Patek Philippe, a name synonymous with horological excellence, recently unveiled a timepiece that not only commemorates the legacy of watchmaking luminary Philippe Stern, but also showcases the brand’s mastery of the art of watchmaking. The Minute Repeater Alarm by Patek Philippe, a limited edition of 30 pieces, combines tradition and innovation, a fitting tribute to Philippe Stern on the occasion of his 85th birthday.
The art of chiming watches: A Patek Philippe speciality
Since 1839, Patek Philippe has been at the forefront of chiming watches. This tradition was revived in 1989, under the leadership of Philippe Stern, with the introduction of the automatic calibre R 27, a pioneering minute repeater movement. Today, Patek Philippe boasts the largest collection of minute repeater wristwatches in regular production, a testament to its commitment to horological excellence.
A tribute to Philippe Stern: Reference 1938P
In honor of Philippe Stern, Thierry Stern decided to create a special edition watch called the Reference 1938P. More than just a timepiece, this watch is a symbol of the deep respect and admiration for Philippe Stern. It combines his favorite complication, the minute repeater, with an innovative alarm function that rings at the programmed time, a first for the brand.
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Tradition meets innovation: Calibre R AL 27 PS
Patek Philippe’s journey towards mastering the chiming watch is a long one. The influence of Philippe Stern has been crucial in this journey, particularly in the revival of the wristwatch minute repeater in 1989. The self-winding calibre R 27, a brainchild of that period, was the basis for this latest masterpiece. Integrating the alarm function into the iconic calibre R 27 was a formidable challenge. This led to the creation of the new automatic calibre R AL 27 PS. A harmonious blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern engineering, the movement embodies Patek Philippe’s philosophy of prioritizing user needs and technical precision.
The watch also features an ingenious selection system that allows the wearer to seamlessly switch between the minute repeater and alarm functions. This user-centered design philosophy ensures that technical sophistication does not come at the expense of ease of use.
The quintessence of Patek Philippe: technical mastery and elegance
The Reference 1938P-001 is distinguished by its Grand Feu black enamel dial featuring a portrait of Philippe Stern. Its platinum officer’s case and 18-carat gold dial exude a sense of timeless elegance. This watch is a work of art that showcases the rare craftsmanship that Patek Philippe and Philippe Stern have always cherished.
Preserving the “Patek Philippe sound“
One of the greatest challenges in creating this timepiece was to achieve the perfect “Patek Philippe sound” in a platinum case. Although platinum is the most precious of metals, it presents acoustic challenges for minute repeaters. This watch overcomes these challenges, ensuring that the chimes are clear, melodious and unmistakably Patek Philippe.
A legacy continues
The Reference 1938P-001 is more than a watch; it is a legacy. It embodies Philippe Stern’s passion and dedication to the art of watchmaking. Patek Philippe continues to set standards in the world of fine watchmaking, with creations like the Minute Repeater Alarm that not only tell time, but also tell a story of dedication, innovation and unparalleled craftsmanship.
Every aspect of the watch, from the hand-polished platinum case to the alligator leather strap, reflects a commitment to quality and luxury. The sapphire crystal case-back, which reveals the intricate movement, and the hand-engraved inscription add a layer of exclusivity and emotional value to the timepiece.
The Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm ref. 1938P is a piece of watchmaking history. It symbolizes the brand’s commitment to excellence and its homage to one of its most influential figures, Philippe Stern. A perfect blend of tradition, innovation and artistic craftsmanship, this timepiece is a treasure for any watch enthusiast.
© Photos: Patek Philippe