Conforming to the ethos of the original collection, the 2018 update of the Twenty~4 has been designed for the modern woman. And, true to its name, the Twenty~4 works for a multitude of occasions across the day: it’s a watch that can be worn to work and easily transitioned to the evening thanks to its versatile design. It’s restrained, yet abundant in fine detail; functional, yet impeccably stylish.
Since its beginning in 1839, Patek Philippe has enjoyed a long and thriving history as one of the most respected names in watchmaking. Horology enthusiasts and experts alike have revered the brand’s intricate movements and its refined sense of design, thanks to its capacity for releasing consistently exceptional watches. In particular, Patek Philippe’s women’s watches have been favoured among everyday wearers and high-profile buyers. Queen Victoria purchased a blue enamel timepiece in 1851, and in 1868, the company produced the first Swiss-made wristwatch for a Hungarian countess. The Twenty~4 is a testament to Patek Philippe’s meritorious past, fitting nicely into a long line of high-quality timepieces.
The year 1999 saw the introduction of the Twenty~4 collection, which quickly became a signature of Patek Philippe. Known for its rectangular shape and articulated bracelet, the original Twenty~4 has long been the brand’s most popular women’s collection. But this year called for an update on the original after Patek Philippe saw an increasing demand for well made (and versatile) women’s watch designed for everyday use.
Enter the Twenty~4 Automatic, a revised version of the initial design that, on the surface, looks nothing like its predecessor. The new Twenty~4 Automatic features the same articulated bracelet and expertly hand-set gemstones, but most other elements have undergone a serious overhaul. Most notable is the fact that the new collection has been refreshed with a round dial to house a self-winding mechanical movement. While the previous Twenty~4 models housed quartz movements, the contemporary interpretation is powered by automatic movements. The Twenty~4 Automatic uses Patek Philippe’s very own calibre 324 S C complete with a Gyromax® balance and Spiromax® balance spring in Silinvar®. In essence, the self-winding movement is impeccably precise and reliable.
In line with Patek Philippe’s reputation for producing exquisitely crafted watches, the manufacture of the new Twenty~4 complies with the strict standards of the Patek Philippe Seal. Using elaborate high-tonnage presses, the case and bezel are cold-formed before being delicately machined to refine the contours. They are then polished manually by experts who carry years of watchmaking experience.
Aesthetically, the Twenty~4 Automatic builds on the tasteful design of the original, but is distinctly more casual in its appearance. The first iteration of the Twenty~4 came with a small rectangular face, which gave the watch a classic, bracelet-like look. The new version has a sportier and more relaxed edge, broadening its appeal to a younger, style-conscious market. The 36mm round face is complemented by a slightly domed sapphire-crystal glass, a sturdy articulated bracelet, rounded baton hands with luminescent coating.
The ‘6’ and ‘12’ Roman numeral hour markers on the original have been replaced by Arabic numerals in a typeface that reminded me that used on the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time.
While the mechanics and overall design features are uniform across the range, the Twenty~4 Automatic collection contains five different finishes: it’s available in two stainless steel versions and three in rose gold. In stainless steel, the watch’s dial comes in a sunburst blue or sunburst grey with black gradation. In rose gold, the dial is either a lush sunburst chocolate brown, or silver-grey with a beautiful double horizontal and vertical satin finish. All variations feature diamond-set bezels. Patek Philippe has also released a more elaborate rendition of the rose gold and silver-grey watch, which is embellished with 469 diamonds — totalling around 1.88 ct — across the crown, lugs, and the bracelet’s outer links.
For the modern woman, the Twenty~4 Automatic is a wise choice. Combining a chic aesthetic with some of the finest mechanics on the market, it’s a watch that delivers functionality and style at any time of day.
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