Every year, Patek Philippe upgrades its ‘Rare Handcrafts’ collection with stunning pieces designed for art lovers – art for art’s sake, as it were.
For this year’s collection, the Swiss brand made 67 watches in total.
The collection comprises 30 wristwatches, 22 dome clocks, 12 pocket watches, and three table clocks.
Some pieces are based on existing models, while others are made from scratch, and each one is finished by hand.
Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts – Wristwatches
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We need to start with the Enamel ‘1948 Grand Prix’, chiefly because there’s a car on the dial.
The face of the watch is a tribute to the 1948 Swiss Grand Prix, which took place in Bern, and it depicts two vintage F1 cars racing one another on a bridge, against the backdrop of the Swiss capital.
It’s a striking timepiece, and we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this is more beautiful than the next watch on the list, the Guillouché.
The Guilloché (above, right) uses a decorative technique to create an intricate pattern on the dial with a three-dimensional effect.
It uses several different shades of purple, green and blue, to depict the sky, fields of grass, trees, a tiny country home and rivulets.
Next, we’ve got Patek chronographs adorned with hundreds of diamonds.
Several versions are available, with blue and white diamonds, and since these chronographs famously have two faces, Patek also created versions with different gems and diamonds.
Table clocks and pocket watches
Most of these engraved pocket watches could easily be considered table clocks as well, chiefly because they come with their own dedicated frames.
From a star-studded night sky to a pocket watch with a galleon out at sea, they’re all unique.
Each piece is made by hand, regardless of the technique that was used.
If we had to pick one, we’d go for two pocket watches decorated with marquetry pictures on the dial.
Marquetry is a unique technique used to make the object look alive, using nothing but natural colors.
One of these gold pocket watches is bedecked with a super-realistic image of a leopard.
Using the same technique, Patek also created pocket watches with fish and birds on the dial.
Patek also made a few pocket watches using enamel.
Our favorite piece portrays a family of elephants in the African Savannah.
The attention to detail is mind-blowing.
And then lastly, some of these pieces are engraved by hand.
It’s easy to see why Patek thinks this qualifies as art, not just horology.
Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts availability
Every year, Patek’s creations are exhibited in Geneva for two weeks and they then end up on the market.
Official pricing isn’t provided but, generally speaking, you’re looking at six figures or more.
Eleven pieces from the Rare Handcrafts collection are currently available on Chrono24, the world’s largest watch marketplace.
The least expensive model costs $94,900, while the most expensive would set you back $611,000.
Mind you, five of these pieces are listed with ‘price on request’, and we all know that spells trouble.