Patek Philippe’s Tokyo Exclusives Exude Global Appeal

Tokyo calling. The lauded Swiss manufacture has dropped six limited-edition market-exclusive references.

By Paige Reddinger 12/06/2023

Patek Philippe is back with another Grand Exhibition taking place this weekend in Tokyo, Japan and it just dropped six new releases to celebrate the occasion. Beyond the technical prowess of the complications like the quadruple complication Ref. 5308P-010 featuring a minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and an instantaneous perpetual calendar, Patek Philippe seemed intent on making a splash with vibrant hues from the aforementioned salmon dial reference to a royal purple-hued world timer and two pastel-coloured Calatravas.

The overall vibe, however, is one of refinement and elegance. In contrast to the Swiss watchmaker’s last exhibition in Singapore in 2019, which saw the release of much busier pieces, one suspects that the Japanese models released today will be far more coveted. They are, of course, only available to residents of Japan, so for the rest of you hoping to get your hands on one you may be waiting several years before these pop up on the secondary market at, naturally, much higher price points.

Reference 5308P-010

Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010
Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010.

The undeniable highlight and “granddaddy” of releases in Tokyo is this 42 mm platinum salmon dial timepiece that combines a minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph, and instantaneous calendar. It derives from the company’s 2011 triple complication Reference 5208, which featured a minute repeater, chronograph and instantaneous perpetual calendar. The addition of the split-seconds feature proved particularly challenging in the 799-part R CHR 27 PS QI caliber due to energy consumption. The new movement has an increased barrel torque, as a result, and platinum mini-rotor that increases the winding power. Of course, with a new release of this magnitude there are also some patents involved including a backlash-compensating wheel that eliminates chronograph friction at the clutch and an isolation system that eliminates the energy consumption of the split-seconds when it is stopped. The split-seconds function is controlled by its own pusher at 4 o’clock.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010 Tokyo Limited Edition Caseback
Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010 Tokyo Limited Edition Caseback.

The other complications drive home, however, the fact that this is a traditional dress watch. The minute repeater features two traditional gongs, while the mono pusher chronograph has a classic 60-minutes counter at 3 o’clock and a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock. The instantaneous perpetual calendar, meanwhile is equipped with discs that pass in 30 milliseconds to read the day, date and month in apertures between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock at the top of the dial. The moon phase, along with a seconds counter, is, of course, located at 6 o’clock.

A reminder, however, that this ultra-high-end timepiece still has some sporty appeal with its split-seconds chronograph function is further accentuated by charcoal grey white-gold-applied hour markers that offer a more relaxed and modern-looking juxtaposition atop a dressy rose-gilt opaline salmon dial. It is limited to just 15 pieces and comes with two interchangeable casebacks: one featuring a “Patek Philippe Tokyo” inscription on the sapphire crystal and another in solid platinum featuring the same text.

Reference 5531R-014

Patek Philippe Ref. 5131R
Patek Philippe Ref. 5131R Tokyo Limited Edition.

Patek Philippe’s World Timers are always wildly coveted, but this particular 40.2 by 11.49 mm 18-karat rose-gold version for the Tokyo market is an exceptional iteration with a rare handcrafts dial in grand feu cloisonée featuring a map of the centre of Tokyo of the historic Chou district. It also comes equipped with a minute repeater in the self-winding R 27 HU caliber, featuring a patented striking mechanism striking local time for the time zone indicated at 12 o’clock. Its gongs are attached directly to the caseband, which, on the exterior is decorated with a beautiful hand-guilloched hobnail pattern. Like the above reference, it also comes with interchangeable casebooks featuring the “Patek Philippe Tokyo” inscription.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-014 Tokyo Limited Edition Caseback
Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-014 Tokyo Limited Edition Caseback.

Reference 5330G

Patek Philippe Ref. 5330G-010
Patek Philippe Ref. 5330G-010.

In Japan, purple is a colour typically associated with the emperor and aristocracy so it’s fitting that Patek Philippe would want to introduce a high complication in the royal hue. The 40 mm by 11.7 mm 18-karat white-gold timepiece is also a world timer, sans the minute repeater function in this particular model. It does, however, come with a world first: a date indication that synchronises with the local time, which appears at 12 o’clock with the time indicated by the central white-gold hands. A new movement, the Caliber 240 HU C was developed to execute the premiere function and it uses a patented differential system for the local-time date. A transparent glass hand with a red-varnished tip—a double-patented first for Patek—indicates the date. It’s the kind of nuanced, unique feature that will delight collectors and, while it keeps the look of the dial cleaner, it may be harder to read for some. Other red indications include a red dot, representative of Tokyo’s rising sun at the 12 marker on the centre disc, a smaller red dot between Auckland and Midway to mark the date line and Tokyo, of course, also indicated in red on the cities disc.

Limited to 300 pieces, it comes with a sapphire crystal caseback featuring “Patek Philippe Tokyo” and sports a matching plum alligator-leather strap. Patek Philippe has obviously mastered the World Timer, but it is also increasingly playing to the heart of those that appreciate a little style flare and this rich hue will certainly standout in a room.

Reference 7121-200G

Patek Philippe Ref. 7121-200G
Patek Philippe Ref. 7121-200G.

Here’s one for the ladies who appreciate serious complications to come with their very serious Patek purchase. This classic Calatrava officer’s-style 33 by 8.35 mm white-gold timepiece with a moon phase and small seconds indications at 6 o’clock is powered by a manually-wound Caliber 215 PS LU movement. Its moon phase is so accurate it only deviates from the true lunar cycle by one day in 122 years.

Patek Philippe Ref. 7121-200G
Patek Philippe Ref. 7121-200G.

Its technical prowess is compliments by a pearly grey sunburst dial and a matching grey alligator leather strap. The hue is incredibly chic and we hope to see more timepieces featuring this colour. The case comes accented in 132 brilliant-cut diamonds, but would also be welcome in a version without. Wishful thinking perhaps, as this model is, like all the rest, unique to the Tokyo market and will only be released in a limited run of 200 pieces.

References 6127G and 7127G

Patek Philippe Ref. 7127G and 6127G
Patek Philippe Ref. 7127G and 6127G.

Patek Philippe is having some good clean fun. Two vibrantly hued Calatravas dropped in Tokyo in lilac and baby blue dials with alligator-leather straps to match. Japan is known for being both ultra-conservative and wildly creative and stylish and these pieces play to both moods. Offered in both 31 mm and 36 mm sizes, these are particularly appealing propositions for all sexes, although we must say the saccharine colours would have a more subversive pop on a masculine wrist, especially if worn with enough sartorial panache to match. They are both equipped with the manual Caliber 215 PS manual winding movement with small seconds subdials. Equipped with a brand new Calatrava case, both feature butterfly wing-shaped two-tier lugs inspired by the Ref. 5270 model. Each is limited to just 100 pieces.

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The Boldest, Most Exciting New Timepieces From Watches & Wonders 2024

Here are the highlights from the world’s biggest watch releases of the year.

By Allen Farmelo, Carol Besler, Paige Reddinger, Oren Hartov, Victoria Gomelsky, Cait Bazemore, Nick Scott, Justin Fenner 10/04/2024

Watches & Wonders, the world’s largest watch show, is in full swing in Geneva. The highly anticipated cascade of new releases is marked by confident individual brand identities — perhaps a sign that watchmakers are done scrambling through the violent collision of restricted supply and soaring demand for high end watches. All seem to be back on solid footing.

Steady confidence is a good thing. Consider Jaeger-LeCoultre offering up traditionally styled grand complications or Vacheron Constantin revamping the classic Patrimony with smaller cases and vintage-inspired radially brushed dials. Consider TAG Heuer celebrating the 55th anniversary of the square Monaco with a skeletonized flyback confidently priced at US$183,000, or Moser similarly showing off a fascinating skeletonized tourbillon in its distinctive 40 mm Streamliner at US$86,900. IWC has leaned hard into their traditionally styled Portugieser line, including an astounding Eternal Calendar complication. We find the storied French houses of Cartier, Chanel and Hermes blurring the lines between jewelry and watchmaking with the technical prowess and artistic whimsy that originally earned these brands their exalted place in the hearts and minds of sophisticated aesthetes. Confidence abounds in 2024.

We could go on and on with examples, but the watches below will demonstrate that for 2024 the big watch brands dared to be themselves, which appears to have given them the confidence to take some seriously compelling horological risks. We have separate coverage of off-show releases and, of course, Patek and Rolex, so keep and eye out for those.

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Gucci Garden Blooms in Sydney

On a rainy night in Sydney, the drinks talent from Maybe Sammy fused with guest bartenders from Giardino 25 in Florence, for a night of mixology magic.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 13/04/2024

Since hanging out its shingle in 2022, Giardino 25, the all-day café and bar located in Gucci’s palatial, multidisciplinary space in Florence, has been a boon to stylish tipplers. Taking inspiration from one of its previous tenants (a longstanding florist), the garden-themed joint (Giardino is the Italian word for garden) serves delicious aperitivi and dangerously addictive cocktails.

 

Umbrian native Martina Bonci was wearing hair-to-brogue Gucci for her session of flair bartending art El Primo Sanchez. Smiling and dancing behind the bar, she was backed up by a bevy of handsome colleagues wearing smart yellow dinner jackets. IMAGE: GUCCI.
Aurora cocktai at Giardino 25, Florence. IMAGE: GUCCI.

This past Tuesday Giardino 25 took bloom at a pop-up at El Primo Sanchez in Paddington, the Maybe Cocktail Festival in Sydney, a series of 20 events scattered throughout the city and curated by the award-winning Sammy’s Cocktails team. The festival aims to spur knowledge-sharing and foster an atmosphere of excellence in Australia’s drinks scene.

“Last year we held 16 events and they were all packed,” says Stefano Catino, director of hospitality at Public, the management company behind Maybe Sammy venues and bottled drinks, “so this year we’ve curated extra events and flown out even more international bars and bartenders.”

“Nineteen of the 21 events are free to attend, which is very important to us,” he continues. “The cost of living is high and it’s very expensive for Australians to travel overseas so this festival gives people the opportunity to drink cocktails from an amazing bar in Rome or try a Tommy’s Margarita from the gentleman who created it, without the cost of a plane ticket.”

IMAGE: GUCCI.

Taking the bar as her personal catwalk, and dressed head to toes in Gucci, Giardino 25’s special guest, Martina Bonci, looked every bit the star behind the bar. “We have brought our mix of classic Italian influences and innovation,” she told Robb Report, “so guests in Australia get a little slice of what we do in Florence.”

Among her tantalising pours were powerful dirty martinis decorated with shimmering gold leaf and Aurora, a transparent twist on the Negroni.

Reflecting on her whirlwind trip down under, Bonci said their visit to Bondi Beach and the cocktails at Maybe Sammy were the highlights.

“The bartenders at Maybe Sammy are world-class,” she explained. “There is a good reason they win awards and have a respected reputation overseas. And El Primo Sanchez has such a fun atmosphere—we had a great night.”

Martina Bonci, Bar Manager at Gucci Giardino 25, has been honored twice as ‘Best Bartender in Italy’ by both Bargiornale Awards and Blue Blazer Awards—prestigious accolades in the bar industry. Gucci Giardino 25 has proudly secured a spot in the 50 Best Discovery, an international list recognizing expert-recommended restaurants and bars, featuring some of the most interesting venues across the world.

Bonci, who came to prominence in a long sting at Milanese hipster joint Gesto and is known her use of agave, favours drinks dripping with seasonal fruits and citrus flavours. Having tried her creations, we do, too.

She made a serious impression on Sydneysiders, who would do well to make a pilgrimage to see her in action on home turf. As if any of us need another reason to travel to Italy.

The Maybe Cocktail Festival, continues this weekend in Sydney, with the public welcome to attend a Bartenders Brunch at Sydney’s Alpha on Sunday from 11.00 am-3.00 pm, hosted by George Calombaris. 

View the program: Maybe Cocktail Festival @maybe_cocktail_fetsival

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Patek Philippe Brings Back Collector Favourites at Watches & Wonders 2024

Both the Nautilus Chronograph and Aquanaut Travel Time receive a welcome return.

By Josh Bozin 10/04/2024

If you’re a watch fan, there’s every reason to believe that a Patek Philippe Nautilus, Patek Philippe Aquanaut—or both—would be high on your wish list. Both collections are of historical significance, helping pave the way for the influence of the steel sports watch category—and subsequent chokehold on the market today.

So, when Patek Philippe unveiled its newest releases at Watches & Wonders in Geneva, it was a pleasant surprise to see the return of two of the best past iterations of the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph

First, we get a new Nautilus Chronograph, with the return of the revered 5980, now replete with a new case in white gold and a denim-like strap (a contentious issue among watch pundits). Discontinuing all Nautilus 5980 models earlier this year, including the collector-favourite 5980/1AR in Rose Gold, left a sombre feeling among Nautilus fanatics. These celebrated chronographs, renowned for their distinctive porthole-inspired design and air of sporty elegance, are some of the most sought-after watches in the Patek Philippe catalogue. Thus, the revival of the 5980, now in white gold, is a cause for collectors’ celebration.

The new offering retains its chronograph function with mono-counter tracking 60-minute and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock on the dial, but now comes on a new denim-inspired, hand-stitched fabric strap with a Nautilus fold-over clasp in white gold—some will love it, some won’t.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe

The Calibre CH 28‑520 C/522 powers this new Nautilus with its flyback chronograph, all of which is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The dial is also incredibly eye-catching, with a beautiful opaline blue-gray hue accentuated by white gold-applied hour markers with a white luminescent coating. It is priced at approximately $112,000.

Also returning to the fold is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, now with its own bluish hue dial—similar to its Nautilus counterpart. After discontinuing the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A this year, as well—a watch often regarded as the greatest Aquanaut to date—Patek Philippe surprised all with the new 5164G in white gold. Its greatest attribution is the clever Travel Time GMT function, which clearly rivals the Rolex GMT-Master II as perhaps the travel-friendly watch of choice (if acquiring one was that simple, of course).

For those who prefer the Aquanaut’s sportiness and easy-wearing rubber strap, this newest iteration, with its Opaline Blue-gray dial and matching rubber strap with a deployant clasp, is undoubtedly an icon in the making. The new 5164G has a 40mm case and features the Calibre 26‑330 S C FUS movement, which can also be viewed via the transparent sapphire crystal caseback.

Expect to pick up the new Aquanaut Travel Time for around $95,250.  

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time

 

Follow @robbreportau for all your Watches & Wonders coverage, and more!

 

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Rolex Kicks Off Watches & Wonders 2024 with a New GMT-Master II

The new stainless steel GMT-Master II has already been dubbed the “Bruce Wayne”.

By Josh Bozin 09/04/2024

It may not be the GMT that watch pundits were speculating on—or that collectors were hoping for—but the new Rolex GMT-Master II with a new grey and black ceramic bezel adds dazzle to the revered Rolex collection, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The idea of a new Rolex GMT launching at the world’s biggest watch fair is cause for a little madness. While the watch community eagerly awaited what was thought to be the discontinuation of the highly sought-after GMT “Pepsi” and the return of the GMT “Coke,” the luxury Swiss watchmaker had other plans.

Instead, we’re presented with a piece that, on paper, hasn’t changed much from previous GMT releases. That’s not to say that this isn’t an impressive release that will speak to consumers—the new GMT-Master II ref.126710GRNR, dubbed the “Bruce Wayne,” is definitely a sight for sore eyes.

Rolex
Rolex

This new GMT retains the same dimensions and movement as the other watches in the GMT collection, along with its 40mm size case and the option to fit either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The obvious changes, albeit subtle, come in the way of its mostly monochrome return; a fact that will appease traditionalists. If you’re opposed to the attention-drawing “Pepsi”, “Sprite”, or “Batman” iterations, this model is a stealthier pick—much like pseudonymous Bruce Wayne.

The other noticeable change is the “GMT-Master II” now applied in green text and a 24-hour hand in green; perhaps a nod to the 2007 Basel World GMT release.

Like many Rolex timepieces, this will generate great hype and attention, so don’t expect allocations to come easily.

Rolex
Rolex

Model: GMT-Master II
Reference Number: 126710GRNR

Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: Black
Lume: Chromalight on hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 100m
Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee

Movement: Caliber 3285
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Automatic

Price: $17,150 (Oyster); $17,500 (Jubilee)
Availability: Now. Non-limited edition

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Moments in Time

Silversea’s Kimberley adventures transport passengers into a different dimension.

By Vince Jackson 09/04/2024

Whoever refuted the theory of time-travel has clearly never set foot in the Kimberley, a geological relic where craggy landscapes forged hundreds of millions of years ago remain untouched, and dinosaur footprints are still etched into the ochre terrain. And while traversing one of the planet’s last great wildernesses in a 4X4 holds rugged appeal, a more refined way to explore the Western Australian outback is by cruise liner. 

Enter the Silver Cloud, one of Silversea’s most luxurious vessels, available for 10- or 17-day expeditions. Upon arrival via private executive transfer, expect a level of intimacy that’s often conspicuous on other cruise experiences. With a maximum of just 200 guests, attended to by 212 staff, the Silver Cloud can lay claim to the greatest passenger-to-crew ratios operating in the Kimberley. Twenty-four-hour butler service is standard for every suite, along with ocean views—no matter if you plump for a modest 22 m² Vista Suite or supersize to a 217 m² Grand Suite.

Yet bigger is not necessarily better on water; the ship itself is compact enough to manoeuvre into isolated coves and waterways that larger vessels—or, indeed, four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers—are unable access. Each sunrise brings the promise of an unforgettable adventure, whether hopping on a Zodiac at Koolama Bay to witness the cascading thunder of the 80-m-high, twin King George Falls, or embarking at Swift Bay to scramble over rocky standstone and view the disparate rock-art forms on display at the sacred Wandjina art galleries—some reckoned to be up to 12,000 years old.

Another example of the Kimberley’s ability to propel you back through time.

Prices from $15,500 pp (10 days) and $23,900 pp (17 days); June 9-19, and August 8-25 or August 25- September 11 respectively; silversea.com

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