also notice that noon is placed at 12 o’clock, not 6 o’clock as would usually be the case. Patek says this is to ensure visibility during the daytime hours.

The rose gold case measures 42mm, and the curved, double-stepped lugs look to give the watch a thin profile, especially on the wrist (the photo below is the 5224R on James’ wrist). Since the dial is large, its contrasting finishes – circular striated center, circular, satin-finished hour track, and a snailed small seconds – give the design balance.

Making the 24-hour display possible is the new caliber 21-260 PS FUS, a micro-rotor movement with 48 hours of power reserve. Instead of using pushers to adjust the dual-time zone display, as is common in other Patek travel times, the new ref. 5224R features a new, patented three-position crown. The middle position allows setting of the local time in either direction in one-hour steps, while the outermost position allows simultaneous setting of home time and local time. All is visible through a sapphire caseback. It comes on a blue nubuck strap, which dresses down the Calatrava just a touch. It’ll cost CHF 48,500; for reference, the Aquanaut Travel Time costs CHF 53,000 in rose gold.  Nowadays, few brands are doing a travel watch like Patek Philippe, and this iteration balances dressy and sporty. The large 24-hour display feels like a throwback not only to that Patek pocket watch, but also to the oversized aviator’s watches from the mid-20th century that collectors love (like this one from Universal Geneve). But instead of a chronograph, we’ve got a travel time, arguably more useful for the modern jet-setter.

The entire package looks considered and put together. The blue dial is vibrant, with a variety of finishes so as not to overwhelm your eye.

Of note, the new movement does away with any pushers – previous travel times from Patek (like the 5524) had large pushers, so this makes for a case that looks completely balanced. A real Calatrava, in other words.

Patek says the rose gold numerals and indices are hand-applied, and the numerals and syringe hands are filled with lume. Again, it’s a balance between traditional and sporty, much the same way the new 5224R balances traditional inspiration with a modern complication.