A WOMAN’S TOUCH
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
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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