At the opening of its annual Rare Handcrafts Exhibition in Geneva, Patek Philippe took the covers off a suite of watches and clocks decorated with artisanal techniques, including a new version of its ultra-fancy grand complication, the Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 6002R.
First offered in blue enamel, and then black, the Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 6002 was the most complicated wristwatch in Patek Philippe’s catalogue, until the Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300 and Grand Sonnerie ref. 6301.
But the Sky Moon Tourbillon remains the most ornately decorated amongst its peers, with every surface of the case – and even the hands – engraved with arabesques and the dial in cloisonné enamel.
Enormous at 44 mm wide and over 17 mm high, the Sky Moon Tourbillon is an expensive, complex wristwatch that looks, well, expensive and complex. It’s often a statement piece for the segment of clients who find a Richard Mille affordable but unrefined, the new rose-gold variant makes sense.
The metal is the most popular for high-end watches, globally but especially in Asia. It is warmer and richer, making the watch seem even more luxe – a useful characteristic in watch like this.
The rationale for the Sky Moon Tourbillon in rose gold is clear. As a watch, I am certain it will be impressive, probably even more impressive than the earlier versions of the watch due to its brighter colours.
It’s too baroque – and of course unaffordable – for most, but the target demographic will love it.
Rare Handcrafts is the label Patek Philippe attaches to its timepieces decorated with traditional decorative techniques, ranging from enamelling to marquetry. Although small in number relative to the scale of the company, Rare Handcrafts are a key part of the brand’s identity, and also a significant portion of its business.
The Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 6002 embodies both Rare Handcrafts and multiple complications, making it a perfect encapsulation of the brand’s contemporary watchmaking.
Its case decoration is extensive – 100 hours of engraving according to Patek Philippe. All surfaces of the large case are engraved by hand with “volutes and arabesques”, including the rim of the case back and slide for the minute repeater. Even the folding clasp is engraved, as is the pair of matching cufflinks that’s delivered with every watch.
The dial on the front is decorated with two forms of enamelling. The leaves in the centre are cloisonné – tiny gold wires that form the shapes, which are then filled with enamel.
The rest of the dial is, on the other hand, is champleve. Here, the dial base – which is solid 18k gold naturally – is engraved to recreate recesses that are then filled with enamel, leaving only the relief portions visible. The minute track and frames for the day and month, for instance, are the raised parts of the dial base.
In terms of complications, the hand-wind cal. R TO 27 QR SID LU CL inside has 12 of them displayed on both sides of the watch. The movement is modular construction made up of three primary layers – the base movement with minute repeater and tourbillon, a perpetual calendar module on the front, and the astronomical display module on the back.
The front is home to the time and perpetual calendar with retrograde date, while the back is made up of a star chart that shows the sky over Geneva as well as sidereal time.
And on the left side of the case is the slide for the minute repeating mechanism.
Key facts and price
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat
Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 17.35 mm
Material: 18k rose gold
Water resistance: Humidity and dust resistant; not water resistant
Movement: Cal. R TO 27 QR SID LU CL
Functions: Time, perpetual calendar with leap year and retrograde date, sky chart with sidereal time, minute repeater, and tourbillon regulator
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 38-48 hours
Strap: Alligator with engraved folding clasp
Accessories: Engraved cufflinks in 18k rose gold
Limited edition: No, but expect a long waiting list
Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: On request
For more, visit Patek.com.
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