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Thread: Does this set the bar too high?

  1. #1

    Does this set the bar too high?

    I had the pleasure of attending a little shindig hosted by Wempe and Patek Phillipe last night at Patek's U.S. Headquarters in Rockefeller Center last night. I'll post a few more impressions later once I am at my computer, but here are a few pictures of the star of the show, the Grandmaster Chime. I apologize for the less than ideal phone pictures.

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  3. #2
    The grail:
    Jean Daniel Nicolas Two Minute Tourbillon

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  5. #3
    Higher Entity Jeannie's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    North Carolina, USA
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    I'm not averse to some bling in a watch but I confess they've over decorated this one to the point it distracts from the impressive mechanics.


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  7. #4
    I agree 100%.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannie View Post
    I'm not averse to some bling in a watch but I confess they've over decorated this one to the point it distracts from the impressive mechanics.


  8. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannie View Post
    I'm not averse to some bling in a watch but I confess they've over decorated this one to the point it distracts from the impressive mechanics.

    It's even more over-the-top in person. The watch is very large (47mm diameter if memory serves) and quite thick. One of my fellow guests summed it up well by stating that whoever wore that should have a 6-trumpet fanfare announce him at every room he entered to match the pomposity of the watch.

  9. #6

    Does this set the bar too high?

    Here's the story to go with the pictures of the watch (my apologies for the automatically-incorrectly-rotated photos):

    In an extraordinary twist of events, I had the pleasure of attending a lovely gathering at Patek Phillipe's U.S. headquarters last night in Rockefeller Center. It was an event hosted by Wempe and, not surprisingly, was amazing in just about every aspect.

    I was even luckier to be invited to the pre-party event in the actual service area. We met many of the 20 watchmakers on staff and were given a tour and a hands-on of the facility. I have to apologize for the small number of photos. I incorrectly assumed that taking photos deep inside the facility would be forbidden.

    The service area itself is immaculate. It is actually like a clean room inside with its own air filtration system and soon to be completely self-contained air handling system. To say the place is spotless would almost be an insult to how pristine it really is.

    We started off with a young watchmaker (young=5 years experience--I believe the most junior watchmaker there). As the rookie of the group, she handles quartz movements and quick servicing, which includes folks who visit the headquarters unexpectedly and ask for service that can be turned around quickly. She also demonstrated pad printing. They actually add the Tiffany name to the cobranded watches in the service area. Tiffany receives completed watches from Geneva and the watchmakers uncase the movement and dial and add the Tiffany name. We got to try our hand at printing the name ourselves. It was fun to actually handle the real thing.

    Next we visited quality control where a more senior watchmaker walked us through the final steps of servicing. They were still working in that area so we saw the final touches applied to several customer's watches. Of course, most of my fellow guests were wearing Pateks so they were kind enough to toss some on the machines to test them out. One surprising thing I learned from that watchmaker is that Patek is migrating all of their movements to a silicon escapement and pallet fork. It greatly simplifies servicing and accuracy of the watches since there are no pallet stones to adjust.

    The final stop on our tour was the training classroom where we were given movements (alas only ETA 6498 movements) to partially disassemble and reassemble. After we put them back together, they brought out an older Patek movement used in ladies watches that was an exact miniaturized version of the 6498. So in the end we did get to handle a Patek movement.

    We also got a special bonus lesson due to one of the fellows in my group sporting a gorgeous Patek chronograph. They had a model of the newest chronograph movement with the jumping minute counter. The level of refinement demonstrated by the model was amazing.

    Afterwards, the real party started. The star of the show was an unexpected guest. They actually had the newly announced (and already sold out) Grandmaster Chime. Ridiculously over the top, it is quite a sight to behold. With 20 complications and a price tag of $2.5M, it is certainly impressive.

    The party was hosted by the Larry Pettinelli and Wempe's head in the U.S.

    The view from Patek's offices are particularly nice.

    Last edited by FuzzyB; Dec 8, 2014 at 02:59 AM.

  10. #7
    Wow, very impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  11. #8
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    The Netherlands
    Cool! Thanks indeed!

  12. #9
    i'm sure its quite wonderful but would not look out of place on Louis 14th's bedside table - one thing that occurs is that if one wore [not that it would ever be worn guess] this surely if you much preferred one face , the underside would be considerably more worn away or worn smoother by the wrist over time

  13. #10
    So Rudy from Wempe was there? Awesome guy, will sit and talk watches all day at the store without pushing you to buy a thing. Makes ya want to buy

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