Before the Twenty~4 Automatic
It’s fitting that Patek Philippe launched the initial Twenty~4, Reference. 4910/10A, in 1999 on the cusp of the 21st century. Notably, it was the first stainless steel ladies bracelet watch from Patek Philippe. The inherent versatility of stainless steel over precious metals alluded to, at the time, that the Twenty~4 was designed to complement the style and match the pace of life for the modern, active woman. And as its name suggests, it’s the sort of watch to be worn at any time of the day.
Since launching in stainless steel, the Twenty~4 collection has expanded to include gold and other precious metal variants. Its integrated bracelet is exceedingly comfortable on the wrist and bolsters its appeal as a versatile watch to be worn throughout the day. Powering the Twenty~4 is a high precision E15 quartz movement with six jewels and 57 parts. It’s also water resistant to 30 metres (100 feet).
Uncompromising Approach Towards Gem Setting
Characterised by its rectangular case flanked by two rows of flawless diamonds, the dial of the Twenty~4 is minimal but immaculately executed, with Roman numerals for the 6 and 12 o’clock and diamonds for the rest. For almost two decades, the Twenty~4 has been as much about wearability as it has been about promoting Patek Phillipe’s expertise in gem setting. When Patek Philippe uses diamonds, they are always of the internally flawless grade (known as IF) and are immaculately cut and set. Precision cutting is vital in ensuring regular and even setting.
Patek Philippe takes the same approach it does with watchmaking as it does with gem-setting, gems are set by hand without the assistance of any adhesives. For diamonds set within a bezel, the gem setter positions each by carefully folding in the metal collar (usually gold) that surrounds it, or in an invisible setting, where the gem has a groove on the underside that fits onto a hidden grid of rails. All gems must be the same height, point in the same direction and be placed level. It’s impressive how much time and effort they put into it.
2018 – Introducing the Twenty~4 Automatic
In Steel & Rose Gold
Introducing two firsts for the Twenty~4. This time around, Patek Philippe has launched a self-winding, round cased Twenty~4. Appropriately called the Twenty~4 Automatic. Coming in 2 stainless steel versions and 3 in rose gold. Dial naming conventions have changed as well, on stainless steel, there’s the blue sunburst (Ref. 7300/1200A-001) and grey sunburst with a black graduation (Ref. 7300/1200A-010). Both with a 160 set diamond bezel (~0.77 ct). Gone are the Roman numerals and in their place, Patek Philippe has used gold applied Arabic numerals. The rose-gold watches are also available in two colour combinations: a sunburst chocolate brown and graduated dial (Ref. 7300/1200R-001) or a silvery grey dial graced with an exclusive double horizontal and vertical satin finish that is reminiscent of wild Shantung silk (Ref. 7300/1200R-010).
Both the numerals and rounded baton hands receive a luminescent coating, excellent additions, giving the Twenty~4 Automatic a slightly sporty appeal. Sapphire crystal is found on both sides of the 36 mm diameter (10.05 mm high, from crystal to display back) case, there’s also a date window at 6 o’clock. It’s another departure from the initial design of the Twenty~4. And a step towards positioning this collection as both beautiful and practical. It looks equally at home paired with an evening gown or dressed down in business casual attire.
If the bracelet isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to want to wear it for long. Thankfully, one of the best features of the original Twenty~4 was its integrated bracelet that snugly (and comfortably!) hugged the wrist. And it seems that, for the Twenty~4 Automatic, Patek Philippe has taken a similar approach to bracelet design. Its bracelet features gently cambered central links framed by delicate two-tier outside links. The case and bezel are cold-formed in high-tonnage presses and then carefully machined to refine the contours. Afterwards, the links are manually polished, a time-consuming process which requires careful attention and years of experience.
Reference 7300/1201R-001 is particularly noteworthy, its rose gold bezel, lugs, crown and bracelet are set with 469 diamonds. All bracelets are fitted with a new patented fold-over clasp (Patent EP3162241B1) that is functional and comfortable on the wrist.
Reference. 7300/1201R-001 (pictured above) is for ladies who prefer a “dressier” watch. It is lavishly adorned with 469 diamonds for a total of about 1.88 ct, including the crown, the lugs, and the outer links of the bracelet. The dial stands out with its silvery Shantung finish. The bracelet alone is decorated with 248 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds (~0.81 ct) on the outer links.
324 S C Self-Winding Calibre
All five variants house the 324 S C self-winding movement. Featuring a Spiromax® balance spring in Silinvar®, it’s dependable and well made, living up to the strict standards of the Patek Philippe Seal. As for decorative finishes, it exhibits elaborate manual finissage (such as chamfered and polished edges and Geneva striping) that can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back. Beating at 28,800 (4 Hz), the 29-jewel movement has a 21K unidirectional central rotor. It has a power reserve of 45 hours.
Going back to 1839, Patek Philippe has been one of the few brands that have consistently dedicated its expertise towards making exceptional timepieces for women. In 1851 Queen Victoria purchased a timepiece in blue enamel and in 1868 crafted the first Swiss-made wristwatch for Hungarian Countess Koscowicz. Earlier this year at Baselworld 2018, Patek Philippe gave a new look to its ladies manually wound chronograph by unveiling Ref. 7150/250R. Featuring a rose gold case and adorned with vintage detailing in the form of round guilloched chronograph pushers and a gently cambered sapphire-crystal “box” glass. Its 72-set diamond bezel frames a silvery opaline dial. Classic beauty meets modern watchmaking. Once again Patek Philippe has masterfully straddled the line between classical detailing and modern functionality with its Twenty~4 Automatic. In short, the Twenty~4 Automatic is a bold and confident re-interpretation of a classic collection from Patek Philippe, and yet another milestone in the brand’s rich heritage of exceptionally well-made ladies watches.
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