Patek Philippe: Always Busy Doing Mona Lisa Stuff

You have to admire Patek Philippe. For two reasons; one, they will service or repair any watch that they have ever made, no exceptions. Something that Rolex and most Swiss brands refuse to do, they simply stop making parts after so many years and that’s it, buy a new one, here’s a 10% off voucher.

Two, they look to innovate and invent complicated stuff for its own sake. This is the essence of art throughout human history. Whether you’re painting impressionist lilies, designing a Honda six cylinder motorcycle engine, or daubing a crude Banksy cartoon onto a wall, it’s really all about new ideas, challenging existing thinking and sometimes, celebrating the sheer poetry of engineering.

There, we went all German on you and defined engineering as pure poetry but if you’ve ever looked at – or heard – an Alfa Busso V6, then you won’t argue. You’ll know.

So we say, hats off to PP for this new repeater watch, with its four patents, platinum hammers and tiny gongs and beautiful see-thru case. Limited to just 15 pieces this is billionaire boys club stuff that mere mortals earning less than Bill Gates can only dream about owning. But loving watches means you admire the movements, the details, the thinking behind it, surely?

Love that pierced dial plate too, like a screen inside a confessional at the Vatican. This Fortissimo watch is something of a religious quest by PP, they’re aiming high because when you’re number one at something the only way is down, so standards have to be set ever higher. That’s great for watchmaking in general and let’s hope it inspires other brands to create true one-off wristwatches in 2022.

The Fortissimo may be a rich man’s toy, and some might say a waste of precious resources. But then so are e-scooters, built on slave labour lithium batteries and the sweat of poor workers in China. So let’s not get trapped by the jealous, so-called `green’ anti-consumer narrative here. This is what watchmaking is all about; beauty in perfect, symmetrical motion. If you can afford excellence, then pursue it.

Here is a short video from PP.  Enjoy the craft.

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