In New York City, Patek Philippe unveils a host of treasures at its Grand Exhibition: Patek Philippe – The Art of Watches. The exhibition features an entire exhibit with 10 rooms that were specially built by Patek Philippe (including an entire second floor) inside Cipriani 42nd Street. Among the rooms (an historic room, a theater, and more), there is a special boutique dedicated to one of Patek Philippe’s grand traditions: rare handcrafts. While the brand is unveiling a world-first World Time Minute Repeater (that chimes the time in 24 local time zones), and another eight USA-exclusive watches in New York, it is the rare handcrafts with American inspiration that draw special attention.
Ref. 5531 World Time Minute Repeater © Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe is a wizard at preserving and propelling the fine arts of gem setting, marquetry, engraving and, best of all, hand painted, enamel or cloisonné’ dials. However, this time, the brand goes over and above what any would expect. From pocket watches to table clocks and wristwatches, the newest Rare Handcrafts showcase the fine arts that only a few of the best specialists in the world can achieve. Each of the watches is a one-of-a-kind and prices have not yet been disclosed.
Easily one of the most beautiful American-inspired pieces is a double-sided pocket watch, presented with a decorative white gold stand to hang it on for display, is Ref. 993/101G “Manhattan-Brooklyn” pocket watch with a spectacular cloisonné’ enamel and engraved dial. Designed to depict the beauty of the skylines on both sides of the East River — Manhattan and Brooklyn – the watch shows the skyline of Manhattan and also, reflected in the water of the river, the skyline of Brooklyn. One side of the watch shows the scene in daytime, while the reverse side depicts a dramatic night view. Each scene is created in cloisonné’ enamel, with fine miniature painting on enamel, as well. The geometric beauty of the buildings requires the artisan to form approximately two meters of thin gold wire into silhouettes that are then filled with a painter’s palette of 40 different transparent and opaque colors – with each layer fired in a hot kiln at every step. The watch is a unique piece and the handcrafted stand that accompanies it is created in an art deco motif and features a blue quartz base. The watch is powered by the caliber 17’’’ LEP manually wound movement and measures 44.1mm in diameter.
Ref. 993/101G “Manhattan-Brooklyn” pocket watch © Patek Philipe
A similar style pocket watch offers a different take on America. Instead of focusing on the skylines, the Ref. 992/115J“Apsaalooke Sentinels” pocket watch takes us back to the very roots of America. The 18-karat yellow gold case features a hand-painted enamel dial – using 19 pure colors and 15 blended colors — inspired by a painting by Martin Grelle. It depicts two Apsaalooke American Indians on horses with a dramatic landscape in the background. The background required 20 firings at temperatures ranging from 800°C to 830°C. The watch is accompanied by an impressive yellow gold stand, which features six gold feathers, with carnelian beads on them, indicative of American Indian style dream catches. The stand features a base made of Kalahari jasper base.
Domed Table Clocks
As if these incredible works of art in the form of pocket watches is not enough, Patek Philippe also unveils Dome Table Clocks that are richly hand-painted in cloisonné’ enamel. Among the outstanding pieces is the 20045M “The Gold Seekers” clock, which features scenes of men panning for gold in America’s great west, and the more modern 20047M“Brooklyn Bridge by Night” that depicts the lights and suspension grills of the Brooklyn Bridge in enamel. For this watch, the artist used a grisaille enamel au blanc de Limoges, using black and blue enamel and white (blanc de Limoges) for a dramatic yet alluring monochrome appeal.
Ref. 20045M “The Gold Seekers” clock