Patek Philippe is more than a luxury brand, they are also the protectors of artisanal skills. Being the guardian of handcrafts is not something to be taken lightly, since you hold the history and culture of an area or region, in, well, your hands. And such strong hands there are at Patek Philippe, with the Genevan watchmaking traditions.
The artisanal skills are in full use on several of their creations, and they are part of what makes each creation so exquisite. The craft is not just implemented, it is treasured and perfected. Artisanal techniques such as grand feu cloisonné enamel, manual engraving, and wood micromarquetry, to name a few, grace the surfaces and internal workings of the creations.
And each year the manufacture presents a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces and limited editions that bring each skill into focus. For the Rare Handcrafts 2022 exhibition, this has resulted in a collection of 59 creations – 15 dome table clocks, 9 miniature dome clocks, 10 pocket watches, and 25 wristwatches.
Perhaps to whet our appetites for this wonderful display of skill and artistry, Patek Philippe is showing us just two of the nearly 60 creations of the “Haut artisanat 2022” (Rare Handcrafts 2022).
The Golden Globe regatta, or Bol d’Or, as it is also called, is world famous and interestingly, has been won by Patek Philippe honorary president Philippe Stern an astounding seven times. Fun fact, each winning boat was named Altaïr.
Enamelling, in different ways, is the skill of choice for this timepiece. The dome table clock has the dates of the victories in miniature painting on enamel, and the racecourse is charted in fine gold wire. The enamel work has translucent, opaque, semi-opaque, and opalescent sections, and enamel painting in miniature too. Gold leaf for the buoy and 13 star-shaped bangles add a layer of interest. The caliber 17”’ PEND mechanical movement powers this dome table clock.
Marquetry and micromarquetry take center stage for the Swan pocket watch, with a touch of enamel work thrown in for good measure. Swans are emblematic of Lake Geneva, and are often seen slowly gliding across the lake surface in all their elegance. The swan is recreated carefully with different pieces and shades of wood veneer and inlays. The black enamel dial partnered with while-gold applied Breguet numerals and white-gold leaf hands echoes the elegance. The pocket watch comes with a white-gold handcrafted stand for when the watch is, shall we say, out of pocket. The pocket watch is powered by the 17”’ LEP PS manually wound movement.
First look, and a second chance
The Rare Handcrafts 2022 exhibition in Geneva will open to the public on April 6, 2022 and run until April 23rd. Walk the halls of the Patek Philippe Salons on Rue du Rhône 41 daily except Sunday, from 11am to 6 pm, and be enthralled with the masterful artistry. The precious creations will be on display for just 2 and a half weeks. The exhibit requires preregistration, so check patek.com beginning March 28 for details.
But in case you can’t make it to Geneva then, fear not, another option is in place. For the first time, there will be a second viewing but in a different city. Paris, the City of Lights, will play host to the Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts 2022 exhibition from May 14 to 22, 2022.