Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe has unveiled a new grand complication with the Ref. 6002 Sky Moon Tourbillon. According to the manufacture this timepiece is based on the Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon, Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatch, with 12 complications on two dials.
The new Ref. 6002, the Sky Moon Tourbillon also boasts impressive complications, including a minute repeater with two cathedral gongs and a tourbillon. On the front dial this watch indicates standard time, alongside a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date and a moon-phase display. Meanwhile the the rear dial features astronomical functions, showing the northern sky, sidereal time, and the angular progression and phases of the moon. While the Ref. 6002 features the same caliber RTO 27 QR SID LU CL movement as the Ref. 5002, this new timepiece indicates the moon phases instead of the moon age, and features apertures instead of hands for the day of the week, month, and leap year displays.
Also new on the Ref. 6002 are the lavish dials inside the white-gold case, with decorations featuring arts like engraving, milling, applique setting, and champlevé and cloisonné enameling techniques. For example, the ornate Calatrava cross on the dial was produced via chip removal techniques using sharp burins that not only incise the precious metal but actually “lift” the decorations out of the gold surface. The engraver molded the gold of the case in bas-relief while applying the burins chisel to sculpt this three-dimensional decoration.
Another example is the relief techniques to decorate the minuterepeater slide in the case flank, the two crowns, and the white-gold clasp that locks the strap. The dynamometric winding crown at 4 o’clock shows an arrow in relief to indicate the direction of rotation, while the moon and stars in relief on the crown at 2 o’clock reveal that it is intended to adjust sidereal time and the celestial functions on the rear dial.
On the front dial the recesses around the relief contours are filled by hand with blue enamel, while the center of the dial is decorated with cloisonné enamel. This technique involves shaping the contours of the blossoms and leaves using fine, flattened gold wire that must be affixed to the dial. The result of countless hours of painstaking work is numerous separate cells
(cloisons) that are then filled with enamel of different shades of blue. The Roman hour numerals on the dial are gold appliques, while the markers of the retrograde calendar scale, the PATEK PHILIPPE GENEVE and TOURBILLON inscriptions, the movement number and the stars are painted bright gray. The cratered surface of the lunar disk was emulated with gradations of white, gray, and black enamel.
According to the manufacture, each Ref. 6002 required more than one hundred hours of work and underwent the approval of master artisan and Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern.
Photos by Patek Philippe.