Decrypting Patek Philippe’s Enamel Watch

Enamel is actually a ‘glaze’ attached to the surface of a metal or ceramic after sintering at a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius using silicates such as quartz, feldspar, borax and fluoride. Used for decoration and rust prevention. The enamel pots, cloisonne utensils, etc. that we commonly use in our lives belong to the enamel category. From 1918 to 1956, enamel and enamel were the same concept. In 1956, China set the standard for enamel products, and enamel became the exclusive term for artistic enamel.

At present, enamel and enamel are still used in English vocabulary abroad.
Enamel is mostly used for dials in watches. An 18K gold watch equipped with a 2892-A2 movement in Athens can be sold for more than 200,000 yuan with an enamel dial. Still Patek Philippe is kind. Its REF.5116G, although using a white enamel dial, is priced the same as the REF.5119G using a normal dial. However, Patek Philippe launches a set of color enamel watches every year, and the situation is another look: most of the 18K watches with 215 movements are usually more than 200,000 yuan each. Patek Philippe’s enamel watches are usually collectibles and are not easy to buy.

I like enamel, Patek Philippe Museum is a must visit. The enamel treasures here are arguably the richest and most exciting in the world. Once when I was visiting enamel at the Patek Philippe Museum, the guide said: the most important thing to appreciate enamel is color. Red and blue, which are common in classical oil paintings, were only reproduced in enamel products by the French hundreds of years ago. It took the Swiss more than 100 years to decipher the ‘color code’ of enamel. Enamel is white or transparent and colorless. Its color comes from the mixing of various metal oxides during high temperature sintering. For example: gold is added to the raw materials for making enamel, and the red after the high temperature kiln transformation. In addition, cobalt oxide turns blue, antimony turns yellow, rhodium turns black, copper oxide turns green, manganese turns purple …
曾经 I once asked Mr. Philippe Stern, the former president of Patek Philippe, why the prices of some antique enamel watches on the auction floor are often astonishingly high? Is it just because the enamel watch is difficult to make? Philip Stern replied: ‘Enamels made by ancient people usually copied some famous oil paintings. In this sense, an antique enamel watch is actually a slightly painted oil painting. When the ancients made enamel watches, It often takes 10 or even 20 years to paint, and then 5 to 10 years to fire and repeatedly polish. In the long process, if there is a mistake in one link, then the enamel Watches will become obsolete. How many 10, 20 years are there in a person’s life? ‘How many people are still willing to spend 10 years to complete a work?