The Jakarta Post
The Patek Philippe 7300/1200A-001 is the Twenty~4 Automatic collection's rose gold version with diamond-set bezel that is available with a brown sunburst or silvery dial. (Patek Philippe/File)
Set in one of the world’s most important fashion capitals of Milan, Italy, Patek Philippe’s latest collection launch on Wednesday marked a significant move for the last family-owned Genevan luxury watch manufacturer.
In a bid to further tap into the growing segment of mechanical ladies’ watches, it introduced a new self-winding wristwatch the Twenty~4 Automatic that targets “modern and active” women.
“Today is the time to evolve. We’ve decided that women should also have their own watches — not gimmicks, not something that looks like a man’s watch,” Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern told around 200 journalists from around the globe invited to the launch on Wednesday night, which took place in a temporarily built glass pavilion set within its Milan office complex.
“Not something totally new,” Stern added quickly. “Why should I do something totally new if the Twenty~4 was [already] amazing? We [just] needed to adapt the movement and size. [Hence] we came with a very good [product after] five years [in the making].”
First introduced in 1999, the Twenty~4 collection boasts feminine manchette watches that aims to complement women’s appearance at anytime of day or night – hence the name “24”. Available in diamond-set rose gold or stainless steel versions, this collection was endowed with a quartz movement – except for the 2003 Haute Joaillerie model that comes with a manually wound mechanical movement.
Like the name suggests, the newly-launched Twenty~4 Automatic collection boasts contemporary watches with self-winding mechanical movement in a round case that are available in stainless steel or rose gold with dials of various colors.
Queen Victoria's Pendant Watches were among the items exhibited at Patek Philippe's launch event on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Milan, Italy. Queen Victoria was among the brand's customers. She purchased this timepiece in blue enamel in 1851. (JP/Keshie Hernitaningtyas)
“This [collection] is made for women who are active; who know about Patek Philippe; who heard their friends’ husbands talking about Patek Philippe. Women today should have an authentic movement; a precise movement,” said Stern.
Founded in 1839, the company’s female customers reportedly account for only 30 percent compared to their male counterparts, meaning there is still room to grow.
“Women want timepieces with both substance and style,” said Sandrine Stern, the brand’s head of watch creation, in an interview with Fortune. “When I speak with ladies, their first priority is how it looks. They prefer complications that are useful, like a date indication. While men like visible complications like a chronograph, something that looks high-tech. For them, it’s a bit like buying a sports car.”
Aesthetically, the new Twenty~4 Automatic comes with a bracelet that features cambered central links framed by two-tier outside links. Other highlights are a new round case (36 mm in diameter) for the self-winding version, diamond-set bezel that echoes the profile of the central bracelet links at 12 and 6 o’clock, the dials’ Arabic numerals in gold as well as baton hands with rounded ends and luminous coatings and the case’s slightly domed sapphire-crystal glass.
Available in Indonesia since Friday, the collection comes in five versions: two in steel with diamond-set bezels, two in rose gold with diamond-set bezels and one in rose gold with diamonds set in the bezel, the bracelet and the crown. These watches’ beating heart is the caliber 324 S C self-winding movement, which is visible through the sapphire-crystal case back, displaying hours, minutes and sweep seconds, and the date in a small aperture at 6 o’clock. Prices range from Rp 377,729,000 (US$24,802) to Rp 821,150,000.