A fellow journalist friend asked Elizabeth Doerr for a subjective listing of her “top” Patek Philippe watches of the twenty-first century. In her article, though, she cited only one of Elizabeth’s top five choices. So here Elizabeth shares the full list. You may be surprised at some of her very subjective picks.
To my longtime friends in the watch hobby, and perhaps to regular readers here as well, the mention of my name may conjure up a number of connotations: patron of the independents, fan of A. Lange & Söhne, admirer of Patek Philippe grand complications, and longtime customer of Jaeger-LeCoultre, among other characterizations more or less favorable. But vintage?
Versatility was at the top of Patek Philippe’s thoughts when the firm designed the Twenty~4. The goal was to achieve “a beautiful expression of today’s contemporary woman” by creating a watch that can accompany women all day long. Hence the “24” in its name. Martin Green takes us through 20+ years of this now-iconic pillar collection.
Sometimes perpetual calendars are too complicated but a simple calendar just doesn’t cut it anymore because nearly half the months have less than 31 days, making it five adjustments a year too many for some. But don’t fret, there is a middle ground between the most basic calendar watches and complex perpetual calendars: the annual calendar automatically adjusts for each month with 30 or 31 days, meaning just one adjustment per year for the owner in February. Here’s a brief history of the complication.
Given GaryG’s musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, he thinks it appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?
November 2018 marked a personal horological high point for GaryG as he took delivery of an “unobtainable” watch, the Patek Philippe Reference 3940P-027. Gary shares his reasons for buying this rare timepiece with us here.
The rise of the internet, and the consequent evolution of the watch-watching community, has inevitably amplified the phenomenon whereby certain objects have come to exert an extraordinary hold over the collective imagination. Here, Colin Alexander Smith debunks three watch myths circulating widely and freely online and in print concerning former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Rolex and Patek Philippe, the Khanjar Rolex Sea-Dwellers, and what in fact Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were wearing on their wrists as they summited Mount Everest.
Why is it that watch brands celebrate watch anniversaries so enthusiastically? The answer isn’t as complicated as you might think . . . here we illustrate the answer with some major brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Chanel, and Omega, who celebrated some major watch anniversaries back in 2017.
Silicon, long in use as a material in the electronics industry, has many advantages for mechanical watchmaking: it is 60 percent harder and 70 percent lighter than steel; non-magnetic; resistant to corrosion and shock; and generally needs no lubrication. These qualities motivated Patek Philippe to declare in 2005 that, “Silicon is the fabric of the future” and to found its Advanced Research department. Meet all five limited edition Advanced Research pieces released thus far right here.
As read by you, here are the top ten most viewed articles on Quill & Pad in 2020. There are likely to be a few surprises. Drum roll, please: in no particular order, our top ten most viewed articles of 2020 were . . .