How Much Hands-On with the Patek Philippe Ref. 5208T-010 “Only Watch” in Titanium Replica Watches Free Shipping

Set against the mainly black dial, they’re legible without being too disruptive or blocky due to their open-worked character. In general, it is an aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully performed dial. It’s similar to some other Patek Philippe Watches Usa Replica watches and I suspect that motive will help justify why some people will like it and why some individuals won’t. 6006G around, you will realize that the 240 PS C movement. The automatic movement is as appealing and immaculately done as you would expect a standard Patek Philippe to be. While nothing exemplary from the brand, I do believe that the Calatrava Ref. 6006G will be the only watch using this motion, at least for the time being. Made of 191 components and functioning at 21,600 vph (3Hz), the 240 PS C includes a minimal 38 hour power reserve and maximum 48 hour power reserve.The part of the movement obviously meant to capture the eye is that the 22k gold strand using the Patek Philippe Calatrava cross engraving.As I mentioned, the circumstance is 39mm wide and a slender 8.84mm thick and using 22mm wide lugs, it’s a good, substantial wrist existence. The case is done in 18k white stone, which has always been one of my least favorite materials. When I want gold, I prefer yellow or rose gold. Otherwise, it’s Platinum when considering pieces that seem more subdued but are evident to anybody having a marginally trained eye to spot as being that pinnacle precious metal. White gold leaves me uninspired, but that’s a personal taste. What I do envision here to the Calatrava Ref. 6006 is a version in steel, but I will hold my breath for now.The Calatrava Ref. 6006G comes in an alligator strap with an 18k clasp.It’s normal, although I must say it seems a bit too formal considering that the “whimsical” dial of this watch. Still, it matches with the overall aesthetic of this watch and isn’t something I invested too much time thinking about for good or bad.A entertaining, unusual offering from Patek Philippe, the newest Calatrava Ref. 6006G will be available later in the year.

Patek Philippe‘s entry this year for Only Watch is its most complicated creation to date: a ref. 5208T-010 grand complication in a titanium case. Mechanically it’s identical to the stock model, which is to say very complicated: a minute repeater, a single-button chronograph, and an instantaneous perpetual calendar. And the ref. 5208 also happens to be one of Thierry Stern’s favourite watches.

What makes it different is the case and dial. Patek Philippe has made it a habit of rolling out one-off watches in steel or titanium for the biennial charity auction, and so it is for the 2017 instalment of Only Watch (there are whispers it will be the last auction). The case is identical to that of the ordinary platinum version, still 42mm in diameter with the same open-worked lugs.

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 2

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 10

So while it is still large, the watch is feels unusually lightweight, one of its best qualities. The lightness of titanium, or its lack of denseness put another way, is also a big boost for the minute repeater.

While the standard ref. 5208 in platinum (and most other Patek Philippe repeaters in the same metal) sound slightly muffled thanks to the hefty case, the Only Watch repeater is surprisingly sonorous. It sounds good.

The movement inside is the cal. R CH 27 PS QI, the second (or third depending on how you measure it) most complicated wristwatch movement made by Patek Philippe, after the whopper that’s inside the Grandmaster Chime.

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 9

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 8

It has an novel black rhodium finish, which is a pale grey and distinct from the silvery “white” rhodium finish that’s standard. Also unique to this watch is the engine-turned decoration on the platinum micro-rotor.

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 6

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 7

The guillochage on the rotor reproduces the pattern on the “carbon fibre” pattern on the dial. While modern looking enough that traditionalists might find it too modern, the dial guilloche is executed by hand and devilishly difficult to do. The motif is engraved with a traditional rose engine, with each of the horizontal and vertical strokes that mimic the weave of carbon fibre being individually engraved.

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 1

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 5

The dial is finished in a dark metallic blue with lots of white accents, including Super-Luminova on the hands and hour markers, giving it a sporty-ish look. That’s further enhanced, or exacerbated depending on the perspective, by the fabric strap with white stitching.

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 4

Patek Philippe 5208T Only Watch 3

Overall the ref. 5208T-010 “Only Watch” is a curious beast, both impressive and peculiar. One thing, however, is certain – the watch will be by far the most expensive lot at the Only Watch auction. The estimate is SFr900,000 to SFr1.1m, or about the same in US dollars.

The crucial question is how expensive it will be. The Patek Philippe ref. 5016A at Only Watch 2015 hammered for SFr7.3m, briefly becoming the most expensive watch ever sold a world record before being bested by the vintage ref. 1518 in steel a year later.

While this year’s ref. 5208T is more complex thus intrinsically more expensive than the steel ref. 5016A, it has a decidedly contemporary look. While this look is goes down well with many of Patek Philippe’s retail clients, the preferences of buyers who splash out at watch auctions tend towards a more classic style. In fact, the taste for retro Patek Philippe watches – think Breguet numerals, leaf hands and the like – is so strong that it has also become fashion.

For that reason the price of the ref. 5208T will face resistance on its way up, leaving chances slim that it’ll surpass the mark set by its predecessor in 2015.

To see the entire Only Watch catalogue and place bids, please visit Christies.com.


 

Legality Of Buying Profile: Jean-Pierre Hagmann, Case Maker Extraordinaire and a Legend in His Own Time Replica For Sale

As for me, I felt that the black framing of this date/day/month apertures on the previous model looked too crude. I think that the best way I could put it is that they almost felt as though black eyes on the face of the dial, though that may sound a little harsher than I intend. These apertures look more like a set of glasses that look like a natural match and attractively frame the face. The power reserve indicator right in 12 o’clock still bothers me and just seems awkward, even although the functional goal of the complication is hard to deny. And needless to say, the white outer ring of the monocounter signifies the chronograph hours, together with all the interior rings suggesting the chronograph minutes.Something I have to add is that I’m usually not the greatest fan of five-link bracelets, and this preference remains unchanged here. It’s done as tasteful as well as one can be, however, and the way the curving lugs hug the wrist in a manner in which the five-link necklace does appears to function as natural fit for the watch.Seen in the caseback and adorned with a 21k gold strand using the Patek Philippe seal, the in-house 28-520 IRM QA 24H motion is a mouthful, but a very impressive and important one in that. Our David Bredan went to the motion when the preceding steel model was introduced and I will repeat his overview of this movement here:”The movement indoors (and have a deep breath now) is your completely in-house fabricated CH 28-520 IRM QA 24.

Often described as “celebrated” in auction catalogues, Jean-Pierre Hagmann is arguably the most famous maker of watch cases, or boîtier in industry parlance, of the late 20th century. Guided by his principle of “simple is better but quality is important”, Mr Hagmann is one of the few component makers in Swiss watchmaking who has become a marquee name in his own right.

Widely known by his initials “JPH” – the maker’s mark found inside his watch cases – Mr Hagmann has made watch cases for almost every significant watch brand in Switzerland, having earned particular renown for the minute repeater cases he made for Patek Philippe.

Now 76 years old and a guest at Dubai Watch Week 2016 thanks to auctioneers Christie’s, Mr Hagmann is amongst of the last of his kind, a specialised craftsman who exemplifies the artisanal nature of watchmaking that persisted until the late 1990s, an era that he obviously recalls fondly. His roster of clients included major names like Audemars Piguet, Blancpain and Patek Philippe, manufactures that today produce cases in their own facilities.

Jean-Pierre Hagmann at Dubai Watch Week 2016

A professed classic motorbike enthusiast, Mr Hagmann still goes to his Geneva workshop daily – the vocation is a passion for him – but he has sold the enterprise to Vacheron Constantin. Each morning he turns up at 7am to pass on his case making expertise to a Vacheron Constantin engineer.


Even by the prolonged standards of Swiss watchmaking, Mr Hagmann’s career has been a grand one, spanning almost 60 years and many of the most famous jewellers, case and bracelet makers of Geneva, the traditional centre of Swiss jewellery.

He started in 1957 as a trainee at Geneva jeweller Ponti Gennari (the defunct company’s former premises are now the Patek Philippe Exceptional Watches Replica Museum) and spent the next four years learning the craft. That period was a quiet one for jewellers with “not much work” due to slack demand for gem-set baubles.

Mr Hagmann then found employment at Gay Freres, the well known jeweller as a junior employee in the watch bracelet department. Mr Hagmann’s entry into watchmaking proper came in 1968 when he joined case maker Gustave Brera. There he learnt case making, an art he says is driven by both “creativity and precision”.

A JPH ring with an unusual elegant setting

In 1971 Mr Hagmann moved on to Jean-Pierre Ecoffey, a well known maker of bracelets and chains for watches. J.-P. Ecoffey soon acquired famed case maker Georges Croisier, and put Mr Hagmann in charge of the watch case division. By 1984 Mr Hagmann had enough expertise and opened his own eponymous workshop.

“Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Longines, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Gerald Genta” were just a few of his clients, according to Mr Hagmann. The client roster also included the leading names in independent watchmaking of the 1990s, ranging from Franck Muller to Svend Andersen.

In fact, not only did Mr Hagmann produce the case for the first ever wristwatch tourbillon, an early Franck Muller creation, the case maker also designed and manufactured the first Cintree Curvex, the tonneau case that is now the Franck Muller signature.

The Franck Muller tourbillon wristwatch of 1984, likely the first tourbillon wristwatch ever, with an “Empire” style case made by Jean-Pierre Hagmann

The first Cintree Curvex case was produced by Mr Hagmann in 1991 for a minute repeater with perpetual calendar movement

According to him, 99% of the cases he produced were either 18k gold or platinum – he says platinum cases require a quarter more work than the same in gold – with steel watch cases usually made for restoration projects.

In those days watch brands were much smaller outfits, allowing Mr Hagmann to nurture personal relationships with many of the employees within the brand. He remembers Madam Dimier, for instance, a designer at Audemars Piguet who created elegant, feminine watch cases in the 1970s. And Mr Hagmann says he knew some 100 of Patek Philippe’s employees by name, back when the watchmaker had a workforce about 600 strong, compared to over 1400 now.

Jean-Pierre Hagmann interview 2016-7

Watch brands would first bring a design drawing to his workshop, which he would then translate into a case construction. Mr Hagmann likens the case manufacturing process to a tennis match, with lots of back and forth on the design and construction of the case.

Case and bracelet prototypes made for Audemars Piguet in 1985

A press clipping from 1982 explaining the one-handed Audemars Piguet Philosophique wristwatch, with a JPH case

A crucial quality of a good case maker, according to Mr Hagmann, is to understand the “spirit and vision” of the watch brand, to be able to “think like [the client]”. Mr Hagmann sees a parallel in classical music: the composer writes the music, which is then interpreted by the conductor.

And like written music, watch cases back then started out as line drawings on paper, explains Mr Hagmann, with zero electronics or computers. Even the process of making the case was often manual and tedious, with automated CNC machines not having been adopted by the watch industry yet.

A hand-drawn plan dating from 2013 for recreating an antique Audemars Piguet pocket watch case

Significant calculations had to be done to ensure the cost of production could be recouped, with the cost of the tooling amortised over a sufficiently large production run.

Typical orders were for batches of 200 to 400 case, according to Mr Hagmann, with a minimum of 50. And if the case was for a new, unproven model, the initial order would be between 50 to 100, with hopes for more.

A frequent strategy in those days – and one that is still favoured today – was to start making a particular model only for one gender to test the waters, says Mr Hagmann. If that sold well, the watchmaker would then replicate the case with smaller proportions for ladies, or in a larger size for men.

Mr Hagmann’s workshop performed the entirety of the case making process, from the design and construction to the stamping and finishing. Whereas historically case making was often segregated, with craftsmen specialising in specific steps of the process, Mr Hagmann explains he was one of the few vertically integrated case makers at the time.

At work in the 1980s


That skill led him to become the case maker of choice for some of the most complicated and expensive watches ever, including the Star Calibre 2000, the monumental grand complication pocket watch Patek Philippe introduced at the turn of the millennium.

According to Mr Hagmann, the Star Calibre case was one of the most complicated he has ever constructed, in fact amongst the most challenging watch cases ever made in Switzerland. Notably, Mr Hagmann says the Star Calibre case was significantly more complex than that of the Calibre 89 (he was asked by Patek Philippe to do it but declined due to a full order book), despite the latter being a more complicated watch.

Mr Hagmann recalls the times he spent with Paul Buclin, a master watchmaker at Patek Philippe, refining the case of the Star Calibre 2000. Mr Buclin was an extraordinarily talented but humble watchmaker, according to Mr Hagmann, a “French genius” who drove a Citroen 2CV to their meetings.

A major obstacle in building the Star Calibre case was its size. The initial design for the case was too massive, explains Mr Hagmann, resulting in an overly heavy case that did not do justice to the chiming mechanism. One facet of the solution was the open-worked covers on both sides of the watch case.

Mr Hagman says he delivered 26 cases for the Star Calibre 2000 – a feat that took six weeks to accomplish – with only one being returned by Patek Philippe for adjustments, a fact he is immensely proud of.


But more so than the Star Calibre 2000, Mr Hagmann is inextricably linked with Patek Philippe because of the cases he built for the watchmaker’s minute repeating wristwatches, namely the refs. 3974, 3979 and 5029, for which he produced 80, 80 and 75 cases respectively.

Mr Hagmann’s watch cases are famous enough that Patek Philippe repeaters hallmarked “JHP” are singled out in auction catalogues, since some collectors find them more desirable. He produced some 1500 repeating watch cases in all, with about a third going to Patek Philippe.

So what was his secret? There are “no specific rules”, says Mr Hagmann, with repeater case construction similar to building a violin or guitar – the sound produced can be very different from what is envisioned. And compounding the problem is the fact that minute repeating wristwatches tend to vary in shape and size, requiring lots of trial and error to perfect the sound.

That being said, Mr Hagmann does offer some basic guidelines. To start with, smaller and lighter cases produce better sound, with gold being a superior metal to denser platinum. In particular, he singles out rose gold as the best choice for a repeater case, because the composition of the material makes it stiffer than other gold alloys.

Mr Hagmann also adds that the stability of the repeater movement matters as well, with the ideal striking movement being flat and stiff.

More specifically, Mr Hagmann also says a repeater watch case should be no thicker than 0.5mm on each side of the movement. And he adds the crystal should be “bombé“, or domed.

Mr Hagmann built the cases for the Patek Philippe ref. 3974

Mr Hagmann’s repute as a builder of the finest minute repeater watch cases came not just from their quality, but also the innovations he pioneered. Many were revolutionary at the time, but as many of his inventions were not patented, today “everyone copies him” as he puts it.

Another JPH-signed Patek Philippe repeater case, the ref. 5029

One of his key developments was the recessed track on the side of the watch case for the repeater slide that is now the industry norm. This was originally developed for Patek Philippe, which has now makes its own watch cases with the same feature.

Historically the slide was mounted on the surface of the case side, attached on the inside with a screw, which meant occasional instability and off-centre alignment, according to Mr Hagmann.

Mr Hagmann’s sketch of the repeater slide attachment on the case

His solution, now seemingly elementary but a major breakthrough at the time, was a channel for the slide, both to secure its lateral position and guide its motion when in use.


While Mr Hagmann is best known today for his wristwatch repeater cases, he states in no uncertain terms that the most difficult task in case making involves pocket watches, specifically savonette cases with hinged covers, also known as hunter-case watches.

Savonette translates as “little bar of soap”, a name that stems from the fact that such pocket watch resemble a well-used bar of soap, says Mr Hagmann.

In the past, building a pocket watch case was complex enough that each component of the case, from the bow to the crown, was built by a specialist. Five different specialists were required to complete a pocket watch case, says Mr Hagmann.

Drill bits used for case making

According to Mr Hagmann, one of the most testing steps in building a savonette pocket watch case is the sprung and hinged lid. In fact, Mr Hagmann adds that the construction of the spring and the locking mechanism in the lid were separate specialities in the past, giving the mastery needed for each.

The ideal savonette lid opens silently to a 82 degree angle, says Mr Hagmann. And a savonette cover should open and close firmly but not violently, explains Mr Hagmann, adding that adjusting the tension of the lid could take up to two hours.

Jean-Pierre Hagmann interview 2016-4

He remembers that Patek Philippe was especially demanding in the construction of its pocket watch cases, giving him specific instructions that the lid mechanism should be elegant, fine and smooth.

Building pocket watch cases is particularly rewarding, says Mr Hagmann, because it puts him amongst the great watchmakers of history. He cites vintage Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, and even Danish watchmaker Urban Jurgensen, as having made particularly fine watch cases in the past. His work is merely a continuation of this centuries old craft.


Today Mr Hagmann still practices his craft, going to the workshop daily, though he no longer works full days. With watch brands increasingly building watch cases in-house, or acquiring case specialists, Mr Hagmann represents an increasingly scarce breed of Swiss artisan. And more than that, he is one of the few craftsmen who has become a legend in his own time.

A special thanks to Eliane Sarr Julia for translating, The Portsmouth Group for setting it up, and Remy Julia of Christie’s Dubai for bringing Mr Hagmann to Dubai Watch Week.

Jean-Pierre Hagmann interview 2016-1

Mr Hagmann’s own wristwatch: a 1938 pocket watch movement signed “Inter Watch” inside a platinum case of his own making


Additions November 19, 2016: After G. Brera, Mr Hagmann worked at J.-P. Ecoffey before starting his opening workshop. Number of wristwatch repeater cases made for Patek Philippe added.