New Watch! • 18 Dec 2018

2018 in Review – Patek Philippe Ladies’ Watches

by Cait Bazemore


Substance and style – these are the two key elements that have driven Patek Philippe in designing their modern ladies’ watches. The brand’s approach to ladies’ timepieces is spearheaded by a woman herself: Sandrine Stern, the head of watch creation. Stern began working at Patek Philippe over two decades ago in 1995. During her tenure, she has been dedicated to levelling the playing field when it comes to complicated watches for women. Her goal: to implement the same type of technical innovation seen in men’s counterparts without compromising the feminine aesthetic.

Thierry Stern and Sandrine Stern

Traditionally, ladies’ luxury watches were nothing more than smaller versions of men’s models. They often featured minor modifications, like the addition of jewellery elements such as precious stones. Today, a number of brands, like Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, are seeking to break this antiquated tradition. They are making concerted design efforts specifically directed toward women. Both the increased number of complicated watches for women and the increased number of sales in the ladies’ watch category reflect these efforts.

Stern recalls noting the shifting desires of female watch buyers back in 1996. That year, Patek Philippe introduced its men’s Annual Calendar. The brand received feedback from a number of clients that their wives and girlfriends were borrowing their watches. They did not end up developing a ladies’ Annual Calendar model until 2005. However, Patek Philippe took the feedback to heart. Just before the turn of the century, they created their signature ladies’ collection: the Twenty-4.

Twenty~4 Reference.7300/1200A-010

The success of Patek Philippe’s Twenty-4 collection is just one example of the market’s demand for timepieces made specifically for women. The family of watches first launched in 1999 and quickly became the brand’s trademark ladies’ line. Though the Twenty-4 continues to be Patek Philippe’s most popular ladies’ collection, the design has evolved since its initial debut. The most recent addition to the line released early in 2018: the Twenty-4 Automatic. This model introduced a new concept to the collection. Instead of the quartz calibres seen in all previous models, this one comes equipped with an all-new mechanical movement, the calibre 324 S C.

Ref. 7300/1200R-010 featuring a silvery, vertical and horizontal satin-finished dial

In the new millennium, Patek Philippe has taken their attention on their ladies’ models to new heights. In 2009, they released the Ladies First Chronograph, Reference 7071. What makes this model particularly special is that the movement was built expressly for the ladies’ watch and later adapted for a men’s variation. Two years later in 2011, the brand introduced two more complicated ladies’ models, an ultrathin split-seconds chronograph and a minute repeater. Again in 2012, they unveiled the Ladies First Perpetual Calendar at Baselworld. However, Patek Philippe was only just getting started.

Reference 7150R/250R

In 2018 alone, Patek Philippe has launched an impressive set of complicated ladies’ timepieces. First is the latest chronograph model for ladies’, the Reference 7150R/250R. This model is a descendant of the revolutionary and beloved Reference 7071. However, this latest variation features a number of updates and modifications. For example, the brand has replaced the cushion-shaped case of the 7071 with a classic round case in rose gold. It measures 38mm and features a striking diamond bezel. In addition to the timeless round shape, the model showcases a number of other vintage-inspired details, like guilloche pushers and gently cambered sapphire crystal “box” glass.

Reference 7150R/250R Caseback displaying calibre CH 29-535 PS

Next is the Patek Philippe’s Ladies Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, Reference 7234R, launched at Baselworld in 2018. This model is the brand’s first automatic travel watch aimed at the female market. Its distinctly sporty design is a welcome departure from typical ladies’ jewellery watches. Yet, the model still incorporates some beautiful feminine touches, like a rose gold case with complementary sunburst dial. Similar to the Reference 7150R/250R, this model measures 37.5mm. Additionally, it houses the brand’s calibre 324 S C FUS automatic movement.

Patek Philippe unveiled both the Ref. 5524R and Ref. 7234R Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in rose gold at Baselworld 2018

Finally, Patek Philippe rounded out their 2018 ladies’ offerings with the latest Ladies Aquanaut Luce, Reference 5067A. The collection first launched back in 2004 and has since seen a number of style variations. The latest addition debuts an all-new blue-grey colour scheme and stainless steel construction. The dial displays quintessential Aquanaut-style embossing, which mirrors the texture of the watch’s “tropical” rubber strap. Once again, like the Reference 7150R/250R, the misty blue Ladies Aquanaut also boasts a stunning diamond bezel.

Ref. 5067A Aquanaut Luce

Combined, Patek Philippe’s four new watches for 2018 cover a wide spectrum of watchmaking. The Twenty-4 Automatic is true to its name. It is the ideal watch for any occasion and can easily transition from a business meeting to a night on the town. The chronograph Reference 7150R/250R is a beautiful complicated option for the modern woman. On the other hand, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is a fantastic sporty alternative. Finally, the Aquanaut epitomizes the luxury sport watch with the perfect balance of feminine and sporty qualities.


Cait Bazemore

Cait is a New York based writer and founder of Grey Ghost, a boutique marketing agency. After setting up shop in 2013, her first client happened to be in the watch industry. She’s since become a watch nerd with an immense knowledge of the industry and a passion for watches.


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