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Patek Philippe News

Tuesday 27 September, 2011 - 12:00 PM EDT

Only Watch Auction: Patek Philippe Sold at 1.4 million Euros!

It seems that Patek Philippe outstanded the bids of the Only Watch Auction once again! Having the highest selling watch at the Only Watch charity Auction in 2009, Patek Philippe’s one-of-a-kind timepiece selection for this year was once again ranked way up high in the bidders’ choice award the sum of 1.4 million euros for Monaco’s charity to fund medical research for the Ducheme Muscular Distrophy.

Based on the emblematic model ref.     3939, Patek Philippe created a unique stainless steel Minute Repeater with a black enamel dial, sending with this timepiece a message of hope for the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research, triplication its estimated value of 450,000 euros to reach the amount of 1.4 million euros at the auction last weekend.

Accompanied by a presentation box, a Certificate of Origin, a certificate of unique piece and a rate accuracy certificate, this timepiece will decorate the collection of one happy bidder and brign a big help to the caused sponsored by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Technical details:

Case: Three-body, polished stainless steel.

Crystal: Sapphire crystal and sapphire-crystal case back.

Caseback: Interchangeable stainless steel solid case back.

Dial: Black enamel with applied white gold Breguet numerals. Small seconds subsidiary dial.

White gold Breguet hands.

Movement: Mechanical manually wound movement.

Power reserve: 48 hs

Caliber R TO 27 PS, stamped with the Patek Philippe Seal hallmark, rhodiumplated, Geneva striping (Côtes de Genève), 28 jewels.

Case diameter: 33.3 mm


Patek Philippe's Watches at Interwatches!

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Friday 12 August, 2011 - 15:00 PM EDT

Patek Philippe 5216R Rose Gold

Mens Grand Complications

After 18 successful years, a legendary Grand Complication with minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, retrograde date, and moon phases unveils its new identity

With its new Ref. 5216, Patek Philippe rises to a further level of sophistication in minute repeaters, launching the legendary caliber R TO 27 PS QR LU movement with the five most popular complications in a perceptibly larger case that encloses a more voluminous resonant cavity to enhance the sonority of the chimes. This new Grand Complication follows in the footsteps of the famous Ref. 5016 that was launched in 1993 and in the past 18 years has been widely popular among aficionados. Until the Sky Moon Tourbillon was introduced in 2001, it was Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatch. Now, the new Ref. 5216R occupies rank 4 in this category, behind the Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 5002, the new Triple Complication Ref. 5208, and the Ref. 5207, first presented in 2008.

Patek Philippe hits the right notes

Patek Philippe has been crafting pocket watches with repeater mechanisms since 1844. And in 1916, the workshops built the world's first wristwatch (for ladies, by the way) with a five-minute repeater. Hardly any other manufacture has accrued so much experience in dealing with the special challenges of these unusual instruments for such a long and uninterrupted period of time. It takes many skills to craft a repeater mechanism with its filigreed racks, snails and springs and to assure that its sequence of strikes corresponds to the time displayed by the watch. The eloquence of the sound is an important aspect as well. The rule is: "volume sounds." The case diameter of the new Ref. 5216 is 39.5 mm, tangibly larger than the 36.8 mm span of its predecessor, the Ref. 5016. In a micromechanical cosmos where watchmakers navigate hundredths of a millimeter when assembling the individual mechanisms, a gain of 2.7 mm represents a totally new dimension. And that's exactly how the new Grand Complication sounds.

As soon as the slide in the left-hand flank of the case is actuated, the minute repeater starts playing a melody that translates the time displayed on the dial into sound – to the ears of the connoisseur, it is music of exceptionally rich sonority and fullness. First, it strikes the hours on the low-pitched gong, then the quarter-hours with double high-low notes, and finally the minutes that have elapsed since the last quarter-hour on the high-pitched gong. The highlight is at 12:59 when 32 consecutive strikes tell the time. To verify the perfection of its acoustic spectrum, each Ref. 5216 is tested in a soundproofed chamber equipped with modern instrumentation and digital sound analyzers. Finally, every watch is brought to the desks of the manufacture's president Thierry Stern and honorary president Philippe Stern who devote their undivided attention to the chimes of the minute repeaters and then decide whether or not they live up to the strict criteria of the human ear. Patek Philippe minute repeaters owe their inimitable acoustic signature to this very personal appraisal.

Everything about the tourbillon revolves around precision

The mellow sonority of the Ref. 5216 will enchant lovers of complicated mechanical watches, but they will also recognize that the accuracy of this timepiece represents another dimension as well. This is due to the tourbillon, which in vertical orientations of the watch offsets the disruptive effects of gravity on the balance by rotating it about its own axis once a minute. Its cage is a dainty ensemble of 69 steel parts that together weigh a scant 0.3 grams. Because the sole purpose of the tourbillon is to safeguard the rate accuracy of the watch and for this reason must remain amply lubricated at all times, Patek Philippe respects horological traditions and does not expose it through an aperture in the dial. The UV spectrum of daylight would degrade the quality of the oil within just a few days. However, the tourbillon can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back which is rarely exposed to sunlight. The reward for this discretion is a degree of rate accuracy that pursuant to the criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal for tourbillon movements tolerates a maximum deviation of -2 to +1 seconds per day. Accordingly, it can take months to adjust a watch to match the specification, but once accomplished, this is confirmed with a separate rate accuracy certificate delivered with each Ref. 5216.

Calendar and moon phases for eternity

To make matters even more complicated, the new Ref. 5216 is endowed with a perpetual calendar that automatically indicates the correct date, day, month, and leap-year cycle until 2100, provided the watch always remains wound. The day, month, and leap-year cycle are displayed in small apertures, while the retrograde date is indicated with a hand that advances along a 250° arc from the first to the last day of the month, and then jumps back to the first day of the next month. This mechanism incorporates a safety feature which assures that the hand cannot bounce forward to the second or third day when it performs this reverse jump. All things considered, details such as this safety feature of the retrograde date are among the factors that determine reliability and long-term rate accuracy – hallmarks of genuine expertise –, even in Grand Complication timepieces. The moon-phase display that shows the constantly changing face of our planet's satellite also deserves a few explanatory words. Its choreography is fetching not merely because of the poetic aspects, but also because of the extreme precision involved. Only when 122 years and 45 days have elapsed will this moon-phase mechanism deviate from the true lunar cycle by one day, which is equivalent to one full lunation every 3420 years.

It gets simpler

However, the new Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5216 also has its simple facets: operation and legibility. From the outside, nothing much reveals the extreme degrees of difficulty embodied on the inside. The rose gold case is sleek and round, and only the slide that triggers the minute repeater deviates slightly from the classic Calatrava style. A large, comfortably fluted crown simplifies winding, and small push pieces are recessed in the case middle for adjusting the calendar indications. They are actuated with a stylus made of ebony and rose gold that is delivered with the watch. Thanks to the intelligently organized dial, the eight time and calendar indications are superbly legible. The hours and minutes are shown with faceted Dauphine hands and applied markers, the seconds with a slender baton hand at 6 o'clock. The calendar features generously sized aperture displays for the day of the week (9 o'clock), the month (3 o'clock) and the leap-year cycle (12 o'clock) as well as a retrograde hand from the center that points at the date with its red arrow tip. The moon-phase display at 6 o'clock is not only endearingly poetic but also contributes to the perfect equilibrium of the entire dial. On the dial, only a small inscription suggests the presence of a tourbillon, but its perpetually enchanting progression can always be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back. Owners who prefer an extra degree of discretion can have it replaced with a solid rose-gold back that comes with the watch.

Technical data

Grand Complication Ref. 5216 in rose gold
Minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar with retrograde date, moon phases

Caliber R TO 27 PS QR LU
Manually wound mechanical movement, minute repeater, tourbillion, perpetual calendar with flyback date hand. Day of week, month, leapyear cycle and moon phases in apertures. Subsidiary seconds.
Overall diameter: 28 mm
Height: 8.6 mm
Number of parts: 506
Number of jewels: 28
Power reserve: Max. 48 hours
Balance: Gyromax®
Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
Tourbillon: Steel cage, 69 parts, 0.3 grams
1 revolution per minute
Tourbillon on the same arbor as balance and fourth wheel
Balance spring: Breguet
Balance spring stud: Adjustable
Functions: Two-position crown
– Pulled out: To set the time
– Pushed in: To wind the watch
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal
Patek Philippe rate certificate for tourbillon watches
Displays: Hours and minutes from the center
Retrograde date with a red-tipped arrow flyback hand from the center and date scale on an arc from 8 to 4 o'clock
Subsidiary dials:
– Subsidiary seconds at 6 o'clock
– Day of week at 9 o'clock
– Month at 3 o'clock
– Moon phase at 6 o’clock
– Leap-year cycle at 12 o'clock
Corrector push pieces: – Date and day between 11 and 12 o'clock
– Month and leap year between 3 and 4 o’clock
– Moon phase between 5 and 6 o’clock
– Day between 6 and 7 o'clock
Delivered with correction stylus in ebony and 18K rose gold
Minute repeater striking the hours on the first gong, the minutes on the second gong, and the quarter-hours on both gongs.

Case: 18K rose gold (5N), solid back in 18K rose gold and interchangeable display back with sapphire-crystal window, diamond of approx. 0.02 ct. between the lugs at 6 o'clock
Dimensions: Diameter 39.5 mm
Height: 12.23 mm
Width between lugs: 21 mm
Slide: On the left side of the case to actuate the minute repeater
Dial: Silvery opalescent
13 applied "obus" markers in 18K rose gold
Dauphine hands in 18K rose gold for hours and minutes
Date scale on an arc between 8 and 4 o'clock in the center of the dial with black Arabic numerals from 1 to 31 and a red-tipped arrow hand
Minute pearls on the dial periphery
Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny chocolate brown, foldover clasp in 18K rose gold

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Tuesday 26 July, 2011 - 09:50 AM EDT

Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270: a new complicated wristwatch with a rich 70-year heritage

Patek Philippe Ref. 5270

While Patek Philippe concentrated on the launch of new chronographs from November 2009 to the end of 2010, the emphasis is now on other complications. But to the delight of many watch lovers, the year of chronographs has not quite ended yet. One example is the new Ref. 5270, which for the first time combines the functionality of a perpetual calendar with the new classic chronograph caliber that is crafted entirely in-house and had its global debut in 2009.

Seventy years ago, in 1941, Patek Philippe added chronographs with perpetual calendars to its range of regularly produced timepieces. Since then, they have ranked among the manufacture’s most popular Grand Complication wristwatches. They unite two degrees of difficulty that require many manual steps, mastered to the required degree of perfection only by the most experienced specialists. This is one of the main reasons why complicated Patek Philippe watches are available only in limited quantities. This will also apply to the new Ref. 5270, which embodies all the features and qualities a connoisseur would expect from a future cult object.

Patek Philippe has enriched its classic chronograph collection with this new perpetual calendar model. The Reference 5270 features the new caliber CH 29-535 PS Q column-wheel chronograph movement. The day and the month are displayed in a double aperture at 12 o’clock and the date is indicated with a hand.

Chronograph and perpetual calendar
Mechanical manually wound movement
Caliber CH 29-535 PS Q
Central chronograph hand and instantaneous 30-minute counter
Day, month, leap year and day/night indication in apertures
Date by hand
Moon phases
Seconds subdial
Silvery-opaline dial, black oxidized gold applied numerals
Strap: alligator with square scales, hand-stitched, matt black
Fold-over clasp
Interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back
Water resistant to 30 m
White Gold
Case diameter: 41 mm

Manual Winding movements

As the name implies, these movements are wound by turning the crown. The tensioned mainspring drives the wheels inside the watch as it gradually relaxes. Whether ultra thin, cut-away “skeleton”, simple or complicated, the manually wound movement is greatly appreciated by aficionados of traditional watchmaking.

Caliber CH 29-535 PS Q
Manual winding
Chronograph and perpetual calendar
Center chronograph hand and instantaneous 30-minute counter
Day, month, leap year and day/night indication in apertures
Date by hand
Moon phases
Seconds subdial
Diameter: 32 mm, Height: 7 mm, 33 jewels
Gyromax balance
4 Hz
Power reserve: 65h max
456 parts


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[ Patek Philippe Official Website ]

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Thursday 07 July, 2011 - 09:50 AM EDT

Patek Philippe Museum: The Mirror of Seduction

Prestigious pais of "Chinese" watches

Luxury watchmaking from London, Geneva and later from the Neuchâtel Jura played a major role at the end of the 18th century and during the entire 19th century as a supplier of the Middle Kingdom.

European watchmakers, goldsmiths, painters on enamel and engravers came together in order to create these true works of art intended to seduce the Chinese dignitaries.

But why these unique timekeepers, which are quite different, were produced in pairs and some of them by mirror image effect?

To solve this mystery, come and discover the exceptional thematic exhibition The Mirror of Seduction at the Patek Philippe Museum, from 15th May to 16th October 2010!
[More information on ]


Patek Philippe's Watches at Interwatches!


[ Patek Philippe Official Website ]

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Tuesday 07 June, 2011 - 09:50 AM EDT

New Patek Philippe: The Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5550P

Limited edition of 300 Patek Philippe Advanced Research timepieces

Patek Philippe

The last three development steps in Silinvar® technology based on silicon were translated into Patek Philippe Annual Calendar watches with the caliber 324 S IRM QA LU movement. These watches were presented in limited editions of 100 to 300 pieces as “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” models, and each edition sold out within months.

To fittingly present the Oscillomax® ensemble, Patek Philippe has now turned to the legendary selfwinding caliber 240 with a perpetual calendar; it aptly expresses the superiority of “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” technology. It incorporates the following Silinvar® components: the patented Patek Philippe Spiromax® balance spring, the patented Pulsomax® escapement, and the patented GyromaxSi® balance. Patek Philippe has applied for a total of 17 patents in conjunction with the Oscillomax® subassembly as a whole and also filed patent applications for its individual components.

New technology for a legendary movement

To present the advantages of Silinvar® technology, Patek Philippe chose a movement with a history of over 30 years: the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240. It is a choice that reflects the interaction of tradition and innovation. It also shows that even an ingeniously designed movement like the 240, a caliber that enjoys cult status among aficionados, still has plenty of potential. In the version with the perpetual calendar (Q) that advances the date, day of week, and the moon-phase display on a daily basis as well as the month and year, the movement must generate a considerable amount of energy.

This is an ideal point of departure to demonstrate the energy efficiency of the neu Oscillomax® ensemble.

Caliber 240 Q Si: Two letters boost the power reserve from 48 to 70 hours

As always at Patek Philippe, the designation of the caliber 240 Q Si movement is self-explanatory. Q stands for quantième perpétuel (French for perpetual calendar) and Si stands for silicon technology.

And this technology is responsible for a quantum leap in the classic movement. It accounts for a significant increase of energy efficiency attributable to the innovative Oscillomax® subsystem, particularly of the Pulsomax® escapement and of the GyromaxSi® balance. This gain is based on the perceptibly lower mass of Silinvar® parts compared to conventional components, on the optimized geometry of the lever and escape wheel, and on the much-improved aerodynamics and mass distribution of the GyromaxSi® balance, to mention just some of the key reasons. Less energy dissipated means greater efficiency as demonstrated by a power reserve increase of about 50% without having necessitated any modifications of the mainspring, the frequency, or the moment of inertia of the balance. The efficiency of the winding train has also been perceptibly improved. The special-edition “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” perpetual calendar has a power reserve of up to 70 hours. This allows the watch to be set aside for an entire weekend without affecting its rate. Its owners will appreciate the fact that they can put the watch on again on Monday morning without having to update the perpetual calendar displays.

The third element of the Oscillomax® ensemble is the patented Spiromax® balance spring made of Silinvar®. Based on its superior material properties and its patented geometry with the Patek Philippe terminal curve, integrated collet and integrated stud attachment, it delivers a significant improvement of isochronism. It not only breathes symmetrically despite being flat, but is also antimagnetic, corrosionresistant, and extremely insensitive to shocks. Additionally, with no trade-off in terms of isochronism, the Spiromax® balance spring is three times flatter than a Breguet spring, making it ideal for ultra-thin movements.

With the sum of all these characteristics of the individual Oscillomax® components, the caliber 240 Q Si features a considerably improved power reserve combined with exceptional rate accuracy. It goes without saying that the Ref. 5550P perpetual calendar of the “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” series is subject to the same strict criteria defined by the Patek Philippe Seal that specify a maximum daily rate deviation of -3 to +2 seconds per 24 hours for all mechanical watches with a diameter of more than 20 mm.

Revolutionary technology with a classic personality

In a limited edition of 300 watches, the Ref. 5550P perpetual calendar is a superb manifestation of how tradition and innovation go hand in hand within the scope of the “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” design concept. It brings to the fore unique functional advantages such as the extended power reserve, the high rate accuracy, true dependability, and convenient serviceability. The exterior elements are equally sophisticated. The Calatrava-style case with the curved lugs and the rounded bezel is crafted in-house from 950 platinum using traditional cold-forming techniques. As an exception, because the correction push piece for the moon-phase display is located between the lugs at 6 o'clock, the typical 0.02 ct. diamond that identifies Patek Philippe's exclusive platinum watches is positioned at 12 o'clock. The dial is timelessly contemporary and with many refined details suggests the avant-garde technology hidden beneath it: a cool silvery gray face with a vertical satin finish, a crisp railway track minute scale with applied luminous hour dots, straight obus hour markers in 18K rose gold, slender leaf-shaped hour and minute hands with Superluminova coatings, the PATEK PHILIPPE GENEVE signature, the ADVANCED RESEARCH inscription, and calendar scales in a modern sans-serif typography style. It is an eminently legible, classically elegant face with novel accents that will inform future generations of the horological quantum leap which took place in 2011.

The revolutionary escapement can be admired through the sapphire-crystal snap back. Over the Oscillomax® subsystem, the back features a loupe that magnifies the innovative components. It affords close-up views of the purple-blue shimmer of the Silinvar® material, the unusual shapes of the escape wheel teeth and pallets of the Pulsomax® escapement, and the radically new geometry of the GyromaxSi® balance with the attractive contrast between Silinvar® and 24K yellow gold. In compliance with the Patek Philippe Seal, these components are embedded in a movement lavishly finished by hand to the highest standards of watchmaking artistry, featuring manually executed decorations, gently rounded and polished chamfers as well as gold-filled engravings.

The traditional finishing touch: the hand-stitched brown alligator strap fashioned from the finest parts of the hide with large square scales is comfortably and reliably secured with a 950 platinum fold-over clasp.


Technical data

Patek Philippe Advanced Research Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5550P

Caliber 240 Q Si
Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement. Perpetual calendar with analog displays for the day of the week, date, month, and leap-year cycle. Moon phases and 24-hour display.
Diameter: 27.50 mm
Height: 3.88 mm
Number of parts: 281
Number of jewels: 25
Power reserve: Max. 70 hours
Winding rotor: Minirotor in 22K gold, unidirectional winding
Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
Oscillomax®: Balance: GyromaxSi® (in Silinvar® and 24K gold)
Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
Escapement: Pulsomax® (lever and escape wheel in Silinvar®)
Displays: Hours and minutes from the center
Day of week and 24-hour dial at 9 o'clock
Month and leap-year cycle at 3 o'clock
Analog date and moon-phase aperture at 6 o'clock
Functions: Two-position crown:
– Pulled out: To set the time
– Pushed in: To wind the watch
Corrector push pieces: Day at 9 o'clock
Date between 11 and 12 o'clock
Month between 12 and 1 o’clock
Moon phase at 6 o'clock
Setting stylus in ebony and 18K white gold delivered with the watch
Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal

Case: 950 platinum
Snap-on sapphire-crystal back with integrated loupe; diamond of approx. 0.02 ct. between the lugs at 12 o'clock
Water resistant to 30 m (3 bar)
Case dimensions: Diameter: 37.20 mm
Height: 8.80 mm
Overall height incl. loupe: 10.10 mm
Width between lugs: 19 mm
Dial: Silvery gray, vertical satin finish, “Advanced Research” inscription
12 obus hour markers in 18K rose gold with luminous coating
Hour and minute hands: Leaf-shaped, in 18K rose gold, with luminous coating
Hands for 24-hour display, leap-year cycle, date, day of week, and month:
Leaf-shaped, in 18K rose gold
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather with large square scales, shiny chocolate brown, platinum foldover clasp

Source: [ Patek Philippe Geneva Press Release ]

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