Patek Philippe presents the new Ref. 5303 as its first minute repeater with the striking mechanism on the dial side, together with reinterpretations of the legendary Ref. 5370 Split-Seconds Chronograph and of the classic Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.
Once a lone figure with its ceramic watches, Rado has since inspired others, beginning with Chanel in the early 2000s, with many Fine Watch brands following suit. Has the industry found an alternative to gold and its soaring price?
As early as 1986, IWC presented a Da Vinci watch with a zirconium oxide case. In doing so, it pioneered the use of this extremely dense ceramic, just a year after launching its new collection named after the Italian polymath. However, machining techniques in the mid-1980s were not sufficiently advanced to produce large volumes of ceramic parts, and only limited numbers of the watch were made.
Forty one-off watches were auctioned by Antiquorum on September 23rd in Monaco, under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II. At EUR 1.4 million (USD 1.9 million / CHF 1.7 million), the Patek Philippe Ref. 3939 tripled its low estimate.
Next year's Baselworld will see the unveiling, by Maîtres du Temps, of Chapter Three. Kari Voutilainen has been working on this new timepiece since 2008, joined last year by Andreas Strehler. Until then, and with patents pending, this next chapter remains a closely-guarded secret.