Patek Philippe’s Tokyo Exclusives Exude Global Appeal
Tokyo calling. The lauded Swiss manufacture has dropped six limited-edition market-exclusive references.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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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