Patek Philippe Boss Says The Ultimate Luxury Replica Watch Brand Will Never Kowtow To China

In recent years many luxury Swiss replica watch brands have a made a big push to cater to the Chinese market, seen as the best hope to revive flagging profits in the wake of the economic downturn. While there is a crackdown on conspicuous consumption in the communist-controlled country, a number of those efforts have diluted the prestige of certain brands in the eyes of consumers. This caused luxury watchmakers with huge amounts of unsold inventory while the spike in profits proved to be brief.

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At the exhibition, Patek has made a big statement.

At the recent Patek Philippe Replica Grand Exhibition in NYC, Patek President Thierry Stern, whose family owns the prestigious replica watch brand, explained to the Singapore Straits Times why Patek never fell for the Chinese, and never plans to kowtow to any specialty market no matter how hot it gets.

Patek Philippe Replica in China

“It would be a big mistake to adapt to a market,” he told the paper. “If people like Patek Philippe, it’s because they like the design and the philosophy of the brand. If you start to adapt yourself to every market, you are going to lose that.” As for the watchmakers that rushed to produce special Chinese market models and made other concessions, “They all thought it was going to be fantastic, they were going to sell so many watches. I warned a lot of them, but they just produced, produced, and produced. Look what has happened.” Stern credited the fact that his family has total control over the company as the prime reason they’ve managed to remain so true to form. This makes the Patek Philippe collection very consistent with their stance on luxury and philosophy. “You can’t do that if you’re part of a group with a strict CEO,” Stern said, in an apparent dig at the likes of Richemont and LVMH.

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Patek Philippe is known for the luxurious fake watches. Should they bend to what the Chinese market wants?

“We are a family business,” he noted. “I bring my creativity and I innovate. I also have a guardian in my father who tells me to keep a certain DNA in the brand.” The Stern family has owned Patek since 1932. Each watch they produce requires at least nine months to make and costs between $20,000 and $100,000. The company has set production levels at 58,000 pieces per year and will not increase it to meet the demands of any market, according to Jing Daily. Nor will Patek ever shift the number of pieces allocated to the U.S. and European markets to China or any other country. And it has absolutely no plans to engage in e-commerce. “It’s a good moment when you decide to buy a Patek Philippe Replica,” Stern says. “You go to a store, you’re willing to sit, listen, learn about watches and try them on…. They’re not a lot of them around. You need to choose wisely.”

The Patek Philippe Art Of Replica Watches Grand Exhibition To Include Major Pieces From U.S. Collectors

Patek Philippe’s “Art Of Replica Watches Grand Exhibition” will be coming to New York in mid-July, as we announced way back in October. This exhibition will include an absolutely huge range of major watches and clocks, covering not only Patek Philippe’s Replica history, but the history of watch and clockmaking in general, going back over four centuries. Patek has just announced that, especially for the U.S. opening of the exhibition, a room dedicated to important watches commissioned by, or owned by, major figures in American history, will be included in the exhibition. The exhibition will be in New York from July 13 through 23 at Cipriani 42nd Street, and will be open to the general public, free of charge.

In addition to the dedicated U.S. exhibition space, the exhibition will include rooms dedicated to the company’s current collection, as well as a Museum Room, a Grand Complications Room, and a Rare Handcrafts Gallery. Watches shown will include not only those made by Swiss Replica Patek Philippe, but also historically important timepieces dating back to the late Renaissance, from the Patek Philippe Museum. Here are four of the important Patek watches that will be shown in the U.S. Historic Room.

The James Ward Packard Astronomical Pocket Watchpackard_back

“The Packard” was commissioned by James Ward Packard in 1927, and is one of the most complicated Patek Philippe watches ever made; it includes a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, running equation of time (equation of time marchant), and sunrise and sunset times. As well, the back has a highly detailed star chart, showing the stars visible at any time of year rising and setting in the sky above Warren, Ohio – Packard’s birthplace.packard_front

A 1928 Complicated Pocket fake Watch Owned By Henry Gravesgraves_dial

As everyone interested in watches finds out sooner or later, there was a bit of an arms race between James Ward Packard and Henry Graves, with each attempting to outdo the other in both the cost and complexity of the timepieces they ordered from Patek. For Graves, the ultimate weapon was the ground-breaking, record-setting watch now known as the Graves “Supercomplication,” which hammered for about $24 million at auction in 2014. However Henry Graves owned many other watches as well, and six pieces from his collection, from the Cheap Replica Patek Philippe Museum, will be in the US Historic room – including this one, with grande et petite sonnerie, minute repeater, and perpetual calendar with moonphase.graves_back

Joe DiMaggio’s Personal Patek Philippe Replica Ref. 130J

This particular Patek 130J was given to DiMaggio by the owners of the New York Yankees, and was made in 1948. Currently in a private collection, it has been loaned to Patek Philippe for the exhibition (and you can’t help but idly wonder what this reference, with this provenance, would fetch at auction).Joe_DiMaggio_Ref._130J

A Desk Clock Showing The Time In Three Time Zones, Owned By JFK

This clock was presented by Will Brandt, Mayor of West Berlin, to John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1963 (the day after his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech). It was commissioned for the occasion from a German retailer named Heinz Wipperfield and shows the time in Moscow, Berlin, and Washington D.C. for obvious symbolic reasons. Patek was an early innovator in quartz timekeeping and in its time such a clock would have been both a precision instrument, and a luxury. The book, Patek Philippe Museum Vol. II, says, “This portable clock, fitted with a completely autonomous quartz movement, was developed by Patek Philippe’s Electronic Division…Used in conjunction with the ‘red telephone’ and the telefax linking the White House to the Kremlin, this clock was kept on President Kennedy’s desk in the White House.” The Electronic Division was created right after World War II, in 1948, and by 1958 had produced its first prototype quartz clocks.kennedy

This is obviously just a small sample of all the watches which will be in the U.S. Historic Room, much less the exhibition as a whole, which will include watches going back to 1530, over a two-story space constructed just for the show. For more details on The Art Of Watches Grand Exhibition, check out our coverage of all the details, and the announcement at Patek.com.

Your Patek Philippe Replica Caliber 89 Now Needs A Service – A Look At Horology’s Easter Problem

When Patek Philippe Replica released the first Caliber 89 (in 1989) to celebrate its 150th anniversary, it was one of the most complicated watches ever made. One of the most unusual complications in the Caliber 89 is one that hasn’t been duplicated since (that I’m aware of, anyway) – an indication for the date of Easter. The reason why is not simply because Patek has a patent for the date-of-Easter mechanism, either. It does, however, have to do with the fact that a true date-of-Easter complication is probably the single most difficult complication in horology – so much so, that despite the Caliber 89, it may, for all intents and purposes, be impossible.

In the Caliber 89, the date-of-Easter complication is handled by a mechanism for which Patek Philippe Replica applied for a patent in 1983. The patent lists, as the inventors of the date-of-Easter mechanism, Jean-Pierre Musy, François Devaud, and Frédérique Zesiger; Jean-Pierre Musy has been with Patek Philippe for nearly four decades and has been the company’s technical director for many years. The mechanism for displaying the date of Easter was designed to show the correct date from 1989, until 2017. The reason that all four Caliber 89 watches are now in need of service has to do with how the Caliber 89 “knows” the correct date.

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Patek Philippe Replica Caliber 89

Easter is one of the “moveable feasts” of the Christian calendar; it falls on a different date every year. The reason is this: the basic rule for Easter is that it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring (that is, the first full moon after the Spring Equinox) and because both astronomical events are variable, the Easter date changes every year. (As with any calendrical irregularity, there have been various proposals over the centuries to just pick a single date, but so far nothing has stuck). For this reason, Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

The Caliber 89 date-of-Easter mechanism knows the right date for Easter thanks to a notched program wheel. Basically, the program wheel advances one step per year and each step has a different depth. Depending on the depth, the hand showing the Easter date will jump to the correct date for that year.

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Date-of-Easter mechanism, Patek Philippe Caliber 89

The mechanism is reasonably straightforward; in the original patent diagram above, you can see the program wheel just to the right, at 3:00, as well as the question mark-shaped rack that moves the actual hand. The hand itself (15) is shown, as well as the spiral spring that retains it in position once it’s jumped to the correct date. (The rack is lifted by the lever, 27, which pivots at 28; the same lever indexes the program wheel via the toothed wheel 40. You can see the foot of the rack sitting on one of the program wheel steps, at 10, held in place by the spring, 26.)

You can easily see now the only problem with this otherwise ingeniously designed mechanism: the program wheel can have only so many steps. The program wheel might remind you of the one at the heart of a classic perpetual calendar, but a leap year cycle repeats, reliably, once every four years (there are corrections at 100 and 400 years, but again, these are predictably periodic). The date of Easter, on the other hand, repeats a full sequence of possible dates at a much longer interval of years, and so can’t be fully encoded in a program disk.

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Swiss Replica Patek Philippe Caliber 89, astronomical indications; the date of Easter is shown in the sector above the star chart.

Calculating the date of Easter didn’t used to be quite so complicated. The rule according to the Julian calendar was fairly straightforward. A full cycle of full moon dates was thought to follow a 19 year cycle (the so-called Metonic cycle, which you might remember from our coverage of the Vacheron ultra-complication 57260) consisting of 235 lunar months. A fully cycle of the Julian calendar was 76 years (after four Metonic cycles – 19 x 4 = 76 – a full leap year cycle was completed also). Easter dates repeated, in the Julian calendar, every 536 years – as Ian Stewart points out in his 2001 Scientific American article on the subject, the mathematical principle is that, “532 is the lowest common multiple of 76 (the Julian calendar’s cycle) and 7 (the cycle of days in the week).” As we all know, though, the Julian calendar did not adequately correct for the actual time of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun vs. the number of days in the calendar, and gradually it drifted badly out of sync with the seasons.

Then Pope Gregory XIII came along. He instituted a new calendar – what we now know as the Gregorian calendar – and, to correct the drift of the Julian calendar, decreed a one-time update wherein the day after Thursday, October 4, 1582 would be not Friday, October 5, but rather Friday, October 15. (It’s said many farmers bitterly opposed the correction, seeing it as an attempt on the part of landlords to deprive them of a week and a half’s rent.)Alessandro_menganti_busto_di_gregorio_xiii_boncompagni_inv._1559_02

With the new calendar came a new procedure for calculating the date of Easter. Each year would be assigned a number called the Epact – this was the age of the Moon on January 1 (the number could be anywhere from 1 to 29). In addition, each year was given a letter corresponding to the date of the first Sunday in January (A-G). These “Dominical Letters” (Leap Years get two) plus the Epact for that year, plus the Golden number (where you are in the Metonic cycle) are the raw material used to calculate the date of Easter. These are just the basics – in order to keep the ecclesiastical Moon and Equinox reasonably aligned to the astronomical ones, periodic adjustments have to be made which make the actual calculation much more complicated (for a good look at how things get complicated fast, check out this article on the Cycle of Epacts, which will tax your appetite for minutiae like you wouldn’t believe).

A couple of points: first, the astronomical events considered in the calculation are abstractions. The Church considers March 21 the fixed date of the Spring Equinox, but in fact, the date of the actual astronomical Equinox varies from one year to the next. Second, the astronomical full moon doesn’t always correspond to the ecclesiastical full Moon. Creating algorithms that spit out the correct date of Easter has been a diversion for mathematicians ever since Gregory XIII reformed the calendar, and even before. Karl Friedrich Gauss, who is often called the greatest mathematician of the 19th century, came up with such an algorithm in 1800, and in The Art Of Computer Programming, Donald Knuth (who famously coined the term “surreal numbers” to describe John Conway’s discovery of a set of numbers much larger than infinity) wrote that, “There are many indications that the sole important application of arithmetic in Europe in the Middle Ages was the calculation of the date of Easter.”20019981_copy

A method for calculating the Easter date is called a computus; is it possible to make a true mechanical computus, rather than relying on a program disk? The answer is, “sort of.” The first true mechanical computus appears to have been made not long after Gauss came up with his algorithm, and it currently resides in a place more horological enthusiasts should know about: the great astronomical clock in the cathedral at Strasbourg, in Alsace, France. There have actually been three successive astronomical clocks there since about 1354, but the most recent was completed in 1843. Designed by Jean-Baptiste Schwilgué, it has a true mechanical computus – probably the first ever constructed.  It’s not the only mechanical computus, but I haven’t been able to find anything in English on other computus devices (although a reprint of a review of a book on the Strasbourg computus mentions at least two other “similar” mechanisms).

Certainly it’s the only one of its kind in terms of operating principles; I’m actively trying to research how it works but it’s an uphill climb to put it mildly. The clock itself is a virtuoso piece of horology even without the computus – an article by Bryan Hayes, for Sciences, in 1999, mentions that there is a gear in the astronomical train of the clock that makes one rotation every 2,500 years, and that furthermore, the clock features a celestial globe that makes one rotation about an axis showing the precession of the Equinoxes only once every 25,000 years (the article was on Y2K compliance, and on how the Strasbourg clock is Y2K compliant with a vengeance).Strasbourg_Cathedral_Astronomical_Clock_-_Diliff

Fortunately for the horologically curious (and maybe intellectually masochistic) you can see the computus mechanism – it’s on display in a case at the lower left hand side of the base of the clock. You’ll notice that among the otherwise gnomic assembly of gears is a display for the Epact of the current year, as well as the current Domenical Letter. The “Nombre D’Or” or Golden Number is the number corresponding to the current year’s position in the Metonic cycle (one through 19, as shown) which is also necessary for the calculation.Strasbourg_Astronomical_clock_Comput_ecclesiastique

Once a year, on New Year’s Eve, the mechanism comes to life. Its gears turn and, on the main calendar ring next to the computus – mirabile dictu – a metal tab changes position until it comes to rest next to the correct date of Easter for that year.

Schwilgué had made a model of the computus as well, which was stolen in 1945 and hasn’t been seen since. However, clockmaker Frederic Klinghammer (1908-2006) who was employed by a company that at one time was responsible for the care of the clock, built a working model of the computus in the 1970s, and it’s that model which is the basis for what modern information there is on how the Strasbourg cathedral computus actually works.

At this point you can understand why the trio who designed the date-of-Easter complication for Patek might have looked at each other and said, “Okay, guys, look … let’s just go with a program wheel.” Modern fabrication techniques might make it possible to make a mechanical computus, based on Schwilgué’s design, that would fit into a large wrist or pocket watch but my guess is that even with things like LIGA and silicon fabrication, it would be pushing it (though I’d kind of love it if someone would try). A 28 year program disk seems a reasonable compromise, even if replacing it with a disk for another 28 years probably involves non-minor surgery on the Caliber 89. The program disk is an unavoidable necessity as, if you use the current rules for calculating the date of Easter, a full cycle of Easter dates only repeats itself once every 5,700,000 years.

The Strasbourg clock appears to be built to be theoretically correct until the year 10,000 AD (the year indication goes to 9,999 and Schwilgué is supposed to have helpfully suggested that in 10,000, someone might paint in a “1” to the left of the year window). However, if the computus follows a 10,000 year cycle, it will output the incorrect date for Easter in 11,999. In that year, the computus will display the date of Easter as April 4th; in fact, the correct date will be April 11nth.

As you can probably imagine, a program disk for the full cycle of Easter dates would be a wildly impractical thing as well; it would have to have 5,700,000 steps in order to encode the full cycle of Easter dates. If you assume that the 28 step disk is, say, 3 cm in diameter, this gives an approximate circumference of 9.42 cm. That means each individual step takes up about 3.364mm (94.2mm/28).

A 5,700,000 step program wheel would, therefore, be over 19 million millimeters in circumference – more exactly, about 19.176428 kilometers, which is roughly 6.1 km across. Even by pocket watch standards, that’s getting a little hefty.20019987_copy

There is a hidden, abstract beauty to the date of Easter – the very long period of its date cycle hides a remarkable structure. Ian Stewart explains:

“In general terms, the date of Easter slips back by about eight days each year until it hops forward again. The pattern looks irregular but actually follows the arithmetical procedure just described. In 1990 Alan Mackay, a crystallographer at the University of London, realized that this near-regular slippage ought to show up in a graph that compared the date of Easter with the number of the year. The result is approximately a regular lattice, like the arrangement of atoms in a crystal.”

“The peculiarities of the calendar, however, make the dates vary slightly as compared with the lattice. The graph more closely resembles a quasicrystal, a molecular structure built for the first time in the early 1980s. Quasicrystals are not as regular as crystals, but their arrangement of atoms is by no means random. The structure is similar to a curious class of tilings discovered by University of Oxford physicist Roger Penrose; these tilings cover the plane without repeating the same pattern periodically. The atoms of quasicrystals have the same near regularity, as do the dates of Easter. The holiday is a quasicrystal in time rather than space.”Patek-Philippe

The date of Easter encodes a strange kind of orderly disorder, and yet, even that is an expression of an abstraction that only approximates reality. Over a period of 5,700,000 years, as Bryan Hayes points out in his 1999 article on Y2k compliance and the Strasbourg clock, things like tidal drift will cause enough variation in the orbital and rotational periods of the Earth that any algorithm will require ad hoc correction anyway (assuming any humans are around by then to celebrate the holiday in the first place).

You can look at the Fake Patek Caliber 89 and see its date-of-Easter complication as a compromise, but it isn’t – not really. Yes, it’s true that the whole structure of astronomical mechanical complications – whether in the Strasbourg cathedral clock, or in watches like Caliber 89 – is a manifestation of a world view. That worldview – of an orderly clockwork universe, with tidy nests of ratios that can be encoded in gear trains – never really existed; the real universe is chaotic and probabilistic. But it is a beautiful vision, albeit it says more ultimately about how we would like the universe to be than how it actually is. There is a poignancy, whether intentional or not, in the fact that there is, at the very heart of the Caliber 89 – a monument to the dream of the music of the spheres – a mechanism that acknowledges that that beautiful dream is also an impossible one.

For a more complete discussion of date-of-Easter algorithms, including that of Gauss, and another famous method submitted anonymously to the journal Nature in 1876, see the Wikipedia article on the computus.