Patek Philippe´s exceptional and unique dome table clocks displayed at the “Rare Handcrafts 2018” exhibition

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Patek Philippe is one of the most dedicated guardians of grand traditions.

Under the auspices of president Thierry Stern and his wife, Creative Director Sandrine Stern, the family-owned manufacture spares no effort to preserve all artisanal skills that for centuries have been used to adorn timepieces and are intimately linked to watchmaking artistry: manual engraving, various grand-feu enameling techniques (miniature painting on enamel, cloisonné, champlevé, paillonné, flinqué, grisaille, plique-à-jour, Limoges enamel painting, etc.), as well as gemsetting and hand guilloching. The Genevan brand is also committed to further evolving such skills and broadening the portfolio by refining new crafts such as wood micromarquetry or combining several techniques to create breathtaking works of art. Every year, the result of this intensive involvement with tradition and innovation is presented by Patek Philippe with a rich palette of one-of-a-kind treasures and limited editions that meld sublime craftsmanship with the ultimate in creativity and aesthetics.

 

The 2018 collection, highlighting fifty creations for dome table clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches (some with minute repeaters) experienced its debut at Baselworld and pays tribute to a suite of rare handcrafts manifested by an extensive range of creations that have taken their inspiration from many different sources.

Engraving, the most venerable craft in the service of watchmaking, is prominently represented, especially with the low-relief of a galleon on a pocket watch case. On the “Whirling Dervishes” pocket watch, damascening is the ancient technique used to embed fine rose-gold threads into a white-gold background.

 

Among the Grand Feu enameling techniques, cloisonné enamel – with its color cells enclosed by thin gold wires – enjoys prominence on many dome table clocks. This applies to the “Cubist Fantasy” model, for example, with its cubistic color ornaments, and to other unique pieces with themes ranging from nature (birds, flowers, savannah at sunset, planets), to the fine arts (Persian porcelain, Art Deco butterflies) and to different world cultures (Indian women, Arabic calligraphy). Cloisonné enamel is often adorned with gold dust, white- or yellow-gold paillons as well as white- or yellow-gold leaf and used to decorate wristwatch dials with eclectic motifs from around the globe (Bhutan Textiles, Chart of the Caribbean, Tropical Plants, Tropical Fish).

 

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20054M “FLOWERS OF THE ORIENT”

Motifs inspired by ancient Persian porcelain, colors borrowed from Indian culture: two of the most brilliant Eastern civilizations unite on this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel.
To trace the outlines of its decor of interlacing arabesques, scrolls and flowers, the enameler used 10.35 m of gold wire (20.7 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in cross-section. He then filled in the cells, working with transparent, opaque and opalescent enamels in 33 colors to achieve the refined hues that distinguish this decoration. Each enameled panel called for between 8 and 10 firings at temperatures ranging from 880°C to 920°C. An hour circle adorned with black-enameled Breguet numerals frames a dial center embellished with a stylized flower beneath the leaf-shaped hands.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

 

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20055M “FLORAL ARABESQUES”

Patek Philippe combined a decoration inspired by ancient Persian porcelain and a palette evoking the splendors of India in this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, an invitation to relive the charm of the Orient.
To outline the delicate pattern of flowers and arabesques, the enameler used 15.05 m of gold wire (30.1 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in cross-section. He then brought the image to life, working with transparent, opaque and opalescent enamels in some 50 colors to obtain a vast range of subtle shades. Each enameled panel required between 8 and 12 firings at temperatures ranging from 850°C to 900°C. An hour circle adorned with black-enameled Breguet numerals frames a dial center in cloisonné enamel bearing leaf-shaped hands.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20056M “THE PLANETS”

Inspired by the great ballet of the stars, Patek Philippe created this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel evoking the age-old links between astronomy and horology.
To depict the planets in their orbits, the enameler used 3.25 m of gold wire (6.5 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in cross-section and transparent, opaque and opalescent enamels in 24 colors. Gold and silver leaf, embedded beneath five of the planets including Earth, as well as beneath the stars on the dome, intensifies the play of light on the blue background. Each enameled plate called for between 9 and 11 firings at temperatures ranging from 880°C to 900°C. A silver hour circle decorated with guilloché work frames an enameled dial center representing the Sun. Twelve hour markers in the shape of stars sparkle with diamonds of two different diameters, totaling 0.61 carats. The clock hands are unique creations representing the tails of comets.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20058M “CUBIST FANTASY”

Patek Philippe looked to the finest works of cubism, a major artistic movement of the early twentieth century, when conceiving this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel.
Tracing the complex pattern of geometric forms that comprise this original creation required 13.5 m of gold wire (15 g) measuring only 0.15 x 0.6 mm in cross-section. To create his chromatic fireworks, also inspired by the cubist artists, the enameler worked with a palette of 51 transparent enamel colors, producing subtle effects of light, contrast and shading. Each enameled plate called for 9 firings at a temperature of approximately 840°C. Breguet hands point to an hour circle adorned with black-enameled Breguet numerals. The dial center is hand-guilloched in a swirling pattern beneath blue enamel, through which the decoration may be seen.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20069M “ANGELS AND DOVES”

Angels and doves, traditional symbols of peace, share the spotlight on this unique piece in Grand Feu enamel.
To present these winged messengers on their backdrop of nocturnal sky and clouds, the enameler used the rare and sophisticated technique of grisaille enamel au blanc de Limoges. The white, oil-based enamel known as blanc de Limoges was sculpted using a tiny brush and a needle on a ground of opaque black enamel to obtain a subtle monochrome. Most of the stars are made from small gold or silver spangles called paillons embedded beneath layers of gold- or silver-tinted flux, a transparent enamel glaze; others shine in 24-carat gold powder. Each enameled plate required between 13 and 15 firings. The total enameling time was 240 hours. Surrounding the dial with its black enameled Breguet numerals are four handcrafted, hand-engraved silver doves, applied to the enamel surface.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20070M “WISTERIA”

This unique piece recreates the delicate beauty and subtle hues of wisteria, using the rare and demanding technique of relief enameling – known also as Fauré enamelwork – which first appeared in the French city of Limoges in the early twentieth century.
To begin, the enameler covered the panels and dome with silver leaf, which shines through the enamel and illuminates the entire decoration. He then built up the clusters of flowers, the branches, the leaves and the sky-blue background, working with a palette of 26 transparent enamel colors; these include 4 pinks and violets containing 24-carat gold powder. Lastly, he introduced opalescent enamels, applied thickly and sculpted to achieve a raised effect. Each enameled plate required 18 firings at temperatures ranging from 750°C to 900°C, representing a total 180 hours of enameling. The hour circle is adorned with black-enameled Roman numerals.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

PATEK PHILIPPE, 20062M “ART DECO FANTASY”

The spirit of Art Deco, with its inimitable rhythm and creativity, permeates the decoration of this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel.
To outline the composition of geometric shapes and stylized flowers, the enameler used 26 m of gold wire (52 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in cross-section. He then created his chromatic fantasy, a dialogue between black and gold in the style of the period, working with transparent and opaque enamels in 4 colors. Some 300 pieces of silver leaf embedded beneath the cloisonné enamel illuminate the patterns and heighten the contrast with the black surfaces. Each enameled plate required 9 firings at a temperature of approximately 750°C. An hour circle adorned with black-enameled Roman numerals frames a dial center in cloisonné enamel presenting a complex geometric motif.
This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

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