Patek Phillippe said at the official opening of its new headquarters and manufacture that it would not necessarily use the larger state-of-the-art facility to make more watches, but it would significantly increase its ability to produce more complicated, high value, pieces.
This is not exactly a shift in strategy, but the completion of its Geneva HQ lights a fire under it and, today, we see the early fruits of the investment with three top end complications with prices ranging from £129,350 to £566,000.
All three demonstrate core values of Patek Philippe such as the company’s desire to produce the most complex watches in as small a form as possible so that they are wearable as well as being incredible feats of artistry and engineering. Another is to make them simple to operate, despite their multiple complications.
Most eye-catching of today’s launches is the Ref. 5303, a minute repeater and split second chronograph that, for the first time from Patek Philippe, has its hammers and gongs striking mechanism presented on the dial.
It will not go on general sale, but can be ordered for around £566,000, depending on the exchange rate to the Swiss franc on the day of purchase.
The 5303 Minute Repeater Tourbillon was first unveiled last year in a limited edition of 12 watches at Patek Philippe’s Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore but has been reworked so that its chiming complication is displayed on the front and only the back side of the tourbillon cage peaks out beneath the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.
Its hand wound R TO 27 PS movement is housed in a rose gold case with an exhibition case back.
The second launch from Patek Philippe today is a Ref. 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph with a blue grand feu enamel dial.
The platinum watch, with its CHR 29-535 PS movement, was first unveiled five years ago with a black dial contrasting with the polished platinum case and is no less legible with its white gold numerals and hands jumping off the blue dial. It will be on sale later this month for around £200,000.
Finally, there is an addition to Patek Philippe’s historic line of perpetual calendar chronographs, this time in yellow gold.
The Ref. 5270J-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is a fresh expression of the 5270 revealed in 2018 in platinum and has a silvery opaline dial with applied baton indexes and leaf-shaped gold hands.
It uses the CH 29-535 PS Q movement first made by Patek Philippe in 2011 and remains one of the thinnest perpetual calendar movements ever made.
It can be ordered now for around £130,000.