It is a well-known fact that Patek Philippe watches are worthy investment pieces. Not only do the special or exclusive watches consistently fetch handsome prices at auctions, the regular ones are just as impressive. Made with utmost respect to the storied craft of watchmaking, each ticker boasts beautiful lines and supple curves complemented by a state-of-the-art movement. But Patek Philippe is more than just a watchmaker; it is a bona fide artist too. Year after year, the Genevan manufacture rolls out superlative collections of metier d’art watches inspired by disciplines such as astronomy, geography, music and nature. This year is no exception as Patek Philippe unveiled 50 dome clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches at its Rare Handcrafts exhibition in Geneva in April. Singapore Tatler was given exclusive access to the event and was privy to the beautiful watches that feature esoteric artistic techniques including manual engraving, various grand feu enamelling techniques, gem‑setting and hand guilloche. So, it is only natural for outsiders—and possibly astute business people—to think that artistic watches make up a large portion of earnings for the brand. It doesn’t, however, contrary to popular belief. For one, the manufacture hasn’t produced enough volume to place a healthy profit margin on each piece,
which takes a lot of man-hours and effort to complete.“People in the know are aware that you can’t create these watches for business,” said Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern at the opening of the Rare Handcrafts exhibition. “They’re really made for passion.” He pointed out that annually, the brand only produces around 140 of such metier d’art pieces, with each receiving some 60 requests worldwide. The demand is clearly much greater than the supply. But it is more than just lining the coffers of the family-owned business. “With these rare handcrafts watches, we show that Patek Philippe is at the peak of quality.”
This story appears in the September 2018 issue of . For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.
See Also: Legendary Timepieces By Patek Phillipe