The horological world reserves a special fondness for Patek Philippe that not many other brands can command. Much like Rolls-Royce is to the automobile industry, Patek Philippe has been at the forefront of luxury and innovation when it comes to watches since its establishment in 1851. Dripping with legacy, exquisitely handcrafted and commanding eye-watering price tags that many wouldn’t so much as to blink when paying. That’s how much of an investment the brand’s timepieces are, and we expect the new Patek Philippe New York limited edition watches to have the same effect.
Easily regarded as the standard in haute horlogerie, the esteemed Swiss manufacturer will now open its doors to the masses. The lavish exhibition, The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition New York, will take over Cipriani 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan in the form of a pop-up museum. There, you’ll find plenty of its most time-honoured pieces, including one of Patek’s first chronographs, the 1948 Chronograph, as well as a quartz desk clock that President John F. Kennedy once kept in the Oval office during his term.
In lieu of this expansive 13,000-square-foot exhibition, special tribute will also be paid to the Big Apple in the form of Patek Philippe New York limited edition watches. The series will see some of its most popular models — both men’s and ladies’ — undergo a facelift that encapsulates the energy and sophistication of the bustling city, as well as a completely new grand complication.
Here, we bring you the 5 Patek Philippe New York limited edition watches you need to start whipping out your cheque books for.
Incorporating a minute repeater with a world time function for the first time ever, Patek Philippe’s new grand complication means that instead of only the home time, this watch will chime the local time anywhere in the world. Consisting of two versions, the cloisonné enamelled dial sees a panoramic display of New York’s skyline as dusk falls (“New York by Night”) and dawn beckons (“New York by Day”). Hand-guilloched with Patek’s famous ‘Clous de Paris’ hobnail pattern, even the solid rose gold caseband adds stunning visual detail to this remarkable timepiece. Each piece is a limited edition of five each.
It’s no surprise that some of Patek Philippe’s most highly valued watches come from its world time series, so it was fitting that it has released the World Time Ref. 5320 in conjunction with the Grand Exhibition. Using the same Manhattan skyline as the Ref. 5531 above, the metal embossed image is encompassed by a city and 24-hour disk which permanently displays the time in all 24 time zones. A pusher adjusts the time zone, which triggers a correction of the city and 24-hour disk, and hour hand from the centre simultaneously. Look closely and you’ll notice that the hour hand is a delicately skeletonised silhouette of the “Southern Cross” constellation, a hallmark of Patek’s World Time watches.
One of Patek’s icons, the Calatrava, will also receive a unique facelift for the occasion. The 600-piece limited edition timepiece will be cased in steel and will feature an exclusive dial reminiscent of vintage aviator watches from the brand. Large white gold numerals draw your eyes to the dial, on which also lie the broad baton hands in blued steel. At the back, you’ll see the automatic caliber 324 S through the sapphire crystal back, along with the engraved “Patek Philippe New York 2017” words, just like the others in the series.
While not a new reference, the case and dial were given special treatment for this special release. The white gold officer’s case is accessorised with a “Flamme” 160-diamond-set bezel, its dazzling facade a stark contrast to the dark blue enamelled dial, which, unsurprisingly, is also set with more diamonds. The movement — calibre R 27 PS — chimes on the hours, quarter hours and minutes on two gongs. Only three of this watch will be made, and don’t expect it to come cheap.
The ladies will also get a world time watch for the special occasion. Much like the men’s 5230, this version sees the same embossed New York skyline make up most of the dial, which is encased by an iced-out bezel over the rose or white gold case. Powered by the calibre 240 HU — a world time movement with a micro-rotor — the elegant but highly functional ladies’ wristwatch will only be available in 75 pieces in each version.