From April 1 to 15, 2023, watch enthusiasts as well as the general public will be able to discover at the Patek Philippe historic headquarters on Rue du Rhône nearly 70 Rare Handcrafts creations combining technical prowess and unlimited creativity. The presentation of these exceptional timepieces will be enhanced by craftsmen demonstrating their rare artisanal skills.
To perpetuate and enhance all the fine crafts which have been associated with the lavish decoration of pieces for nearly five centuries, Patek Philippe unveils each year a new collection of one-of-a-kind timepieces and limited series showcasing all these precious skills.
The “Rare Handcrafts 2023” collection (67 creations in total, including 22 dome clocks and miniature dome clocks, 3 table clocks, 12 pocket watches and 30 wristwatches) once again illustrates a very wide range of artisanal talents. A large number of ancestral techniques – such as Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, miniature painting on enamel, grisaille or flinqué or paillonné or champlevé enamel, manual engraving, manual guilloching and gemsetting – are taken to new heights of virtuosity, along with several innovative skills in watchmaking, such as wood micromarquetry and Longwy enamel on faience.
The “Rare Handcrafts 2023” exhibition will be open to the public from April 1 to 15, 2023
Patek Philippe also gave free rein to its inventiveness and creativity in order to present a wide choice of themes drawing on the most varied sources of inspiration. This palette of ever more original, astonishing and exclusive decorations will be highlighted at the Patek Philippe Salons exhibition by a new scenography divided into two main areas.
The timepieces showcased in the first area are inspired by beauties and fascinations found in nature’s flora and fauna to sublimate them in lavish decorations, such as found on the “Leopard” pocket watch reference 995/137J-001 combining wood marquetry, manual engraving and champlevé enamel.
Those gathered in the second area pay tribute to the great legends of human adventure (arts, traditions, culture), particularly with a set of timepieces dedicated to motor racing, including the “1948 Nations Grand Prix” Calatrava wristwatch reference 5189G-001, featuring a dial in cloisonné and paillonné enamel and miniature painting on enamel.
This amazing showcase is completed by a selection of historical rare handcrafts timepieces on loan from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
The “Rare Handcrafts 2023” exhibition will be open to the public from April 1 to 15, 2023, every day except Sundays, from 11 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5 pm), at the Patek Philippe Salons on Rue du Rhône 41 in Geneva. Visitors are requested to pre-register online at https://www.patek.com.
995/137J-001 “Leopard” – Pocket watch with wood marquetry, hand engraving and champlevé enamel
As nature intended
An extraordinarily lifelike portrait of a leopard adorns this unique piece uniting wood marquetry, hand- engraving and champlevé enamel. To reproduce this big cat emerging out of the darkness on the case back, the marquetry maker cut out and assembled 363 tiny veneer parts and 50 inlays, together spanning a palette of 21 species of wood of different colors, textures and veining. The border of the case back, the bezel on the dial side and the bow are embellished with a hand-engraved pattern of tropical foliage inset with black enamel (champlevé enamel).
The dial in black-tinted tulipwood presents applied Breguet numerals and leaf-shaped hands, all in yellow gold. A faceted yellow sapphire (0.32 ct) decorates the crown. This pocket watch is accompanied by a handcrafted stand in yellow gold, the arch and its ornaments representing liana. It rests on a foot set with a faceted yellow sapphire (0.36 ct), on a base in black ebony from the Congo Basin. It houses the caliber 17’’’ LEP PS manually wound movement with small seconds.
5189G-001 “1948 Nations Grand Prix” – Calatrava wristwatch with dial in cloisonné and paillonné enamel enriched with miniature painting on enamel
A great Genevan competition
This limited edition of ten watches shines a spotlight on the famous Nations Grand Prix, held in Geneva from 1946 to 1950. It does so by uniting several rare handcrafts. The racing car portrayed in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel called for 40 cm of gold wire (0.32 g) measuring 0.10 x 0.45 mm in cross-section and 17 enamel colors, mainly translucent, but with some opalescent or opaque. Its race number was enriched with silver leaf embedded beneath the translucent enamel (paillonné enamel). In the background, the view of Geneva with the emblematic Jet d’eau fountain is depicted in miniature painting on enamel. Each dial required from 12 to 13 firings at a temperature of approximately 820°C. The pierced watch hands and strap recall racing drivers’ gloves.
A Clous de Paris or hobnail motif adorns the bezel. The white-gold case is endowed with a sapphire crystal case back protected by a hinged dust cover affording a private view of the caliber 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement. The dust cover bears the engraved inscription “Grand Prix des Nations – 1948”.
Patek Philippe has attired the World Time Minute Repeater Reference 5531 in white gold.
The Aquanaut Luce collection for ladies welcomes a new, practical and easy-to-use complication: the patented Annual Calendar.
The self-winding Minute Repeater Reference 5178 is adorned with refined Rare Handcrafts showcased on the flinqué blue Grand Feu enamel dial.