Intricate Beauty: The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
The Sky Moon Tourbillon is one of Patek Philippe's most intricate wristwatches and their first to have two faces. It houses 12 impressive complications, including a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and a depiction of the night sky.
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The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon—complete with 12 complications—demonstrates the highest level of watchmaking artistry. Its functions include a perpetual calendar, retrograde pointer date, leap year display, moon phase display, and minute repeater. If you flip this intricately engraved luxury watch over, you will find astronomical displays such as sidereal time, a star chart, and the phases and orbit of the Moon. What's more, concealed inside is a tourbillon, which is responsible for this timepiece's outstanding accuracy.
Patek Philippe first presented the Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 5002 in 2001. At the time, it was the Swiss manufacturer's most complicated wristwatch. This tourbillon watch was also Patek Philippe's first double-faced timepiece. The dial side displays the time, date, day, month, as well as the leap year cycles and age of the Moon. The "age of the Moon" complication displays how many days have passed since the last new moon, while the retrograde date indicates the current date via a central hand.
In 2013, Patek Philippe introduced the next version of the Sky Moon Tourbillon: the ref. 6002. Like its predecessor, this watch has 12 complications. From a technological perspective, the 6002 and 5002 are almost identical. However, the newer model features an intricately decorated white gold case and a beautiful enamel dial. Both the 5002 and the 6002 belong to Patek Philippe's Grand Complications collection.
5 Reasons to Buy a Sky Moon Tourbillon
- 12 complications: one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world
- First double-faced Patek Philippe wristwatch
- Various astronomical complications such as sidereal time, a moon phase display, and a depiction of the night sky over the Northern Hemisphere
- Perfect finishes on the movement and case
- Available in platinum or 18-karat gold
Prices at a Glance: Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Case material|
|6002G||2.75 million USD||White gold
|5002G||1.55 million USD||White gold|
|5002R||1.44 million USD||Rose gold
|5002P||1.2 million USD||Platinum|
How much does a Sky Moon Tourbillon cost?
If you want to call one of Patek Philippe's most intricate timepieces your own, the Sky Moon Tourbillon is the watch for you. Mint-condition models with the reference number 5002 cost between 1.2 and 1.6 million USD, depending on the case material. Patek produces this timepiece in platinum (5002P), rose gold (5002R), and white gold (5002G).
Watches with the reference number 6002 sell for around 2.75 million USD. This model has an ornately engraved white gold case and a black or blue dial with a matching strap. Prices for the ref. 6002G have risen by several hundred thousand dollars in the last few years.
About the Ref. 5002 From 2001
At the time of its release in 2001, the Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 5002 was the most complicated wristwatch that Patek Philippe had ever produced. It has a total of 12 complications and a double-faced display. The front side features a conventional time display and a perpetual calendar, including an additional central hand that indicates the current date by pointing to a scale around the dial's edge. The day display is located on a subdial at 9 o'clock directly opposite the month subdial at 3. The age of the Moon display sits at 6 o'clock and shows how many days have passed since the last new moon. A leap year indicator at 12 o'clock completes the front-facing dial.
If you turn the watch over, you'll see a detailed depiction of the night sky, including a clear view of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and the Moon in miniature form. Patek Philippe also puts the moon phase and orbit display on the back side of the watch. The meridian passages of Sirius and the Moon are displayed here as well. There are also two hands indicating sidereal time, which is about four minutes shorter than solar time and is used as an astronomical time scale. A sidereal day is equal to the amount of time it takes the Earth to make one rotation relative to the vernal equinox.
The 42.8-mm Sky Moon Tourbillon is available in your choice of platinum or white, yellow, or rose gold. Its manual caliber R TO PS QR SID LU CL consists of 686 pieces.
Ref. 6002: An Artfully Decorated New Edition
In 2013, Patek Philippe introduced a new, reworked version of the Sky Moon Tourbillon. This model bears the reference number 6002. The same manual caliber powers both models; thus, the 6002 also features 12 complications. However, Patek Philippe made a few changes to the displays. The perpetual calendar changed from subdials to window displays with the day at 9, the month at 3, and the leap year cycle at 12 o'clock. You'll also find a moon phase display instead of an age of the Moon indicator at 6 o'clock. However, the retrograde date display on the front and the astronomical complications on the back remain the same.
The highlights of the Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 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 company logo 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 Sky Moon Tourbillon's intricate engravings require over 100 hours of work. Afterward, the president of Patek Philippe personally inspects the quality of the engravings. Even the slide for the minute repeater features this stunning decoration. The ornamentation on both winding crowns is not only beautiful but also functional. An arrow on the crown at 4 o'clock shows which direction you should turn to set the time and wind the movement. The second crown at 2 o'clock sets the astronomical functions on the case back. You can recognize the functions of this crown thanks to its engravings of the Moon and stars.
The enamel dial on the front side is a piece of art in itself. It combines many different enameling 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. On the other hand, the "champlevé" technique involves engraving directly into the metal and then filling it with enamel until a smooth surface appears. Artisans use these intricate decorative techniques to create the astounding enamel artwork on the face of the Sky Moon Tourbillon.
Patek Philippe offers versions with the dial and alligator leather strap in blue or black. The hour markers are applied golden Roman numerals. The minute track resembles a railroad, and the entire case measures 42.8 mm in diameter.
Alternatives in the Grand Complications Collection
With 20 complications, the Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300G is even more complex than the Sky Moon Tourbillon. It features a grande and petite sonnerie, minute repeater, and alarm, as well as multiple power reserve displays, a perpetual calendar, and a second time zone. Set aside around 3.6 million USD for this spectacular timepiece.
If a perpetual calendar alone is enough for you, you can purchase a mint-condition Patek Philippe ref. 5327G in white gold for about 75,500 USD. Pre-owned pieces sell for around 64,500 USD. Patek also offers versions in yellow and rose gold.
The platinum Patek Philippe Grand Complications Minute Repeater ref. 5078 changes hands for about 324,000 USD. The Genevan luxury brand also produces watches that combine a perpetual calendar with a minute repeater. For example, the platinum ref. 5374P demands roughly 647,000 USD in mint condition.
Celestial models like the refs. 5102 and 6102 are certainly sights to behold. On the front side, these watches display the night sky, as well as the phases and orbit of the Moon. Prices for the white gold ref. 5102G sit around 228,000 USD. The rose gold Celestial ref. 6102R costs about 288,000 USD. At 312,000 USD, the platinum version is a bit more expensive. Finally, the most expensive version has a diamond-studded bezel and costs approximately 336,000 USD.