News: Flat luxury watch sales mean Chinese economy not picking up

Sitting there unwanted

Bloomberg just reported luxury watch sales in Hong Kong to Chinese buyers did not recover in July, meaning the Chinese economy is not picking up. Sentiment amongst the retailers surveyed was generally weak.

“China’s economy, the world’s second- biggest, is yet to rebound according to one gauge: sales of the luxury watches that business people give to clients and officials to build commercial relationships.” Read the rest of it on Bloomberg. But remember that slow growth doesn’t mean a contraction. If the demand for high-end watches starts to contract sharply I expect that will do wonders for pricing.


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A Detailed Look at the Patek Philippe 10 Day Tourbillon Ref. 5101P

The 10 Day Tourbillon ref. 5101P is another grande complication from Patek that embodies this mastery of haute horlogerie.

Patek Philippe is a grand old house with a phenomenal history in complications. Today it still remains one of the top complications maisons, even though I find it’s entry to mid level watches, like the Nautilus or even the not so mid level 5131 cloisonne world time, expensive for what they are. But at the top end of the complications spectrum, Patek movements have a flair that competitors lack. They just have that special something, like the spectacular ‘octopus’ wheel on the 5016 grande complication, that is perhaps reflective of the brand’s institutional memory and heritage (or maybe it’s just the Sterns).

The 10 Day Tourbillon ref. 5101P is another grande complication from Patek that embodies this mastery of haute horlogerie. The finishing is of course spectacular, no doubt about that as these photos demonstrate. Like the octopus wheel on the 5016, the 5101 has wonderful details in its finishing that need to be seen up close. Specifically, it’s the four sharp points at the end of the black polished tourbillon bridge that prove why this is one of the most magnificent tourbillon watches today.

Notice the rounded bars of the tourbillon bridge as well as the superb finishing of the tourbillon cage

This is an early 5101P and it still has the Geneva Seal. There is no tangible difference between the Geneva Seal and Patek Philippe Seal watches but I prefer the Geneva Seal.

The most beautiful detail

An obvious rival is the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon. Impeccably finished as it is, the Galet Classic lacks the little extra finesse of the Patek in my humble opinion.

Notice all visible jewels are in pressed, gold chatons
The movement style, symmetry and layout are reminiscent of Patek tourbillon wristwatches made for Observatory trials like the ref. 3834
The adjustable weights of the Gyromax balance wheel

Historically Patek Philippe was also a first mover with this watch. It was unveiled in 2003, just before the long, painful slide downwards of the tourbillon as a true high complication. Not only is it a tourbillon but it also has a 10 day power reserve, which is unusual back then. Aesthetically I love this watch as well. The long and sleek case is distinctively Art Deco, with its stepped sides. It reminds me of the Chrysler Building, one of the most beautiful structures in the world.

This platinum model pictured with the salmon dial, with blackened gold hands and indices (which unfortunately often discolour), was the first version launched and is now discontinued. It has been replaced with a less attractive yellow gold model with a lacquered enamel dial.

The dark patch on the dial at eight o’clock is a reflection and not a stain, but the seconds hand is discoloured as is common with blackened gold

Enjoy the rest of the photos below. Note that this watch pictured has been worn extensively by the owner, so it does show wear and tear (and probably a need for servicing). – SJX

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Pateks in Geneva

Baselworld 2013: Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5227 with officer's style case

The Calatrava Ref. 5227 is the latest Patek Philippe dress watch with officer's style case, this time with an invisible hinge for the case back. It is simple but classically attractive in the traditional Patek Philippe style.

Geneva Seal exhibition in Geneva

Welcome to the new Watches By SJX.

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