New and Used Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Watches Buying Guide
A relatively young watch collection by today’s standards, the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 watch line for women has become a true phenomenon for the brand. Born first as a quartz-powered watch in 1999 and reinvented in 2018 as an automatic in an all-new case, the Twenty~4 is an instant icon in women’s watches.
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
Historical and Cultural Significance
Historical and Cultural Significance
A departure for luxury watch brand Patek Philippe, the first Twenty~4 collection was released in 1999. Dedicated expressly for women, the first watches were rectangular in shape and powered by a quartz movement. Additionally, the first one, Ref. 4910/10A, was crafted in stainless steel. It was also the first Patek Philippe ladies steel bracelet watch.
The Twenty~4's design was inspired by the Patek Philippe Gondolo watch and had a stepped case and ergonomic appeal. That stepped case concept (with sides lower than the main case and set with diamonds) was carried through to the bracelet's raised center lugs and lower perpendicular outer lugs.
That first Patek Philippe Twenty~4 boasted 10 diamonds on the dial as markers—a carryover accent from the case. Thanks to its distinctive design, it was immediately identifiable from across a crowded room. Highly contemporary in design, the Patek Twenty~4 fast became the must-have watch for the sophisticated woman who wanted something chic and different.
The New Generation Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic Watch
The rectangular quartz version of the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 remained an important model for the brand throughout the first 20 years of the new millennium. In fact, it is still in the brand’s portfolio today in stainless steel and rose gold. However, in 2018, there was a strong emphasis in the wristwatch world for women’s mechanical watches. Patek Philippe recognized this call for brains as well as beauty inside a timepiece and responded.
Rather than release an all-new collection, the brand enhanced its highly successful Twenty~4 by adding round versions powered by in-house-made automatic movements. The watches—the Twenty~4 Automatic—made their debut in Milan in late October 2018 (19 years after the original Twenty~4 burst onto the scene).
The round Twenty~4 Automatic watches were several years in the making, and when they were released to the world, there were five 36mm models. Each featured an integrated supple three-row bracelet—still a signature of the collection. Each also offered hours, minutes, sweep seconds hand and a date indication. In fact, today’s Twenty~4 Automatic watches boast all of the same features as the first collection.
Features and Functions of the Twenty~4 Automatic Round Watch
Today, there are seven versions of the round automatic Patek Philippe Twenty~4. Each Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic watch is powered by the 217-part Caliber 324 S C self-winding movement with high-tech Spriomax® balance spring in Silinvar® and rotor embellished with the Cotes de Genève motif. They offer 35 hours of power reserve, feature a transparent sapphire caseback for viewing the movement and carry the Patek Philippe Seal.
The watches feature luminescent hands and numerals, are crafted in stainless steel and gold, and feature exquisite dials that run the gamut from chocolate brown to rich blue and even a patterned crisscross motif that has a linen-like texture to it.
Value and Collectability of the Patek Philippe Twenty~4
While both Patek Philippe Twenty~4 watches – quartz and automatic – can be purchased new, they can also be found on the vintage and pre-owned market. Prices differ greatly between the two for several reasons. Usually the rectangular quartz Patek Philippe Twenty~4 watches in stainless steel range from $6,000- $8,000 on the vintage market because they are quartz and they are the older model. Conversely, the Twenty~4 Automatic in stainless steel can command between $30,000 and $55,000 new, depending on the model (remember this is the newer version and has a mechanical movement). On the pre-owned market, one might be able to find a stainless steel Twenty~4 in the low $20,000 range.
Care and Maintenance of the Patek
Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic
Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic
The Patek Phillippe Twenty~4 Automatic watch houses a self-winding movement. The movement of your wrist sets the rotor in motion. That provides tension to the mainspring inside, which stores the energy to power your Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic watch for up to 35 hours. If you put the watch down for longer than 35 hours (say on a weekend), it will need to be reset when you pick it back up.
If the watch has run out of power and stopped, it can be rewound by hand using the winding crown and turning it about 10 times clockwise. The winding crown is also used to re-set the watch. Pull it out (gently) to set the time, and then push it in to a second position to set the date. It is best to wind and set the time before you put the watch on your wrist so you avoid any undue pressure on the crown and inner stem.
Inside the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic is the Caliber 324 S C mechanical movement. The balance wheel of the Caliber 324 S C runs at a frequency of 28,000 vibrations per hour, with its restoring force provided by the Patek Philippe Spiromax Silinvar hairspring. A hairspring is aptly named, as it is a micro spring, about the same width of a human hair. Sometimes the hairspring is referred to as a balance spring, as it is attached to the balance wheel in order to form the regulating organ of the watch.
The Spiromax Silinvar hairspring is very special, as it is a silicon hairspring. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, and in Earth's crust. We know the element well from its use in microprocessors inside computers andsmart phones.
Recently, the world of horology has begun to embrace the excellent material properties of silicon for use inside mechanical movements. The manufacturing methods used to make silicon parts are borrowed from the semiconductor industry, and are much more accurate than traditional metal machining technologies. These manufacturing methods allow silicon to be formed into shapes that would be practically impossible to achieve with traditional methods. The Spiromax Silinvar hairspring inside the Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic takes advantage of this by using a special shape on its outer coil, allowing for more isochronal oscillations.