PATEK PHILIPPE - STUNNING TIMEPIECES THAT SPAN GENERATIONS
J Farren-Price has been the proud custodians of Patek Phillipe timepieces for 45 years.
(Above: Alan Banbury Sales Director for Patek Philippe with the late Krysten Farren-Price circa 1977)
Patek Philippe are known for their exquisite watches, which have been revered by serious watch collectors for decades and more recently celebrities in sports, music and cinema. They include the ever-stylish Victoria Beckham who owns several vintage Patek Philippe Nautilus and Canadian rapper musician Drake who has an extensive Patek Philippe collection. His most notable timepiece is a custom Nautilus, which was co-designed with Abloh and Louis Vuitton.
(Victoria Beckham wearing one of her Patek Philippe Nautilus')
Today, we explore the fascinating history and impeccable craftsmanship of the esteemed family-run watchmaker in Geneva, delving into some of their most iconic designs such as the Patek Philippe Aquanaut and the Patek Philippe Calatrava collection, which has charmed new generations with its beautifully crafted aesthetics, iconic design and ultimate comfort.
A rich design and manufacturing history
Patek Philippe stands on the precipice of Swiss design as the last independent family-owned watchmaker in the famous Swiss horological city of Geneva. Formed in 1839, they have withstood two world wars to run uninterrupted since their creation. The business passed into the hands of the Stern family in 1932 and is today managed by Thierry Stern, his father Philippe Stern, and Claude Peny. They are a rare breed in which traditional values, hard work and dedication to their craft form the backbone of their business.
(The Patek Philippe salon at J Farren-Price)
Each watch in the Patek Philippe collections is researched, designed and assembled in-house by a team of highly trained and dedicated watchmakers who work to the same guidelines set out by its founders Antoine Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe. They call these their ‘values’, a 10-point list of rules that they abide by in their work practices to ensure that they uphold the meticulous quality standards their exacting customers expect.
- Quality and Fine Workmanship
With these values intact, it should come as no surprise to know that their watches and pocket watches are known as some of the very finest timepieces in the world. Highly sought after, both vintage and contemporary examples are an investment that can bring owners and families several generations of joy.
(Above: ref. 4910/1200A - TWENTY~4)
While many other esteemed Swiss watch brands depend on machinery for the entire production of their watches, all Patek Philippe watches are meticulously finished by hand. Not only are their production techniques second to none, Patek Philippe watches possess magnificent calibers too, with many timepieces offering a see-through display caseback allowing you to study and appreciate the intricate movement and stunning hand-finished detailing inside the watch.
Every Patek Philippe is an artistic masterpiece that exudes creative innovation and technical prowess, a breathtaking display of detail, and impeccable finishing.
The Patek Philippe collections
With its pure lines, the Calatrava is recognised as the very essence of the round wristwatch and one of the finest symbols of the Patek Philippe style. Supremely elegant, it charms each new generation of watch lovers with its timeless understated perfection.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava collection boasts pure elegant lines and has charmed watch lovers the world over with its understated timeless and now iconic design.
(Above: ref. 6119G Calatrava in white gold)
A wonderful example of the Calatrava design is the manual winding ‘Clous de Paris’ with small seconds ref. 6119G in white gold with charcoal dial and 6119R in rose gold with silver grained dial. Both feature a stunning guilloche hobnail pattern also known as ‘Clous de Paris’ and include a shiny chocolate brown alligator leather strap. The faceted applied rose gold hour-markers, combined with dauphine-style hours/minutes hands, create a sleek and timeless dial aesthetic.
The now iconic Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse timepiece was first created in 1968 as a rebellion against the traditional larger dial watches of the time. The slimline design of this watch is striking, forged in line with measurements that meet the ‘divine’ or ‘golden’ ratio. This ratio is an innate proportion seen in the visual arrangement of everything from whole galaxies to the shape of our ears. Everything in nature follows this seemingly simple sequence. It is nature’s way of maintaining balance and is a sublime aesthetic reflected within this timepiece.
Two special Golden Ellipse models were created to mark the watch’s 50th anniversary are extremely sought after. One is set in rose gold with a black dial and the other a white gold version with a stunning dial faced with a black Grand Feu enamel layer revealing the volute patterns hand-engraved in the 18K gold dial plate. Another standout is Patek Philippe’s 5738P-001 Ellipse watch set in Platinum with a navy blue alligator strap and self-winding 240 calibre, 27 jewel movement. A beautiful watch with a contemporary yet discerning style code.
Patek Philippe Complications Collection
In the world of watch-making a ‘complication’ refers to the functions of a timepiece in addition to telling the time and simple date. Examples include:
- Date Complications eg Annual Calendar (which Patek Philippe debuted as a world-first in 1996)
- Chronograph Complications for stop-watch functionalities
- Dual Time Zones, also called Travel Complications
- Moonphase Complications
Patek Philippe is known for its impressive range of complications that offer practical uses in everyday scenarios, with many of their watches offering multiple complications.
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Collection
Grand Complications represent the very pinnacle of watchmaking. Each piece within the collection represents a lifetime of artistry and skill. Housed within each elegant design is some of the world’s most complex engineering. In fact, Patek Philippe have twice this century built the world’s most complicated portable timepiece.
While their complexity is of paramount importance, it never comes at the cost of its beauty. These timepieces are the epitome of technical mastery and aesthetic brilliance. An engineering marvel to hold in your hand, and simply nothing better to have on your wrist.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus collection has become a heavyweight amongst watch collectors, today having an almost cult-like following. First introduced in 1976 initially as a sports watch, the watch’s famous rounded octagonal bezel watch with a cross-hatch style embossed dial is as contemporary today as it was when originally conceived.
The Nautilus was originally designed for men but within a few years, the brand launched a ladies version too. Today, a favourite of both Victoria Beckham and Ellen DeGeneres, the Nautilus comes in two sizes; one larger size and one smaller, the latter being favoured by those with more delicate wrists. We can’t stop staring at the 7118/1200R rose gold model that has a unique porthole design, and convenient fold-over clasp for a secure fit. A spray of diamonds adds a subtle yet luxurious shimmer to the bezel. An ideal gift for a loved one, or to celebrate your own successes.
(Ellen DeGeneres wearing Patek Philippe - Image from Deployment.com)
If rose gold is not your desired colour, Patek Philippe offer Nautilus watches in multiple finishes, including contemporary steel, white gold and two-tone varieties for those who are patient.
Elevate your wardrobe with a Patek Philippe watch
Whether you plan on purchasing a Patek Philippe timepiece for yourself, to give to a loved-one or to pass on as a family heirloom, you cannot go wrong with any stunning offering from Patek Philippe.
(Above: Patek Philippe Calatrava - ref. 5297G sweep seconds)
Each piece is carefully designed and constructed using traditional materials and techniques that are passed down from one generation to another. These techniques, including guilloché engraving on the dial, jewel setting and marquetry, are demonstrated by highly skilled watchmakers in their manufacturing headquarters in the Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. Recruits are required to have several years of watch making experience under their belt to even be eligible to join the training, and several more years to complete all four levels of the extensive watch-making training.
Patek Philippe timepieces are sophisticated, classy, and filled with character and heritage. They also allow you to enjoy your day unhindered, safe in the knowledge that you can comfortably accessorise your casual or formal looks with ease, while prompting the occasional head turn.
Discover our current collection of Patek Philippe timepieces at J Farren-Price, Sydney by visiting us at our Sydney boutique - 80 Castlereagh Street.