Patek Philippe Chronograph watch

As the advertising slogan goes: “ You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation”, but another truth is also that you don’t ever set out coveting a Patek Philippe, but you will do eventually.

Unless you’re extremely precocious, an interest in good mechanical watches comes when you’re in your mid-20s.

Because you’re at that age when carving your own niche is important you rail against the grande dames of horology – you roll your eyes at Rolex; let out a “pfffftttt” when anyone mentions Patek; instead you opt for brands that are cooler, less well-known.

And then, slowly but surely you start to concede that there are reasons why Patek’s reputation is indeed a well-earned one and your mind starts to formulate justifications as to why saving up for one is a really great idea.

Patek’s prowess when it comes to women’s watches is definitely grounds for why it should be at the top of your watch wish list. Back in 2010, before anyone else cared about making interesting women’s watches, Patek launched its Ladies First Chronograph. It was a female watch, with a serious and useful complication and a brand-new calibre to boot.

We’ve got our hands on the 7071R, as it is catchily known, to find out why this watch still stands out five years later.

THE WATCH

Patek Philippe Ladies Chronograph watch

As we mentioned the 7071R was the start of Patek’s collection of watches for women containing interesting complications. This chronograph was the first, and the watch in which Patek decided to debut its CH 29-535 calibre.

Since then there has been World Time, Travel Time, Annual Calendar, Minute Repeater, Split-Seconds Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar. Patek has been putting complications in women’s watches way before this current revolution.

WHAT’S INTERESTING?

Patek Philippe Chronograph watch

First thing is the shape. The cushion case is unusual but it gives a feeling of space on the dial, allowing ample room for the two sub-dials, and it means you can get more diamonds in the corners, so the bezel doesn’t get overloaded.

The calibre CH 29-535, which took five years of development, is manually wound. We’ve heard a few men, typically, at watch presentations in the past stating that women just don’t engage with manually wound watches for reasons too silly to repeat. Winding a watch can be such a wonderful way of engaging with what you’re wearing on your wrist and this Patek proves that perfectly.

LOOK AND FEEL

Patek Philippe Chronograph watch

All images were shot at Patek Philippe’s Bond Street boutique

Cushion shapes are very flattering on the female wrist. It especially works for those who want something more masculine but who are too bird-like of bone to carry off a really manly piece. There are blue and grey versions but we love the classic cream and caramel dial and strap combination of this, which gives it a “weekend at the Hamptons” feel. You could easily imagine a Kennedy wearing one.

WEAR IT

This is one of those watches that does have a few options depending on your personality. You could take it down the Skandi mimimalist route, with something structural – Hussein Chalayan if you’ve got the readies, Cos if not. Or, if that isn’t your style, then there is also something very WASP about this.

You just know that Gossip Girl’s Upper East Side matriarch Lillian Van der Woodsen is looking after her Patek Philippe for daughter Serena.

Whichever camp you’re in, keep the colour palette simple and let the cut of the clothes do the talking.

How to wear a Patek Philippe watch

To get this look , click on the board

NEED TO KNOW

A Patek Philippe doesn’t come cheap – this one is £57,780 ­– but the advertising is correct here, you are buying an heirloom and one that won’t depreciate in value.

Also, despite the price tag, this is a watch that is intended to be worn, not stuck in a safe, so you still get to enjoy your investment.

Buy Now: Patek Philippe 7071R Ladies Chronograph

If you are interested in the world of Patek Philippe then head to the Saatchi Gallery because, from May 27 to June 7, this grande dame of Swiss watchmaking will be hold its Watch Art Grand Exhibition. It’s your chance to see some rare timepieces, learn more about the brand’s 175-year history and soak up the atmosphere in the Saatchi Gallery. It’s a one-off and free to the public, so make sure you pop by.

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