A stylish companion for the life of modern, active women
In 1999, Patek Philippe introduced the Twenty-4® manchette (cuff) watch that became a best-seller to style-conscious women. The name alluded to the ability to wear the watch for any occasion at work and at play over twenty-four hours. The manchette watch was driven by a quartz movement (except the 2003 Haute Joaillerie model had a hand-wound mechanical movement); it came in various stainless steel versions and in gold as well.
For those style-conscious women, this week, Patek Philippe launched the all-new Twenty-4 Automatic, the first model of the collection with a self-winding mechanical movement in a round case. The round case is a classic shape affording ample space for the glistening fire of genuine diamonds. It is available in stainless steel or rose gold with dials of various colours.
Patek Philippe Twenty-4 Automatic
With the growing interest among women in mechanical timepieces and latest offerings by rival haute horlogerie brands, Patek Philippe needed a new feminine watch with a self-winding mechanical movement; portraying it as a timepiece for modern, self-confident women with taste who are decision-makers and pursue active lifestyles.
Above all, the case is meant to embody sleek elegance for any time of day as a companion for every facet of daily life (work, family, private and social engagements, leisure). The design has to match the entire spectrum of a lady’s wardrobe but not be so distinctive as to overshadow her outfits.
Most precise movement
Patek Philippe chose the caliber 324 SC self-winding movement with a Spiromax® balance spring made of Silinvar® as it is a gem of precision and dependability, well tested in their Gents’ watches. It fulfils the criteria of their own Patek Philippe Seal and shows off hand-finishing techniques such as chamfered, polished edges and Geneva stripes that can be viewed through the sapphire-crystal case back.
At launch in Milan, the Twenty-4 Automatic is available in five versions: two in steel with diamond-set bezels, two in rose gold with diamond-set bezels, and one in rose gold with extra diamonds set in the bezel, the bracelet, and the crown.
Using the “Dentelle” (lacework style) gem setting technique produces two-row configurations of offset precious stones that highlight their radiance. Patek Philippe uses flawless Top Wesselton grade diamonds set to the most exacting jewelers’ standards.
The version in stainless steel comes in two dial colours that endow each model with its very own characteristic style: sunburst blue (Ref. 7300/1200A-001) or sunburst grey, delicately gradated from the centre (Ref. 7300/1200A-010).
The rose-gold watches are also available in two colour combinations: a sunburst chocolate brown and gradated dial (Ref. 7300/1200R-001) or a silvery grey dial graced with an exclusive double horizontal and vertical satin finish that is reminiscent of precious wild Shantung silk (Ref. 7300/1200R-010).
The Ref. 7300/1201R-001 is for ladies who prefer a “dressier” watch. It is lavishly adorned with 469 diamonds for a total of about 1.88 ct, including the crown, the lugs, and the outer links of the bracelet. The dial stands out with its silvery Shantung silk finish.
All bracelets are fitted with a new patented fold-over clasp (Patent EP3162241B1) that is dependably functional, very comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.
Video: Patek Philippe Twenty-4 Automatic
$26,083 for stainless steel with diamond-set bezel (ref. 7300-1200A-001/010)
$45,361 for the rose gold with diamond-set bezel (7300-1200R-001/010)
$56,702 for the rose gold with diamond-set bezel and case (ref. 7300-1201R-001)
In the immediate aftermath of seismic change, there will always be knee-jerk reactions. It is understandable that the vast majority of online responses have been by men who outnumber women on that forum. Some may be disgruntled by there being no new mens’ model.
Afterwards, sense and sensibility come into play as better informed cogitations realise the significance of this watch launch. Patek Philippe owes a lot to the original Twenty-4 range; it may have even saved the brand through tough economic times. The current hyperbole and supply-demand mismatch has been generated by and for Gents’ watches but even Patek Philippe suffered during the “quartz crisis”.
Younger commentators may not realise that the Twenty-4 helped by contributing more percentage profit than percentage of production numbers. In other words, it was the cash cow and cream that financed the growth of Patek Philippe to offer today’s Gents’ watches.
Recently, with the resurgence of mechanical movements in ladies’ watches from other haute horlogerie brands viz. Chopard, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Others, there was a perceived gap in Patek Philippe’s portfolio. This was partly addressed by Patek Philippe with mechanical movements dedicated to ladies’ models but they were niche products.
Patek Philippe needed a large production, classic, round watch with a mechanical movement for ladies. Now, they have one – nay, they have a new range! Once the floodgates open, it bodes well for other complications and designs for the ladies.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).