While a lot of the attention on Patek Philippe at BaselWorld this year was focused (rightly so) on the new 5960 Annual Calendar in stainless steel (and speculation about what’s coming up for the 175th anniversary celebration later this year, about which Patek has so far managed the unlikely achievement of a total information blackout) they also introduced two new ladies’ timepieces that we thought captured in many ways how to do an exemplary, haute de gamme level ladies’ watch. These are the two references 4968G-010 moon phase, in white gold, and the quietly but definitely lush 7121/1J-001.
They’re both powered by a lovely movement: the moon phase variant of Patek’s cal. 215, the 215 PS LU (LU in this case for phase de lune, or the moon phase, and PS for petite seconde.) Caliber 215 is an excellent choice for these watches; the 9 3/4 ligne movement’s unassuming but also has the feeling of self-assured quiet luxury one expects from Patek Philippe. Either as a step up from a quartz powered ladies’ watch or as an heirloom-grade timepiece in its own right, it’s got the advantage of assuring whomever buys it that the more they learn about watchmaking the happier they’ll be with their choice.
The case designs are also highly refined, unassuming but luxuriously feminine, with vintage-flavored straight lugs; we loved both these designs but can’t help but observe that the bracelet of ref. 7121/1J-001 is exceptional (and it makes us wish once again to see a grain-of-rice bracelet on one of what we think is one of the most under appreciated Patek Philippes, the Golden Ellipse.) Setting ref. 4968G-010 apart, however, is a lovely subtle detail: the diamonds in the bezel are set in a gently arcing spiral.