Introduction

20074M
- Rare Handcrafts

Dome table clock in cloisonné enamel enriched with silver paillons.

A symphony in black and gold, this unique piece in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel was inspired by the Thai ornaments that lend such refinement to the palaces and pagodas in the “Land of Smiles”.

To reproduce these intricate patterns with their interlacing stylized foliage and ancient symbols the enameler cut and shaped some 35 m of yellow-gold wire (70.39 g) measuring 0.2 x 0.6 mm in cross-section. To make the pattern glow, he added 680 tiny spangles called paillons cut out of silver leaf. These were embedded beneath the translucent yellow enamel according to a time-honored Geneva tradition. Coloring this decoration required, in addition to the opaque black enamel, three transparent enamel tints, to give the ornaments volume and relief. Each enameled plate underwent 10 firings at a temperature of about 745°C. An hour circle adorned with a guilloched border and black transfer- printed Thai numerals frames an enameled dial center.

This piece is powered by the caliber 17’’’ PEND mechanical movement rewound by an electric motor.

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Caliber

17''' PEND

Back

17''' PEND

Overall diameter: 38.65 mm. Height: 3.8 mm. Bridges: 8. Jewels: 20. Power reserve: 50 h max. Balance: Plain with screws. Frequency: 18 000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 Hz). Spiral: Breguet. Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal.

Savoir faire

Rare Handcrafts
The domed table clock – the perfect medium

The ideal showcase for decorative techniques is the domed table clock, owing to its dimensions. The generous rounded surfaces offer a perfect canvas for the virtuoso skill of enameling (cloisonné enameling, in particular). Animal and flower motifs are classic Patek Philippe designs, alongside newer themes. The museum’s collections are a source of inspiration, but so are far-off places, as interest from other parts of the world is occasionally reflected in the designs. The creative team knows well that one decoration in a particular color, or with a certain exuberance, will please in one culture, while restraint is preferred in another. One scene may emerge from the craftsman’s imagination, while another will be the faithful expression of a great work of art, on an astonishingly reduced scale.

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