The Celestial adds to Patek Philippe's tradition of astronomical watches. The dials of these watches display the night sky over the northern hemisphere, as well as the phases and orbit of the Moon. The gold model features a bezel with 38 diamonds.
The Patek Philippe Celestial is a special wristwatch in the Grand Complications collection. Like its older sibling, the Sky Moon Tourbillon, the Celestial displays the night sky and is one of the few watches to feature astronomical complications.
You can recognize the Celestial by its dial, which depicts our galaxy, the Milky Way, as viewed from the northern hemisphere. With this watch on your wrist, you can follow the movements of the Moon and stars in wonder. Additionally, the timepiece displays the phases and orbit of the Moon using a small golden disc.
Two skeletonized hands indicate the time. A third hand with a crescent-shaped tip serves as the date display, pointing to the correct number on the 1-31 scale around the dial's edge.
The Patek Philippe Celestial is available in gold or platinum. Numerous diamonds adorn the bezel and clasp of the series' top model. This Genevan manufacturer only uses flawless diamonds of the highest quality for their luxury watches.
Patek Philippe outfit Celestial timepieces with the automatic in-house caliber 240 LU CL C. This movement is comprised of 315 pieces, is 38 mm in diameter, and only 6.81 mm thick thanks to its micro-rotor. The entire watch is about 10 mm thick. A sapphire glass case back offers a great view of the ornate movement and its micro-rotor made of 22-karat gold.
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Case Material|
|6140G||343,000 USD||White gold|
|6104R||331,000 USD||Rose gold|
|5102J||244,000 USD||Yellow gold|
|6102R||233,000 USD||Rose gold|
|5102G||219,000 USD||White gold|
Patek Philippe only produce the Celestial in limited numbers. These rare watches first joined the Patek catalog in 2002. The watch with reference number 5102, which is available in white or yellow gold, can be purchased for around 200,000 USD in very good condition. On the other hand, a mint-condition example sells for about 219,000 USD in white gold and 244,000 USD in yellow gold. The platinum edition bears the reference number 5102PR and costs approximately 228,000 USD pre-owned.
More recent Celestial watches have the reference number 6102. Since they are so new, pre-owned pieces are hard to come by. You can get a pre-owned rose gold watch for about 208,000 USD. Pieces in mint condition cost around 233,000 USD. The platinum versions of the ref. 6102 demand a good 208,000 USD pre-owned and 259,000 USD new.
The diamond-studded Patek Philippe Celestial with the reference number 6104 comes in white or rose gold. Plan to spend around 331,000 USD for a mint-condition rose gold timepiece. The white gold version costs an additional 11,600 USD. You can find pre-owned watches with this reference number for as little as 190,000 USD.
If you're looking for a timepiece with a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, tourbillon, and a star chart, you should take a look at the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon. The current model has the reference number 6002G. It features a black dial and matching black leather strap and costs around 1.9 million USD in mint condition. Prices for its predecessor, the ref. 5002, sit around 1.5 million USD.
The highlight of the Celestial is its dial with a star chart. Patek Philippe developed a mechanism with three sapphire glass discs stacked on top of one another to display the movement of the night sky. The three discs turn at different speeds, creating a unique spatial effect. The Genevan manufacturer decided to use a blue sapphire glass disc as the background disc. The disc on top has a small window for displaying the moon phases. The third 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. The underside of the sapphire glass features the outline of an ellipse, which indicates the portion of the night sky that is currently visible.
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-shaped 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 Celestial's case is either platinum or white, yellow, or rose gold. Hand-stitched alligator leather straps are available in black or blue.
The Patek Philippe Celestial has two crowns, one at 2 o'clock and one at 4 o'clock. The crown at 2 o'clock winds the movement and sets the hands. The second crown at 4 o'clock sets the position of the small moon and night sky.
Celestial models with reference number 6104 are truly special. 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 carats.
Patek Philippe have achieved an incredible level of 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. In terms of lunation, or 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 adds up to 32.139 seconds a year. A sidereal day equates to the amount of time it takes for the night sky to make a visible orbit around the Earth. This period 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 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 of 315 individual pieces. It has a 48-hour power reserve and the balance wheel oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (A/h), equivalent to 3 Hz.
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. In addition to astronomical displays, this pocket watch features a perpetual calendar, chronograph, and minute repeater. The Graves Supercomplication boasts an astounding 24 complications, making it one of the world's most complicated portable watches. In 2014, the timepiece sold for a staggering 24 million USD at a Sotheby's auction.
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 wearer can admire a tourbillon from the frontside of the watch. What's more, this IWC watch comes with a perpetual calendar and a 96-hour power reserve. Its 46-mm case is made of platinum and is 17.6 mm thick. At its introduction in 2011, it had a list price of over 750,000 USD.