Patek Philippe is largely considered by most people to be the most famous name in watchmaking. Their timepieces are highly coveted and are often the centrepiece of serious investors’ collections. Recently one of their series 1923 watches sold at Sotheby’s auction for $2.965 million. Two years earlier a Henry Graves Yellow Gold Minute Repeating timepiece realized $2.994 million. In August 2013 I wrote two articles about the Only Watch auction due to be held in Monaco on September 28th that year. Thirty-three brands donated a diverse range of superb timepieces to this cause and raised a staggering € 5,066,000 ($6,883,732). Unbelievably Patek Philippe’s unique titanium 5004T netted five times its reserve price and achieved € 2,950,000 (4,008, 490).
Patek Philippe watchmaking has become the standard other brands adhere to. In an episode of HBO’s groundbreaking series The Soprano’s (entitled ‘Watching Too Much Television’ from the fourth season) the protagonist Tony Soprano rewards his young lawyer Brian Cammarata with a $15,000 Patek Philippe timepiece. This illustrates that even in modern culture their watches are considered the epitome of luxury. A few months ago I had the great pleasure of reviewing the sensational Platinum Celestial 6102P from their complication range. Ultimately I was mesmerized by the exceptional quality and aesthetic of the timepiece.
On a recent trip to Sydney I was afforded the opportunity of trying on another opulent Patek Philippe called the Nautilus Rose Gold Baguette Diamond Bezel. Dimensionally the watch is slightly smaller than the Platinum Celestial 6102P measuring 43mm x 38m (including the crown). These proportions should appeal to the discerning collector and will make a distinctive statement. Generally I found the watch sat comfortably on my wrist and I didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Primarily this is down to the elegant cushion shape case and the use of luxurious 18-karat rose gold in production. In my opinion this timepiece would look great if worn with a dinner suit at a gala event.
Visually the Nautilus Rose Gold Baguette Diamond Bezel is one of the most extravagant pieces from the successful Nautilus collection. What makes this timepiece so extraordinary is the sumptuous 18-karat rose gold case set with 44 dazzling Baguette diamonds. From talking to friends in the watch industry, views are polarised about the use of diamonds in watch production. However I feel in this instance these precious gems enhance the overall appearance. I love the brown dial with contrasting gold indexes and hour/minute hands. Other attractive details include the calendar displayed by hand, retrograde power reserve and moon phase indications. Personally I feel the composition is refined and the attention to detail is supreme.
Beneath the brilliant façade lies a highly sophisticated self-winding movement. The Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU comprises 31-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). Each of the 265 individual components (including the exquisite 22K gold off-center mini-rotor) has been meticulously hand finished to the highest possible level. This intricate mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Nautilus Rose Gold Baguette Diamond Bezel features hours, minutes, small seconds, date and moon phase indication. The watch also has a power reserve between 38-48 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 60 metres.
The Nautilus Rose Gold Baguette Diamond Bezel has a hand sewn black alligator strap with matching 18-karat rose gold folding clasp. Priced at: $227,500 AU (available to purchase at: http://www.jfarrenprice.com.au).