To try and grasp what a big deal Patek Philippe is in the watch world, consider the following. In a list of the most expensive watches ever to be sold at auction, Patek Philippe occupies nine out of the top 10 spots. The only interloper to prevent a total monopoly is Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona that comes third on the list – but its $US17.75 million price-tag stemmed more from its celebrity provenance than its horological pedigree.
How Patek came to occupy such a hallowed position in the industry stems, in part, from their technical mastery. During its 180-year history, the brand was responsible for inventing the perpetual calendar, which automatically adjusts to allow for leap years as well as the different number of days in a month. In addition, Patek was also responsible for introducing the minute repeater and double chronograph in a tradition of innovation that’s been crowned by over 100 patents.
In addition, Patek has a peerless reputation for their painstaking attention to detail. Every component of their watches from the dials to the movements are hand-crafted in-house before being subjected to a meticulous level of finishing. The stringency of these standards prompted the brand to set up their criteria for quality control. Established in 2009. the Patek Philippe Seal guarantees the upkeep and maintenance of any of their watches for their entire lifetime, regardless of the date when they were produced.
“Patek Philippe is a brand that really speaks to watch enthusiasts,” explains Debbie Kok, General Manager of Kennedy, the multi-brand retailer that’s sold Patek since the 1980s. “Patek’s history, art and craftmanship really resonate with our market.”
Keen to share this tradition, Kennedy are hosting the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition at The Ritz Carlton in Melbourne. Unveiled at a gala dinner this week, the exhibition was essentially a chance for the public to see Patek’s 2023 Novelties and main collection that included a range of pieces from Calatrava, Aquanaut, Golden Ellipse and Nautilus families among others.
Among the 100 timepieces on display, highlights included two new ladies’ Nautilus references decked out with dials in blazing magenta. The richness and shimmer of this eye-catching colour emanate from the dial base being coated with more than 50 layers of translucent lacquer before being embellished with the Nautilus’ trademark wave pattern. First seen, earlier this year in the new Calatrava, the extension of the colour to other collections suggest Patek’s purple patch is set to continue.
“They’re increasing the usage of that really prominent magenta / purple colour, and this is the first time it’s been extended to the Nautilus,” Kok explains.
“Patek Philippe A Passion for Workmanship” is exhibiting at Level 2, The Ritz Carlton, from Friday December 1 – Sunday December 3. 10am – 4pm. Book tickets here.