In the realm of haute horlogerie, Patek Philippe has once again raised the bar with its latest creation—the Reference 1938P-001. This 30-piece limited edition timepiece is a homage to Philippe Stern, former president and current honorary president, on the occasion of his 85th birthday. Beyond its exquisite craftsmanship, the watch introduces an exclusive Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm, showcasing a movement designed solely for this commemorative piece.
A Horological Icon’s Legacy Continues
The beauty of chiming timepieces has been a vital element of the Patek Philippe history since its establishment in 1839. The brand is a master at producing watches that strike automatically or on demand. During his stint as company director, Philippe Stern launched the rebirth of wrist-worn minute repeaters with the innovative self-winding caliber R 27 in 1989. These minute repeaters have since become a focal point in Patek Philippe’s wide collection of Grand Complications.
Tribute in Precise Harmony
To celebrate Philippe Stern’s remarkable 85-year journey in watchmaking, his son, Thierry Stern, the current president of Patek Philippe, curated a special edition of 30 watches: the Reference 1938. This exclusive timepiece boasts a never-to-be-repeated movement and combines Philippe Stern’s favorite complication, the minute repeater, with an exclusive acoustic function—a programmed alarm. This intricate mechanism was first introduced in 2014 with the Grandmaster Chime Reference 5175, showcasing Patek Philippe’s commitment to innovation.
Engineering Elegance: The Technical Marvel
The creation of the Reference 1938P-001 presented a formidable technical challenge for Patek Philippe’s engineers. Integrating the alarm function into the iconic caliber R 27 required a fundamental rethinking of the minute repeater mechanism. The result is an innovative movement with four new patents, ensuring the seamless transition between chiming modes and maintaining the correct strike sequence. This technical complexity, typical of Patek Philippe, is complemented by user-friendly design, offering great ease of operation.
A Symphony on the Wrist
This timepiece’s main feature is the 12-hour programmable alarm. The Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm, with great attention to detail, always strikes two minutes before the programmed time, giving a melodic interlude with precision. Safety measures protect the watch from damage caused by wrong manipulation, ensuring the watch’s longevity.
A Portrait in Miniature: Grand Feu Artistry
Continuing the tribute, the 18K gold dial features a Grand Feu white and gray miniature painting on enamel, portraying Philippe Stern. The applied Breguet-style numerals and hands, along with a rose gold alarm hand, add an elegant touch to the time display.
Platinum Elegance with a Personal Touch
Encased in platinum, the 41mm diameter case pays homage to an earlier creation dear to Philippe Stern—the Reference 3960. The hand-polished platinum case features straight lugs, screwed-in strap bars, and a sapphire crystal back with a hinged dust cover engraved with a heartfelt message to Philippe Stern. The meticulous finish extends to the new R AL 27 PS self-winding movement, visible through the crystal.
Innovative Patents: Patek Philippe’s Commitment to Excellence
The development of caliber R AL 27 PS resulted in four new patents, showcasing Patek Philippe’s commitment to innovation and excellence in horology. These patents include a unidirectional coupling mobile, a reversible selection system, a constant-travel slide piece, and a striking mechanism equipped with a delaying device.
The Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm in Reference 1938P-001 is a testament to the brand’s commitment to horological quality, as well as a fitting tribute to Philippe Stern’s 85 years of watchmaking enthusiasm. This limited edition masterpiece embodies the essence of Patek Philippe’s enduring tradition by flawlessly combining technological prowess and artistic grace.