The ‘watch-reading’ person must have an exceptionally high or unusually low requirement on the watch they wear. And Philippe Stern must be a person who ‘knows the watch.’ As the third generation of the family, he took over management from his father in 1993 and succeeded the president of Patek Philippe. What watch Philippe Stern wears will surely attract the attention of watch friends. This is a Patek Philippe model Ref. 3369, whose owner is exactly Philippe Stern. Looks like a normal small three-pin style, but it has a lot to offer. From the middle of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, the Observatory Chronometer clock competition was held for almost 100 years, and major watch brands took out their best products to participate in the competition. This Patek Philippe Ref. 3369 watch is equipped with a small-sized manual tourbillon movement numbered 861115, which was originally created to participate in the Swiss Observatory Chronometer competition. In addition to this unseen ‘orphan observatory tourbillon’, in fact, Philippe Stern also has a love watch, which is Ref. 3940. In 1925, Patek Philippe made the first watch of the brand using a pocket watch movement. Perpetual Calendar Watch No. 97975. After several generations of evolution, the brand launched Ref. 3940 in 1985. The first 25 models of this new model are specially made for the 225th anniversary of Patek Philippe retailer Chronometrie Beyer. They use a special champagne gold dial and printing, and they are also hand carved. From the public sale of Ref. 3940 in 1985, it was discontinued by Ref. 5140 in 2007, with a production cycle of up to 22 years. The beauty of Ref. 3940 lies in its ‘dignity and elegance, and its calm atmosphere.’ It uses the Calatrava shell shape that began in 1932, at the time of the transition from pocket watches to watches. Welding lugs directly on the case of a pocket watch and turning it into a watch is extremely unattractive. Patek Philippe has borrowed minimalist design ideas from the German art and architecture school ‘Bauhaus’, and adheres to the principle that ‘forms must obey functions’. The round case embodies the circular shape of the movement, which also reflects the legibility of the clear and pure dial, and the streamlined lugs naturally end. This Calatrava shell shape, first applied to Ref. 96, has also become an insurmountable classic, and it has never decayed in heat after nearly a century. In addition to the shell shape, the dial layout of Ref. 3940 is also very aesthetic. This Ref.3940 has a perpetual calendar function, which needs to display the day, month, date, leap year indication at the same time, and also have the moon phase. How to reasonably arrange on the dial can be said to be very difficult. Patek Philippe uses the most balanced pocket watch symmetrical layout. The center of the dial is the two hands of ‘hours and minutes’, the moon phase and date at 6 o’clock, the leap year indicator and month on the small dial on the right, and the week on the left. In order to make the dials on the left and right sides balanced and easy to indicate the adjustment time, Patek Philippe also added an additional 24-hour day and night display on the left dial. At the same time, in order to increase the visibility, the 24-hour day and night display small dial also uses a two-color printing. The light color represents the day and the dark is the night. The complicated function display has made the use of the dial space to the extreme, in order not to create a sense of congestion. This Ref.3940 of Patek Philippe uses a simple bullet scale and willow leaf hands, with an off-white dial, light and heavy, just right! At the same time, the ‘σ’ symbol on both sides of the Swiss dial at 6 o’clock, which represents the place of origin, reveals its extraordinary configuration and workmanship. ‘Σ’ is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet Sigma, which is called ‘Sigma’ or ‘Sigma’ in Chinese. Around the 1970s, Switzerland established an l’ Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l’Or, abbreviation APRIOR. The purpose of this association was to promote the use of gold in watches. Because gold has a high value preservation as a precious metal, the association hopes to use this method to further improve the compelling and value preservation of watches. The ‘σ’ symbol on the dial indicates that one of the dial, scale, and hands is gold. Before 1995, in addition to requiring the ‘balance’ mark of the ‘Hallmark Convention’ agreement on precious metal watches, Switzerland also had the mark of the country in which it was located. This 36 mm diameter case is also made of precious metal. On the left side of the case, there is an official ‘Queen’ headshot certified by Switzerland, which proves that it is made of gold. Although years have passed, if you look closely, you can still see a letter ‘C’ under the queen’s head, which means that the case passed the quality inspection in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, the western city of Switzerland. Around 1880, Patek Philippe began registering brand names for watchmakers, somewhat similar to today’s company logos. Originally ‘Patek Philippe et Compagnie’, the registered brand name was submitted in 1882, using an acronym scheme of ‘PP & C’ with fancy font decoration, but it was abandoned soon after. On April 27, 1887, Calatrava Doji was registered as the company’s brand logo. The early Ref. 3940 was equipped with a pin buckle. Later, the round frame folding buckle made in order to adopt this logo, which is often referred to as a ‘lantern buckle’ by table friends, is highly recognizable and can be recognized at a glance from 10 meters away. The beauty of Ref. 3940 is not limited to its appearance and configuration, but also its movement. Prior to Ref. 3940, Patek Philippe had 3 ornate custom-made, 9 mass-produced watches with a total of 12 perpetual calendars. Their ‘deficiencies’ are the difficulty in balancing practicality and wearing comfort. Perpetual calendars require far more constant energy supply, so the movement is best wound automatically. Even if automatic winding is realized, the perpetual calendar module in the front and the automatic tourbillon in the back will increase the thickness of the entire watch. As a formal and casual watch, thickness affects comfort and is also about elegance. In order to solve the problem of the thickness of the entire watch, in 1977 Patek Philippe applied for a patent and launched an ultra-thin automatic mechanical movement. The biggest feature of this movement is that it uses the ‘Pearl Tortoise’ design, placing the automatic rotor and other gears on the same horizontal plane, rather than superimposing them. The winding efficiency of the movement is related to the weight, diameter, and direction of rotation of the automatic tourbillon. Because the size of the pearl tourbillon is small, Patek Philippe uses 22k gold with a higher density. At the same time, it is a ‘single upward chain’, which reduces the complexity of the structure and facilitates long-term use and after-sales. At the same time, this movement is equipped with Patek Philippe’s patented Gyromax weight fine adjustment balance wheel, which is adjusted by 5 positions + cold, hot + isochronous precision. The precise polishing also meets the requirements of the Geneva Seal. The iconic Eagle + Key Logo is engraved on its splint. Because it is evolved based on Cal.240 added perpetual calendar module, the caliber model of Ref.3940 is ‘Cal.240 Q’, where Q is the meaning of perpetual calendar. There are many reasons behind Patek Philippe’s status today. One of them is the official database of watch information since the brand was established in 1839. Any watch that is over 5 years old, provide watch information, and then apply for payment to get a ‘back-up certificate’. This certificate includes watch model, style, production time, sale time, and special notes. Although the supplementary certificate cannot be regarded as a “certificate of authenticity or warranty document”, this certificate can help us understand the true history of the Patek Philippe timepiece. For example, this Ref. 3940 G with the movement number 773.109 was produced in 1992 and sold on April 16, the same year, 26 years ago. In order for this beautiful Ref. 3940 to continue to run accurately, its owner also sent it to Patek Philippe’s Beijing source mansion ‘Qianmen 23’ for 18 years for comprehensive maintenance, with accurate time and performance. Compared to the perpetual calendars of other brands, Ref. 3940 is ‘dignified and elegant, with a calm atmosphere.’ Compared to the three perpetual calendar watches that are custom-made and mass-produced with a total of 12 kinds, Ref. 3940 balances practicality and wearing comfort. Compared to its successor, Ref. 5140, the caliber of Ref. 3940 is more in line with the 36 mm diameter case, and the font with serifs is more antique. From the public sale of Ref. 3940 in 1985, it was discontinued by Ref. 5140 in 2007, with a production cycle of up to 22 years. However, it is also these advantages that made Ref. 3940 sell well for a while, with abundant reserves, and the auction feedback on the secondary market was not as good as other Patek Philippe perpetual calendar models that were discontinued early due to ‘lack’. But for those who really understand and appreciate Ref. 3940, this is not a good thing. With the least money, you can buy this perpetual calendar that is recognized by the president of Patek Philippe. —END —
Montblanc launches the Homage to Nicolas Rieussec II limited single-button chronograph in tribute to the inventor of the patented 1821 timer. Nicolas Rieussec invented the inked timer, which can record multiple time intervals by pressing the second hand with an ink reservoir. Of course, for practical reasons, timing with ink is no longer common.
Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec II single-button chronograph case, made of stainless steel, 43 mm in diameter, is exquisite and elegant. It is equipped with the self-winding mechanical movement of the MB R200 made by the brand Villeret Workshop. It is equipped with a dual barrel and 72-hour power reserve. It also has the date, second time zone and day and night display functions.
The white dial is decorated with grains of wheat, the small seconds and the 30-minute chronograph are fixed, and the hands are indicated by slim hands. The timing is more traditional than the first generation. The skeletonized hour hand in the center of the off-centre dial indicates the time in the second time zone. With a single button set at 8 o’clock, the timer function can be operated. The Roman hour markers and chronograph scale circle are made of hybrid ceramic covered with Montblanc’s unique Super-LumiNova luminous paint, which not only has perfect readability in the dark, but also brings wonderful visual enjoyment to the wearer.
Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec II limited single-button chronograph is not only a tribute to the pioneers of the watchmaking industry, but also highlights Montblanc’s modern elegance with outstanding functions and outstanding appearance.