This summer in Tokyo, Patek Philippe unveiled a unique watch that pays homage to the rich culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.

The watchmaker keeps interest alive with remarkable thoroughness. More than 500 watches and other art objects were exhibited at the Watch Art Grand Exhibition, which is organized every two years and each time in a new city. The pieces from the Handcrafts Collection attracted particular attention. Enamel miniatures, sculptural engraving, and marquetry — rare techniques that Patek Philippe craftsmen master to perfection — were on full display.

Japanese Stamps

When it comes to demonstrating craftsmanship, nothing serves as a better “canvas” for an artist than the iconic Patek Philippe “dome” watch. The Dome Clock model ref. 20141M-001 “Japanese Stamps” was inspired by vintage Japanese stamps with the temple gate and Mount Fuji. The dome features silhouettes of Australia, Oceania, and Japan. Above them, a carrier pigeon delivering a letter flaps its wings. Each motif was hand-created using line engraving and coated with translucent brown enamel to give the effect of shadows and patina. About 15.15 m of gold wire and 14 colors of opaque and translucent enamels were used to border the stamp and decorate the dome, which required 5 to 8 firings at a temperature of 820°C.

Snow-Covered Landscape

Among the wristwatch models prepared for the exhibition, one of the most impressive was Ref. 5738/50G-025 “Snow-Covered Landscape,” which was inspired by the legendary Golden Ellipse Collection. All 10 pieces were decorated in the Grand Feu cloisonné enamel technique based on national Japanese engravings. The artwork features a picturesque bridge in the middle of snowy Tokyo. To achieve voluminous contours, it took approximately 75 cm of gold wire, cut and shaped into silhouettes by hand. The winter ambiance was captured using 17 different shades of enamel and miniature painting.

Tokyo As The Crow Flies

The watchmaker also unveiled the unique Table Clock ref. 25014M-001 “Tokyo As The Crow Flies,” 53.5 mm high, decorated with a schematic image of Tokyo when viewed from above. Streets, parks, and lakes extend from the dial to the silver convex side “panels.” Before applying the enamel, all areas were decorated with fine-mesh guilloche designed to shine through its translucent layers. To create a vibrant palette, the craftsman used about 12.4 m of gold wire and 16 shades of opaque and translucent enamel.

Shizuoka and Mount Fuji

Despite being an anachronism in the era of rapidly advancing Internet technologies, pocket watches continue to pique the interest of collectors worldwide. For the Tokyo exhibition, Patek Philippe craftsmen have prepared several unique pieces on an elegant stand, thus turning them into tabletop pieces as well. The Ref. 995/134G-001 “Shizuoka and Mount Fuji” is decorated with several enamel techniques: flinqué, cloisonné, and relief miniature elements. The artwork features tea plantations and Mount Fuji against a bright blue sky, with a train rushing by.

Photo: press-office