Patek Philippe Celebrates Its New Building

Beginning of 2020, Patek Philippe completed the construction work of its new production building in Geneva and celebrates now the occasion with the launch of a limited-edition timepiece. The exclusive Calatrava in stainless steel with a unique design will cause the hearts of collectors to skip a beat.

It is a tradition at Patek Philippe to accompany key events in its corporate history with the launch of limited-edition commemorative watches. To pay tribute to the commissioning of the new production building, a flagship of impressive size for the creation, development, and production of Patek Philippe watches, the manufacture reasserted its tradition by developing an exclusive, unusually designed Calatrava explicitly for this event.

This new Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava instantly stands out with its case and broad cambered bezel in polished steel, a very rare material in Patek Philippe’s collections that is particularly coveted among connoisseurs. The design of the dial reflects an inimitable and dynamic face. Be it the railway track scale of the hour circle with triangular markers, the pierced baton hands for the hours and minutes that recall the Ref. 6006 Calatrava (part of the collection since 2017), the integration of the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement with an aperture date at 3 o’clock or the applied Arabic numerals: all these elements contribute to a vibrant and exciting dial architecture. The expressly graphic style emphasizes the technical personality of the dial. At the same time, the gray-blue hue is a signature element accompanied by the subtle circular satin finish that contrasts visibly against the white dial imprints as well as the applied numerals and the white-lacquered hands in white gold with luminous coatings.

In its center, the dial features a «carbon»-style texture that plays with light and can be interpreted as an enigmatic footnote referring to the world of high-tech. Another special feature: The calfskin strap with white decorative seams, the prong buckle, and a delicately embossed structure reminiscent of textile fabrics are coordinated in terms of color and structure to match the dial center.

The commemorative Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava comes in a limited edition of 1000 watches with a diameter of 40 mm and a sapphire-crystal caseback specially marked with a Calatrava cross and the «New Manufacture 2019» inscription. 2019 is the year when the first work groups moved into the new production building. The exclusive styling of the watch stands as a lasting symbol for this new chapter in the history of Patek Philippe.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Patek Philippe

Is This the End of Baselworld?

Yesterday I received the breaking news: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor leave Baselworld to create a new watch trade show in Geneva with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). The show will be held early April 2021 at Palexpo, at the same time as Watches & Wonders (The FHH is the group that organizes what, until this year, has been known as Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH).) This departure follows a number of unilateral decisions made without consultation by Baselworld management, including the postponement of the watch show until January 2021, as well as its inability to meet the brands’ needs and expectations.

The announcement comes as no surprise – as open letters about the fair’s plans and its organizer’s handling of refunds, among other things, have been paramount this past week. Apparently, Baselworld management also opted to reschedule Baselworld 2020 for January 2021 without asking the exhibitors. The dates conflict with a host of other exhibitions around the world in jewelry and watches.

The new show, which will be linked to Watches & Wonders, organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, is to take place at Palexpo. The aim is to offer partner brands the best possible professional platform, applying a shared vision to successfully meet future challenges in the watchmaking industry. It will also give crucial prominence to the sector’s expertise and innovations, both in Switzerland and internationally. Other brands may also be added, according to terms that have not yet been defined. This new event will be geared predominantly towards retailers, the press and VIP customers.

Jean-Frédéric Dufour

Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Chief Executive Officer, Rolex SA, and Board Member, Montres Tudor SA, said: «We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939. Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved and the recent decisions made by MCH Group, and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw. Following discussions initiated by Rolex, it seemed only natural to create a new event with partners that share our vision and our endless, unwavering support for the Swiss watchmaking sector. This will allow us to present our new watches in line with our needs and expectations, to join forces and better defend the interests of the industry

Thierry Stern

Thierry Stern, President, Patek Philippe said: «The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this traditional yearly event. But life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well, whether it is at the level of those responsible for the watch fair organization, the brands or the clients. We constantly have to adapt ourselves, question what we do, since what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today! Today Patek Philippe is not in line with Baselworld’s vision anymore, there have been too many discussions and unsolved problems, trust is no longer present. We need to answer the legitimate needs of our retailers, the clients and the press from around the world. They have to be able to discover the new models from Swiss watchmakers each year, at one time, in one place, and this in the most professional manner possible. That is why, following several discussions with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, representative of our savoir-faire.»

Frédéric Grangié

Frédéric Grangié, President of CHANEL Watches & Fine Jewellery said: «Like its partners, CHANEL shares the same independence and the same desire to protect and promote the values, know-how, utmost quality and precision of Swiss Watchmaking. This initiative marks a key milestone in the history of CHANEL Watchmaking and is part of a long-term strategy, which began with the launch of this activity in 1987. This exhibition will allow us to present all of our new creations in an environment that meets our high-quality standards.»

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President Chopard et Cie SA said: «Chopard first exhibited at the Basel fair in 1964 with a stand of some 25 square metres. After careful consideration, our family decided to support the Rolex initiative and retire from Baselworld – a painful decision. The creation of this new watch show in Geneva, in parallel to Watches & Wonders, will allow us to better serve our watchmaking partners and our customers. Through the alliance, these grandes maisons will also be able to collaborate in promoting the values and best interests of Swiss watchmaking.»

Jérôme Lambert

Jérôme Lambert, on behalf of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Council said: «The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is delighted to welcome a new salon which will strengthen the historical Watches & Wonders event in Geneva next year in early April.»

Further information will be published at a later date, in particular concerning the name of the new watch fair and its organization.

I fear this will be the end, pure and simple, of Baselworld…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands and © Sandra Bauknecht