The Sky Moon Tourbillon is one of Patek Philippe's most intricate wristwatches and their first double-faced watch. It has an impressive total of 12 complications, including a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and a depiction of the night sky.
- One of the most intricate wristwatches in the world
- A total of 12 complications
- First double-faced Patek Philippe wristwatch
- Diverse astronomical complications such as sidereal time, a moon phase display, and a depiction of the night sky of the northern hemisphere
- Available in platinum or 18-karat gold
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon: Watchmaking Art Perfection
first presented the Sky Moon Tourbillon in 2001. The timepiece with reference number 5002
was, at the time, the Swiss manufacturer's most intricate wristwatch. The in-house caliber R TO 27 QR SID LU CL featured 12 complications, among them were a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar
, a tourbillon, and different astronomical complications. This watch was also the first double-faced watch produced by Patek Philippe. The dial side displays the time, date, day, month, as well as the leap year cycles and age of the Moon. The moon complication displays how many days have passed since the last full moon, and the date is displayed via a central hand.
In 2013, Patek Philippe began producing the successor to the Sky Moon Tourbillon, a watch with reference number 6002
. Like its predecessor, this watch had 12 complications. When looked at from a technical standpoint, the 6002 and 5002 were almost identical. The new model, however, featured an intricately decorated white gold case and a beautiful enamel dial. The reference numbers 5002 and 6002 are part of Patek Philippe's Grand Complications
If you want one of Patek Philippe's most intricate timepieces to call your own, then the Sky Moon Tourbillon is the watch for you. New, models with reference number 5002 cost around 1.4 million euros. The watch with reference number 6002 costs around 1.6 million euros.
If you're happy with a perpetual calendar as your watch's only complication, then you can get such a pre-owned Patek Philippe for around 30,000 euros. New models with a perpetual calendar, however, cost around 40,000 euros. The reference number 5160 has an intricately engraved rose gold case and costs over 150,000 euros new.
New Patek Philippe watches with a minute repeater complication start at 300,000 euros. If you want a watch that combines the minute repeater with a perpetual calendar, then this Geneva-based brand has the perfect watch for you. However, new and pre-owned watches with both these complications cost at least 500,000 euros.
The Celestial models with reference numbers 5102 and 6102 are a treat to look at. These watches display the night sky as well as the phases and orbit of the Moon on the dial side. Pre-owned 5102 models cost around 160,000 euros. New, they cost around 200,000 euros, as do new 6102 Celestial watches. With a diamond-set bezel, the price of the Celestial shoots up to 300,000 euros.
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon: The 2001 Model
When Patek Philippe introduced the Sky Moon Tourbillon with reference number 5002, it was the Geneva-based manufacturer's most complicated watch
. The watch contained a tourbillon to help it run more accurately. Abraham-Louis Breguet invented this mechanism towards the end of the 18th century. At the time, men usually carried their pocket watches vertically in their vest pockets. This position led to gravity-related deviations from the correct time. Therefore, Breguet put the oscillation and escapement systems in a rotating cage. The cage completed a full rotation every 60 seconds, balancing out any deviations in time. Aside from Patek Philippe, manufacturers like A. Lange & Söhne
, and Breguet
use tourbillons in their classic watches.
The Sky Moon Tourbillon has a total of 12 complications and a double-faced display. The dial-side displays the time as a watch usually does. It also features a perpetual calendar, which indicates the date with a central hand that points to numerals on the dial edge. The day of the week display is located on a subdial at nine o'clock, while the month subdial is located at three o'clock. The age of the moon display is at six o'clock; it shows you how many days have passed since the last full moon. The leap year display is located at 12 o'clock.
If you turn the watch over, you see a detailed depiction of the night sky
. You can easily see the Milky Way, our solar system's home. The Moon is also featured in miniature form. Patek Philippe put the moon phase
and orbit display on the back side of the watch. The meridian passages of Sirius and the Moon are even displayed. There are also two hands indicating sidereal time, which is about four minutes shorter than solar time and is used as a time scale in astronomy. A sidereal day is equal to the amount of time it takes for the Earth to make one rotation relative to the vernal equinox.
The case of the 42.8-mm Sky Moon Tourbillon is made of platinum or white, yellow, or rose gold. Its manual caliber R TO PS QR SID LU CL consists of 686 pieces.
Features of Reference Number 5002
- Double-faced watch
- Perpetual calendar, minute repeater, tourbillon, star chart
- Platinum or 18-karat gold case
The New Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
In 2013, Patek Philippe introduced a new, reworked version of the Sky Moon Tourbillon. The new model had the reference number 6002. The same manual caliber powers both models, so the 6002 also features 12 complications. However, Patek Philippe made a few changes to the displays. The perpetual calendar changed from a subdial to a window display. The day display is at nine o'clock, the month at three o'clock, and the leap year cycle at 12 o'clock. The moon phase display, instead of the moon age display, is at six o'clock on the newer model. However, the retrograde date display on the front side and the astronomical complications on the back side remain the same.
The highlights of the Sky Moon Tourbillon with reference number 6002 are its intricately hand-engraved white gold case and enamel dial
. You can easily recognize the ornamentation, arabesques, and elements of the Calatrava cross, which has been the logo of Patek Philippe since 1887. Originally, this cross fleury was the emblem of the Spanish Order of Calatrava. St. Raymond of Fitero founded the order in 1158 to defend the castle of Calatrava from the Moors. In 1932, Patek Philippe named a watch after the order: the Calatrava
The most intricate engravings on the Sky Moon Tourbillon require over 100 hours of work. Afterwards, the president of Patek Philippe personally inspects the quality of the engravings. Even the slide for the minute repeater
has artistic engravings. The decorations on both winding crowns
are not only beautiful, but functional as well. The crown at four o'clock sets the time and winds the movement; an arrow shows which direction you should turn. The second crown at two o'clock sets the astronomical functions on the back side. You can recognize the functions of this crown thanks to its engravings of the Moon and stars.
The dial on the front side is a piece of art in itself. The enamel dial combines many different metalwork techniques. The most spectacular are the champlevé and cloisonné techniques. The cloisonné technique requires watchmakers to solder thin wires or metal strips onto the metal plate to be decorated. The champlevé technique involves engraving directly into the metal, then filling it with enamel until a smooth surface appears. These intricate decorative techniques were both used to create the astounding enamel artwork on the front dial of the Sky Moon Tourbillon. Patek Philippe chose blue for the color of the dial and an alligator leather strap. The hour markers are applied, golden Roman numerals. The minute track resembles a railway, and the entire case diameter is 42.8 mm.
Features of Reference Number 6002
- Intricately engraved 18-karat white gold case
- Manual, in-house caliber with 12 complications
- Finely decorated enamel dial