The Patek Philippe Celestial is truly a unique wristwatch. This model features a sky chart as well as a moon phase display, and is incredibly precise. Some versions are enhanced by around 60 diamonds.
- Dial with a sky chart and astronomical displays
- Platinum or 18-karat gold case
- Automatic, in-house caliber with more than 300 individual components
- Extreme astronomical precision
- Also available set with diamonds
Patek Philippe Celestial: Amongst the Stars
The Patek Philippe Celestial is a special wristwatch in the Grand Complications
collection. Like its older sibling, the Sky Moon Tourbillon
, the Celestial has astronomical complications
and displays the current night sky. It's one of the few watches produced that has astronomical complications. One of the most well-known pocket watches with a sky chart is the Graves Supercomplication
. Patek Philippe created this pocket watch at the request of the American banker Henry Graves, Jr. and delivered it to him in 1933. Another astronomical watch is the IWC Portugieser Sidérale Scafusia. It's the International Watch Company's (IWC
) most complicated wristwatch, and features a sky chart on the case back.
The Celestial is distinguishable by its depiction of our galaxy, the Milky Way, on its dial. The dial displays the view from the northern hemisphere. With this watch on your wrist, you can follow and be amazed by the movements of the Moon and stars. Additionally, the timepiece displays the phases and orbit of the Moon using a small golden moon. Patek Philippe presented the Celestial with reference number 5102 for the first time in 2002.
The Celestial is limited in production, so this model is very rare. Pre-owned models with reference number 5102 cost around 155,000 euros. These watches are in very good condition and have a white or yellow gold case. The price for a new 5102 starts at around 180,000 euros. Pre-owned platinum versions cost about 200,000 euros.
Current Celestial watches have the reference number 6102. Since this model is still relatively new, there are few pre-owned watches on the market. You can buy a new gold model for around 200,000 euros. With a platinum case, the 6102 costs around 230,000 euros.
If you'd like a perpetual calendar
in addition to a sky chart and a tourbillon
, then take a look at the Sky Moon Tourbillon
from Patek Philippe. This complicated watch costs around 1.2 million euros.
The Celestial's Perfect Design
The Celestial's case is either white, yellow, or red gold or platinum. The hand-stitched alligator leather straps are available in black or blue. The highlight of the Celestial, however, is its dial with a star chart. Patek Philippe developed a mechanism with three sapphire glass discs stacked on one another to display the movement of the night sky. The three discs turn at different speeds, creating a spatial effect. The Genevan manufacturer decided to use a blue sapphire glass disc as the background disc. The disc on top of it has a small window for displaying the moon phases. The last disc is transparent and displays the star chart on the front side and the Milky Way on the back. Every disc is 0.2 mm thin, and protected by sapphire glass. On the inner side of the watchglass is a contour of an ellipse, which displays the portion of the night sky you can currently see.
Models with reference number 6102 have 31 Arabic numerals lining the edge of the dial. An additional red crescent-tipped center hand uses these numbers to display the current date. The leaf hour and minute hands are skeletonized. Models with reference number 5102 do not feature a date display, but they do have Roman numerals from I to XII to represent the time.
The Patek Philippe Celestial has two crowns, one at two and one at four o'clock. The crown at two o'clock winds the movement and sets the hands. The second crown at four o'clock sets the position of the small moon and night sky.
A highlight of the Celestial series is the model with reference number 6104. This gold watch has 38 baguette-cut diamonds on its case, and a further 22 baguette diamonds on the buckle. The 60 gemstones have a weight equaling 5.4 carat and raise this watch's price to at least 300,000 euros.
- Displays the night sky of the northern hemisphere
- Reference number 6102 with date by hand
- Reference number 6104 with a total of 60 diamonds
Heavenly Precision with the Celestial
Patek Philippe reached a level of incredible precision with the different Celestial models; both with the daily deviation and night sky display. In a lunar day, the watch only deviates by 0.05 seconds, equal to 18.385 seconds a year. A lunar day is the amount of time it takes the Moon to make one full rotation around the Earth, which usually takes about 24 hours and 50 minutes. For lunation, the time period between one full moon and the next, the Celestial only deviates by 6.51 seconds. The average length of a lunation is 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. The watch's deviation is only 0.088 seconds per sidereal day, which totals 32.139 seconds a year. A sidereal day measures the amount of time it takes for the night sky to make a visible orbit around the Earth. A sidereal day is approximately four minutes shorter than our normal day.
The sapphire glass case back gives you a clear view of the mechanical, in-house movement. The movement powering the 6102 is the automatic caliber 240 LU CL C. It winds itself automatically during normal wear, so it never needs to be manually wound. Thanks to its miniature, 22-karat gold rotor, the movement is very flat. Even though it has complicated astronomical displays, the movement is only 6.81 mm thick and 38 mm in diameter. It has 45 rubies and is comprised of a total 315 individual pieces. It has a 48-hour power reserve and the balance wheel oscillates with a frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (A/h), equivalent to 3 Hz.
- Incredibly precise
- Automatic, in-house caliber with a miniature, 22-karat gold rotor
- 48-hour power reserve