Patek Philippe: on a Visit to the Factory and Museum

Third And Final Day Of Watches Magazine Readers Travel

Who want to use the chance to visit Patek Philippe, who must get up early. At 7:15, our bus was renovated on the doorstep, to bring the participants of the watches magazine readers travel Switzerland 2017 on time according to Plan-les-Ouates. The Geneva suburb is Produktionssstandort of many luxury manufacturers, but the huge carcass of the new Patek Philippe manufacture can be seen already from a distance. The Geneva company invested 450 million Swiss francs in a new building, which will expand the company’s headquarters on six top and four basements in 2018 to 50,000 square meters. But we entered the factory, by we pass step under the huge stainless steel spiral, which rises above the main entrance.

Daniel Jaquet, Director of component manufacturing, already waiting for us, and after we had us clad in fashionable visitors overall, it went straight to the production. The former warehouse building is an interim solution, until the new production. Here, plates, bridges and wheels for the Patek Philippe caliber are made. The reader travel participants, partly even in responsible positions in production, were visibly impressed. All working steps are carefully documented and the material flow is thoughtfully organized.

In the left part of the bridge in the right arise the boards and in between gears made of long metal poles are cut, centered, geared and refined. Especially the Veredelungsschrittte serve not only the look, but make sure that the material at the surface is compressed and remains flexible in the Interior. Wheels, which are more than 15 hundredths of a millimetre thick, be even on both sides of her thighs and inside bevelled, beveled by hand. Thinner wheels on one side only. The profiles of the gears are polished, rounded the ends of the axle. Later, this high cost ensures a smoother flow of power at the wheels.

The manufacturing depth with plates and bridges is no less impressive.Huge roles, the metal strips are fed to the punch. The further transport of plates and bridges handle small transport container which together too long stick can be like jigsaw pieces herons along. So, every other machine with uniformly fixed plant parts is assembled.

Back in the main building and a little coffee break strengthened, we visited the watchmaker, which put together the many components into small works of art. Bertrand Vallet is responsible for all historic pocket watches in the House. Today he was but the most envied person in the room. Because the master watchmaker was allowed to present the precious minute repeaters. And went blow by blow in the sense of the word. While the models in Rosé gold with a lighter tone charm, Repeater watches provide a deeper tuned time signal in a Platinum case. Watches in white gold case is positioned approximately in the middle. In a direct comparison we could convince us also acoustically.The watches shown came from the production and are prior to delivery to the customer, therefore, shooting only for private purposes was allowed. However, the quality control prior to delivery. A minute repeater leaves the factory, before not one of the two owners, Henry or Thierry Stern, which underwent a final examination for acoustic watch personally.

Before we left for lunch after Geneva, we visited another customer service. As laid down in the Patek Philippe seal, belongs to the promise of quality of manufacture, also, that every one of the watches, which ever was produced by Patek Philippe, here again will be repaired.For a significant watchmaking know-how is necessary – and several good sized cabinets with spare parts. We got some so impressive as chilling examples of attempts to repair watches to see, before this arrived. In addition to unrest, which “have been balanced with the help of Allesklebern” and disabled opening tests verschrammte Monoblocgehäuse, us remains above all the example of a Pocket Watch plant in memory in which the chronograph levers by a misused curved handle clip was replaced. ‘Creative’, the watchmaker commented dryly.Then we had demonstrated that a review in particular is respected, to leave the watch in the original state as far as possible. If this is not possible because a component is broken or lost, manufactured spare parts on small hand-operated lathes. So with the same tools as the Originateil.

So impressed, we continued the watches magazine reader travel in the Patek Philippe Museum. Daniel Jaquet was us also here an expert companion, which showed us some selected highlights from five centuries of art of watchmaking. In addition to the company’s history, especially the incredibly broad collection impressed of historic watches: starting from sundials first iron timepiece and artful and crafted with incredible attention to detail portraits on jewelry watches to hin asalive-looking machines and pistols, from which firing instead of a pop a little birdie twittering hops out of the barrel. The wristwatches and the exhibits of current Patek Philippe collection make the conclusion.

With sincere thanks and visibly impressed we said goodbye to both the Museum and the manufacture of Patek Philippe. Caused many individual contacts between the participants in the three days of the watches magazine readers travel, and who knows, if not again meet at a future reader travel. It would not be the first time.

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