Discover nearly 70 Rare Handcrafts creations at the Patek Philippe historic headquarters on Rue du Rhône from April 1 to 15, 2023. This exquisite collection showcases a wide range of artisanal talents, including Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, miniature painting on enamel, manual engraving, manual guilloching, and gemsetting. The collection features 67 unique pieces, such as 22 dome clocks and miniature dome clocks, 3 table clocks, 12 pocket watches, and 30 wristwatches. Patek Philippe’s Rare Handcrafts collections celebrate the fine crafts that have been associated with lavish decoration for nearly five centuries, and this year’s collection is no exception.
Craftsmen will also demonstrate their rare artisanal skills during the exhibition, and visitors will be able to enjoy a new scenography divided into two main areas. The first area showcases timepieces inspired by nature’s flora and fauna, featuring lavish decorations such as those found on the “Leopard” pocket watch reference 995/137J-001, which combines wood marquetry, manual engraving, and champlevé enamel. The second area pays tribute to human adventure and features a set of timepieces dedicated to motor racing, including the “1948 Nations Grand Prix” Calatrava wristwatch reference 5189G-001, with a dial in cloisonné and paillonné enamel and miniature painting on enamel.
The exhibition also features a selection of historical rare handcrafts timepieces on loan from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. The “Rare Handcrafts 2023” exhibition will be open to the public every day except Sundays, 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 requested to pre-register online at www.patek.com starting on March 20.
Pocket watch with wood marquetry, hand engraving and champlevé enamel
This unique piece features a remarkably realistic portrait of a leopard crafted through a combination of wood marquetry, hand-engraving, and champlevé enamel. The marquetry maker used 363 tiny veneer parts and 50 inlays made of 21 species of wood with varying colors, textures, and veining to assemble the leopard emerging from the darkness on the case back. The border of the case back, the bezel on the dial side, and the bow are adorned with a hand-engraved pattern of tropical foliage that’s inset with black enamel.
The black-tinted tulipwood dial displays applied Breguet numerals and leaf-shaped hands in yellow gold, complemented by a faceted yellow sapphire (0.32 ct) adorning the crown. This pocket watch comes with a handcrafted yellow gold stand featuring an arch and liana-inspired ornaments. The stand is mounted on a foot with a faceted yellow sapphire (0.36 ct) on a base made of black ebony from the Congo Basin. The watch’s manual winding movement with small seconds is the caliber 17’’’ LEP PS.
5189G-001 “1948 Nations Grand Prix”
Calatrava wristwatch with dial in cloisonné and paillonné enamel enriched with miniature painting on enamel
This exceptional limited edition of ten watches pays homage to the renowned Nations Grand Prix that took place in Geneva from 1946 to 1950. The watch seamlessly blends together several rare handcrafts.
The Grand Feu cloisonné enamel racing car on the dial required 40 cm of gold wire (0.32 g) that measured 0.10 x 0.45 mm in cross-section and was adorned with 17 enamel colors. Most of the enamel colors used were translucent, but some were opalescent or opaque. The race number was enhanced with silver leaf embedded beneath the translucent enamel (paillonné enamel). The miniature painting on enamel on the background depicted the iconic Jet d’eau fountain with a view of Geneva. Each dial underwent 12 to 13 firings at around 820°C. The pierced watch hands and strap are reminiscent of racing drivers’ gloves.
The bezel boasts a Clous de Paris or hobnail pattern. The white-gold case features a sapphire crystal case back that is protected by a hinged dust cover. This cover offers a private view of the caliber 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement. The dust cover is engraved with the inscription “Grand Prix des Nations – 1948”.