The “Rare Handcrafts 2023,” collection includes 67 one-of-a-kind timepieces featuring 22 dome clocks and miniature dome clocks, 3 table clocks, 12 pocket watches, and 30 wristwatches. Each of these unique pieces showcases a variety of artisanal talents, including Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, miniature painting on enamel, manual engraving, manual guilloching, and gem setting, among other ancestral techniques.
The Patek Philippe “Rare Handcrafts 2023” Collection
Patek Philippe’s latest collection highlights the brand’s commitment to preserving and elevating the fine crafts associated with watchmaking. The presentation of these exceptional timepieces will be enhanced by the presence of artisans demonstrating their rare artisanal skills. In addition to the traditional techniques, Patek Philippe showcases several innovative skills in watchmaking, such as wood micro marquetry and Longwy enamel on faience.
The collection is divided into two main areas, each with its own theme. The first area showcases timepieces inspired by the beauty of nature’s flora and fauna, such as the “Leopard” pocket watch, which combines wood marquetry, manual engraving, and champlevé enamel. The second area pays tribute to great legends of human adventure, including timepieces dedicated to motor racing, such as the “1948 Nations Grand Prix” Calatrava wristwatch, featuring a dial in cloisonné and paillonné enamel and miniature painting on enamel.
Visitors to the Patek Philippe Salons exhibition will also have the opportunity to see a selection of rare historical handcrafts timepieces on loan from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
995/137J-001 “Leopard” Pocket Watch
This unique piece features a highly realistic portrayal of a leopard on its case back, created using a combination of wood marquetry, hand-engraving, and champlevé enamel. The marquetry maker utilized 363 tiny veneer parts and 50 inlays, cut and assembled to showcase a palette of 21 species of wood, each with unique colors, textures, and veining. The case back border, dial side bezel, and bow are decorated with a hand-engraved pattern of tropical foliage inset with black enamel.
The dial of the “Leopard” Pocket Watch, reference 995/137J-001, is made of black-tinted tulipwood and has applied Breguet numerals and leaf-shaped hands in yellow gold. The crown is adorned with a faceted yellow sapphire weighing 0.32 carats. This pocket watch comes with a handcrafted stand made of yellow gold, with the arch and its ornaments representing liana. It is mounted on a foot set with a faceted yellow sapphire weighing 0.36 carats and a base made of black ebony from the Congo Basin. This pocket watch houses the caliber 17′” LEP PS manually wound movement with small seconds.
5189G-001 “1948 Nations Grand Prix” Calatrava Wristwatch
This series of ten watches were designed to celebrate the famous Nations Grand Prix, which took place in Geneva from 1946 to 1950, by combining several rare handcrafts. The centerpiece of the watch is the racing car depicted in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, which required 40 cm of gold wire (0.32 g) measuring 0.10 x 0.45 mm in cross-section and 17 enamel colors. The car’s race number is made with a silver leaf under translucent enamel, called paillonné enamel. The background features a miniature painting on enamel of Geneva’s iconic Jet d’eau fountain and a view of the city. Each dial had to go through 12 to 13 firings at around 820°C. The pierced watch hands and strap are reminiscent of racing drivers’ gloves.
The bezel has a Clous de Paris or hobnail pattern. The case is made of white gold and has a sapphire crystal case back protected by a hinged dust cover. The dust cover features the engraved words “Grand Prix des Nations – 1948” and is powered by the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement.
Where & When
The “Rare Handcrafts 2023” exhibition is open to the public from April 1 to 15, 2023, Monday to Saturday, 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 required to pre-register online at www.patek.com starting on March 20.
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