Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic
You are likely familiar with the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic as Patek Philippe’s main women’s collection. It was first launched in 1999 and is known for its rectangular design and articulated bracelet. The Twenty-4 has been the most popular women’s collection produced by Patek for years and now there is a new addition, the Twenty-4 Automatic. While this watch looks absolutely nothing like the original Twenty-4, it is easy to argue that it has a lot more to offer. It features the same articulated bracelet, but with a more traditional round case, Arabic numerals (that personally remind me of the pilot’s watch ref. 7234R released earlier this year), and an automatic movement. This last bit is a first for the collection, since all previous Twenty-4 models contained quartz calibers. The Twenty-4 Automatic comes in five versions across three references and is powered by the caliber 324 S C (also used in the ref. 5711 and other men’s references). It measures 36mm in diameter and is available in stainless steel with a grey or blue dial and diamond bezel, rose gold with a brown or silvered dial and diamond bezel, and rose gold with a silvered dial and a diamond-set case and bracelet.
While this certainly isn’t your mother’s Twenty-4, the new Twenty-24 automatic has a lot to offer. First of all, the departure from a quartz movement is long overdue in the classic Patek collection, especially when the manufacturer has so many options to choose from. It is no surprise that they went with the tried-and-true caliber 324 S C. The choice of movement also dictated the shape of the watch – round – which arguably (or at least in my opinion) is a more friendly shape for the wrist. The new references still maintain the wearability factor and can easily be read and worn from day to night (which is exactly how Patek intended it). I think that the updated Twenty-4, while a little punchy starting at $26,083 for the steel version, definitely fills a void in the high-end automatic “everyday” watch category for women.
The Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic is the belle of the ball, a stunning debutante having joined the female-oriented Twenty~4 collection in October 2018. The rectangular-cased collection has gone round since its launch more than two decades ago. Fortune favors the bold, and chance and choice converge once again for Patek Philippe to have a collection that is moves us. The choice, in this case, was twofold: move away from the parochial case shapes and the electronics. The case was redesigned to an overall more conventional round form, and Patek Philippe outfitted the watch with a modern classic movement – the invulnerable, automatic Caliber 324.
In rounding the case, Patek Philippe also re-positioned the diamonds, setting them all around the bezel. The design team under Sandrine Stern also decided that more is more with a lacework-style gem setting technique called Dentelle that produces an offset two-row configuration to highlight the diamonds’ radiance. There are 160 Top Wesselton-grade diamonds in total, all immaculately cut and exactingly set to high standards.
The poise with which the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic wears these diamonds is nothing if not cultivated, like embroidered dew drops tailored to dazzle, but the watch can be more casual than it may first seem. That is its greatest party trick. The sartorial elegance and the spiritedness of the lacework setting ensures that the diamonds always catch light in a fantastically pleasing way, but they never detract from the gestalt of the watch.
As cool as the 0.77-carat “ice” set into its bezel is, the stainless steel case and its integrated bracelet are completely polished all around. The level of polish is so high that even a shoe shiner would be impressed. Cool as ice as its styling may be, the steel also appears warm because of the radiance and luster of the reflective surface finish.
The bracelet joins the case with a stepped and staggered formation. The links are curved to comfortably conform to the wrist, meeting the case at pointed corners on the cushion-shaped platform of the circular bezel. The bracelet barely tapers, but doesn’t feel as bulky as it may first appear and does a good job of staying out of harm’s way.
The clasp is a double folding mechanism with spring-loaded pushers opening and closing the parts of the stylized Calatrava cross engraved into each side. When the clasp is closed, the engravings match up perfectly and form Patek Philippe’s famed logo. The clasp also feels secure, and you can continue sipping your evening drinks without fear of it opening unintentionally.
While the case and bracelet are novel and sublime, it is Patek Philippe’s dial that makes the Twenty~4 studiously refined. The seminal Pilot’s Calatrava (Reference 5522A-001) inspired the Arabic numerals on the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic, rendered in gleaming white gold with a slightly softer and gentler form. They are applied to a stunning blue sunburst dial with a very purposeful, finely textured finish.
The dial has true character and will provide endless entertainment while being a joy to read. That is because the baton shapes of the handset are borrowed from the sibling Nautilus collection, proven for the last four decades to be supremely legible. The organic shape of the hands is a wonderful complement to the numerals.
The minute track chapter ring is bolstered with applied index markers spaced every five minutes. Generous amounts of luminous paint coat the hands and numerals.
Some might (in my view, misguidedly) suggest that this Patek Philippe’s dial is plain but I wouldn’t listen to them. It is finished to such a high degree and appointed with thoughtful flourishes that make time telling so intuitive, it will spoil you for every other time-telling experience day or night. Even the date window is adorned with a handsome gold frame featuring rounded corners.
Borrowing from the pilot-style watches and collocating it with an ocean-inspired, relaxed attitude bring the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic to an altruistic nexus rarely seen from the storied Geneva company to create a unique women’s collection.
It is a very stylish and confident watch for the very stylish and confident woman. Its leisurely cool complements modern femininity while retaining the sophistication, tradition, and craftsmanship of luxury high horology.
The Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic’s beating heart is the artistically made Caliber 324 S C. It features a detailed finish bestowed by the skilled hands of artisans in Patk Philippe’s workshop and is a model of reliability and beauty. The large gold rotor engraved with the Calatrava cross is swathed in Geneva stripes, and the movement’s components are decorated in the finest tradition, all on display behind a sapphire crystal case back.
The Calatrava cross also appears on the crown, but operating the crown will not stop the second hand for precise time setting, adding a dimension of poetry to the experience of owning a Patek Philippe: time doesn’t stop. The crown is a push-pull affair, which means easy access for changing the date at the end of months with shorter days.
The Twenty~4 is a top example of a luxury emphasis in a dressy sporty watch that is most things to most people. It shies just short of being outright sporty but has a robust construction and movement that can handle it all. And despite all the diamonds, it does not overshoot good taste.
Whether you’re dressed in haute couture in a city restaurant or lounging by the resort pool, it demonstrates incredible panache through its comfortable bracelet, outstanding ergonomics and weight balance, overall presence, and the sensuality of its design. It is stylish and graceful and will move with you like it is an extension of yourself. Water resistant to 30 m, it will also not complain if you decide to kick off the sarong and have a quick dip.