Patek Philippe: an anniversary watch dedicated to Philippe Stern

patek philippe an anniversary watch dedicated to philippe stern
patek philippe an anniversary watch dedicated to philippe stern

You will never completely own a Patek Philippe . You will just be its guardian for future generations.” No other slogan translates so well the notions of transmission and emotional heritage linked to watches. Created in 1996, the motto of the famous Swiss manufacturer today takes on a particular meaning by applying to its own history. Through a very special limited series, Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe since 2009, pays a beautiful tribute to his father who preceded him at the head of the house.


The information communicated by Patek Philippe, one of the favorites of lovers of fine watchmaking, is both sober and very exciting for collectors. “To celebrate the 85th birthday of Philippe Stern, president of the manufacture from 1993 to 2009, and current honorary president, Patek Philippe has developed a new striking watch with minute repeater and alarm. This limited series of 30 pieces, equipped with a new exclusive movement which will never be reused, is also distinguished by its officer-style platinum case and its black grand feu enamel dial with portrait of Philippe Stern in miniature painting. This is essentially how an event watch was born, at the initiative of Thierry Stern, representative of the fourth generation of the Stern family, owners of Patek Philippe since 1932.


Exceptional and emblematic of the Patek Philippe spirit, this unique piece, officially named “Minute repeater alarm reference 1938P-001”, is so for several reasons. First of all, by the complication that drives it. Within the Geneva manufacture, we recall that since its birth, in 1839, the house has always shone in the field of chiming watches: “Whether it is chiming in passing (grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie), or of ringtones on demand (repetition)”, it is specified. Scholars will remember that in 1989, on the occasion of the 150eanniversary of Patek Philippe, Philippe Stern, who was then its director, marked the great return of the minute repeater in wristwatch format by launching the automatic-winding caliber R 27. To bring the piece unveiled today to life, we should not be surprised to find this mythical mechanism, this one being enhanced for the occasion with an alarm device. Within the workshops, we underline how the integration into the R 27 caliber of this alarm function sounding the programmed time proved to be a very complex task. A difficulty materialized by the filing of four patents. “The challenge was to create a watch sounding the minute repeater and the alarm on the same two classic gongs, while retaining the lock system housed in the left side of the case, the true visual signature of Patek Philippe minute repeaters. To achieve this, after activating the lock, the movement had to be capable of both instantly striking the time displayed on the dial – in minute repeater mode – and of putting the strike on hold until the time displayed corresponds to the time programmed in alarm mode”. No less than 227 components had to be added to achieve this result.

Despite its extreme sophistication, the new automatic caliber R AL 27 PS is simple to use: a pusher positioned in the crown allows you to select the striking mode which is displayed in a small bell-shaped aperture visible on the dial at 3 o’clock . The alarm time is adjusted to 12 hours from quarter hour to quarter hour thanks to the crown pulled out to the intermediate position and the Breguet-type central hand in pink gold pointing the powder-coated scale rose gold around the periphery of the dial. The homage to Philippe Stern continues with the choice of an officer’s case with straight lugs and screwed lugs, reminiscent of the reference 3960 launched in 1989. Made in platinum, it has a diameter of 41 mm. Faithful to the house’s tradition of its models made from this prestigious material, the reference 1938P-001 is set with a diamond, on the middle, at 6 o’clock. Beyond the technical decisions intended to recall Philippe Stern’s tastes in watchmaking, a double aesthetic evocation marks this anniversary piece: his portrait in miniature painting, white and gray enamel, on a background in black grand feu enamel, adorns the 18-carat gold dial. And the sapphire crystal back of the case is protected by a hinged bowl hand-engraved with these words: To my father  85 years of watchmaking passion . It’s all summed up like this…




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