Ex­treme com­pli­ca­tions may not al­ways res­onate with high glam­our, but Patek Philippe has got them down to fine art. Here, the Swiss Man­u­fac­ture’s great­est splen­dours prove that there’s more than meets the eye. A m y B y Y a s m e n

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Jewels -

n 1839, Patek Philippe be­gan its com­mit­ment to women by pro­duc­ing ex­cep­tional time­pieces for ladies. In fact, some of its first time­pieces were pur­chased by a Madame Goscin­ska, an in­di­ca­tion that even then, women had al­ready es­tab­lished a strong con­nec­tion to the Genevan Man­u­fac­ture’s creations. Dur­ing this pe­riod, time­pieces were crafted to re­sem­ble jewellery; think del­i­cate pen­dant watches hang­ing from a brooch, or an or­nate chate­laine paired with gilded charms. Such dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments were in­dica­tive of a woman’s sta­tus,

al­though by the time 1868 came around, things had changed. Cue the avant-garde Count­ess Koscow­icz of Hun­gary, who marched to the beat of her own drum. Buck­ing the trend of wear­ing a watch as a brooch or a pen­dant, the Swiss watch­maker de­vel­oped one to be worn on the wrist, a trend that would even­tu­ally take off by the early 1900s. By 1916, Patek Philippe made a break­through in women’s hor­logerie, con­ceiv­ing its first five-minute repeater wrist­watch in a plat­inum case, demon­strat­ing the Man­u­fac­ture’s com­mit­ment

to com­pli­cated watches, with a strong fo­cus on women. Fast for­ward to 2017, and the mod­ern wrist­watch is taken to the ex­tremes once again. Watch­mak­ers and ar­ti­sans work hand-in-hand, ex­press­ing un­par­al­leled crafts­man­ship in hand en­grav­ing, guil­loché, and gem-set­ting. Con­sider the Ladies’ Minute Repeater Ref. 7000/250 with its mys­te­ri­ous blue enamel dial. Pow­ered by the new cal­i­bre R 27 PS and set with 160 di­a­monds, the time­piece brings the best of haute hor­logerie and joail­lerie. And ear­lier this year at Basel­world, the lat­est Ladies’ World Time Ref. 7130 is of­fered for the first time with a stun­ning blue guil­loché dial, sur­rounded by di­a­monds and a white gold case. Per­haps, Patek Philippe’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion isn’t just its evo­lu­tion in the keep­ing of time, but the land­scape of ladies’ watch­mak­ing al­to­gether. Un­like other Man­u­fac­tures, Patek Philippe of­fers three grand com­pli­ca­tions in the Ladies First range: a minute repeater, an ul­tra-thin split-sec­onds sin­gle-pusher chronograph, and a

per­pet­ual cal­en­dar. How’s that for beauty and brains?


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