Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Automatic: Singapore Price And ReviewWritten by Melissa Kong
It’s about time.
As a young watch writer many years back, I remember being extremely taken by Patek Philippe’s Twenty~4 collection. The elegant manchette watch was a gateway series to one of the most illustrious watchmaking brands and I thought, “one day, I’ll get a Twenty~4”.
Of course, the main 'drawback' of the Twenty~4 then (for fans of mechanical watches, at least) was that it ran on a quartz movement. While many women very much appreciate the accuracy of quartz, and the fact that we don’t have to wind up the watch even after not wearing it in a while, mechanical watches are often always more highly regarded by 'serious' collectors. And for good reason. Expert craftsmanship, technical know-how and meticulous assembly process all contribute to a mechanical watch’s value and allure.
In a long overdue move, Patek Philippe realised the dream of many a female watch collector and aficionado when it gave the Twenty~4 an automatic heart. The only other Twenty~4 with a mechanical movement was an haute joaillerie version from 2003, so this is definitely a significant development for the collection.
The movement of choice is Patek Philippe’s dependable Calibre 324 S C, the trusty workhorse found in many a Calatrava, Nautilus and Aquanaut. The reliable calibre features a patented Gyromax balance and Spiromax hairspring in Silinvar, which is Patek Philippe’s proprietary silicon alloy. It also offers decent power reserve of up to 45 hours.
The most obvious difference from the original version is the case shape. I was slightly surprised when I saw that the Twenty~4 Automatic came in a round case instead of the rectangular cuff of the first models. After all, the manchette style was what I liked best about the watch. But that’s just a personal opinion, of course. A round case makes sense for its universal appeal and if it’s going to be the Swiss marque’s first ‘everyday’ watch for ladies, it needs to be versatile—something the shape affords.
Not everything from the original design has been abandoned, though. The bracelet retains cambered central links paired with slimmer outside links on either side. Like the manchette version, these links hug the wrist nicely in a comfortable fit.
Close-up of the 'Shantung silk' dial
All five versions of the Twenty~4 Automatic come with diamond-set bezels, which up the luxe factor but are not so ostentatious that they make the watch too showy. Two models in steel keep things a little more wallet-friendly, while the other three in rose gold add a touch of femininity. My favourite version has to be the one with a plain rose gold bracelet and ‘Shantung silk’ dial (above). While it’s not the first time the brand has featured such a finishing (we saw one last year in the Ref. 4947), I’m a fan of such textured dials, so it’s lovely to see it in the Twenty~4 collection.
Heeding the call of women who want larger watches, the Twenty~4 comes in a mid-sized 36mm, which makes it contemporary but is not too large, so the look is kept classy. Starting at S$34,400, the watches don’t count as gateway pieces anymore (although the quartz manchette versions still are) but it’s a big step in the right direction for Patek Philippe in courting the female demographic.
|36mm stainless steel or rose gold with 160 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds|
|Sunburst blue, sunburst grey, sunburst chocolate brown, or silvery grey with 'Shantung' finish|
In-house self-winding Calibre 324 S C
|Stainless steel or 18K rose gold with new patented foldover clasp or 18K rose gold with 248 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds on outer links|
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date|
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".