Patek Philippe has a flair for making complications look beautiful, on every level. With almost 180-years’ experience under its belt, the brand’s talent for ensuring that the exterior of the watch is as beautiful as its interior is legendary. The new ladies’ Chronograph, Ref. 7150/250R, is the only women’s chronograph in Patek’s current line-up and combines the prowess of a first-class chronograph movement with the refined craftsmanship and elegant aesthetics we associate with the Genevan powerhouse of some of the world’s most refined and sought-after watches.
2009 was a landmark year for women at Patek Philippe with the launch of Ref. 7071, the first chronograph conceived exclusively for women with a manufacture movement (in fact, Patek launched its first in-house hand-wound chronograph movement on a ladies’ watch…) In circulation until 2016, the manual-winding, column-wheel chronograph movement powering the Ref. 7071 is now housed in a classic round 38mm rose gold case replacing the original cushion-shaped case. The look is quintessential Patek Philippe with refined vintage touches and design details that lend this 7150/250R chronograph its superlative legibility and elegance.
Ladies’ complications at Patek Philippe
Women have always played a pivotal role at Patek Philippe and the first three watches recorded in Patek, Czapek & Cie’s fledgeling archives were sold to a certain Madame Goscinska in 1839. The first Patek Philippe wristwatch, a hunter type case in rectangular yellow gold with black enamel and rose-cut diamonds, was in fact made for women and sold to the trend-setting Hungarian Countess Koscowicz in 1868. In 1916, Patek produced its first repeating wristwatch, a five-minute repeater on two gongs housed in a 27mm platinum case and conceived for women and, following a hiatus of 80-odd years, resumed its production of women’s complications with the women’s Travel Time Ref. 4864 of 1997.
Today, the head of watch creation is Sandrine Stern and Patek is renowned for its wide array of complications for women, from minute repeaters to dual time zones, moon phases and annual as well as perpetual calendars.
In tune with the trend for vintage-inspired details
Unlike many younger brands which have to poach vintage aesthetics from the annals of watchmaking history, Patek has copious historical records of all its watches produced since its foundation in 1839. The 38mm 18k rose gold case of Ref. 7150/250R is a winning combination of old and new and features prominent, vintage-inspired pushers decorated with manually guillochéd tips.
The slender case band of Ref. 7150/250R (the height of the case is just 10.59mm) gives the watch an elegant, feminine profile and the bezel is set with 72 white diamonds adding a refined sparkle and shedding light on the functions displayed on the dial. You will notice that the lugs are quite unlike anything in Patek Philippe’s current collection and break with the rotundity of the case and pushers thanks to their dynamic, eminently architectural presence with salient angles and a pleasing pronounced curvature.
The incorporation of a pulsometer scale – originally used by doctors to measure heart beats per minute – and the classic horizontal layout of the 30-minute counter and small seconds are another nod to the chronographs of yesteryear. Yet another touch designed to take us back in time is the use of Breguet-style hands – with their hollowed-out tips – and the applied Breguet-style pink gold numerals that lean slightly to the right. The contrast between the chronograph functions – picked out in black with white gold black nickel-plated hands – and the gorgeous silvery opaline dial noticeably enhances legibility.
Like the mineral glass crystals used on watches from the past, Ref. 7150 has been fitted with a box sapphire crystal on the dial. Admiring the watch, I was struck by the way the raised box crystal manages to infuse the dial with light, volume and height, allowing it to breathe.
A beautiful machine: Calibre CH 29-535 PS
This same effect of volume is achieved with the box-type sapphire crystal protecting the movement allowing it to float in space. Inside the beautifully finished case is Patek Philippe’s proprietary calibre CH 29-535 PS, the same manual-winding movement used in the discontinued cushion-shaped ladies’ chronograph of 2009, Ref. 7071 and also used in the superb ref. 5170 for men. This column wheel chronograph with a centre chronograph hand, a 30-minute counter and subsidiary seconds has six patented innovations and is fitted with a Gyromax balance and a Breguet balance spring. Beating at 4Hz, the movement offers a solid 65-hour power reserve. The Patek Philippe Seal, which vouches for the finished watch, including the manual finissage of movement’s parts, can be appreciated in the exquisite Haute Horlogerie finishes, including Geneva stripes, bevelled bridges and circular graining.
Presented on a hand-stitched alligator strap in a shiny mink-grey colour, the gold prong buckle is embellished with 27 diamond. The new Patek Ref. 7150/250R has a suggested retail price (incl. taxes) of EUR 76,130. In a nutshell, Ref. 7071 is the ultimate luxury ladies’ chronograph that will seduce women with a passion for refined horology and classic Patek Philippe design. More details on patek.com.