Patek Philippe Goes Minimalistic With The Manchette-Styled Twenty~4
First conceived in 1999 by Patek, the Twenty~4 watch became a fleeting icon. In its day, it championed the renaissance of timeless, feminine design in the rectangular form. As such, it quickly gained popularity with women wanting to wear a Patek timepiece on their wrists. But after fading from the spotlight, is it ready to retake old ground once more?
After producing different variations of this rectangular timepiece, 2018 saw an automatic version in a round case join the Twenty~4 family. However, the allure of the petite, rectangular Patek was kept alive by the gold timepiece which paid homage to the ‘90s releases. This October, Patek has reinvented the aesthetic of the very first Twenty~4. Undoubtedly the new Twenty~4 symbolizes Patek’s recent history, but does this watch do enough to put rectangular watches for women back on the map?
Patek Twenty~4: a nod to the past
The original Twenty~4 Patek (dubbed the “manchette”, which means “cuff” in French) flaunted the “oh-so-nineties” Roman numbers and square-shaped diamond hour-markers. The 2020 version, however, has a more contemporary appearance. This version prefers minimalism over mawkishness, which is great to see from a brand that could too easily lean on past successes. This version features sun-brushed dials in either classic blue or grey. Interestingly, these dial colors also darken towards the corners, resulting in a fumé effect that adds a welcome new dimension to these models. Its white gold numerals, markers, and baton-styled hands contrast with the dark color dials well.
The watch is available only in stainless steel with a medium-sized case (25.1 x 30mm). As for durability, the Twenty~4’s crown, with its Calatrava Cross, provides water-resistance up to 30m.
Everyone knows I obsess over bracelets. And, I must admit, in this case, I was a bit disappointed. Undeniably the bracelet is made of hand-finished elements and comes with the signature Patek fold-over clasp, but it lacks the wow factor. “Manchette” refers to the art-deco-inspired cuff design. This inspiration is very well translated into the way the bracelet connects with the case.
Nevertheless, what steals my heart in this concept is the mixing of the modern components with ultra-feminine diamonds and the size of the case itself. The details that Twenty~4 carries are generally associated with more sporting concepts, just like the typography on the dial, and luminous coating on the hands, markers, and numerals. Pairing them with a more throwback concept is very much an update that speaks volumes of a modern female audience’s demands.
Movement: a feminine statement
The E15 quartz movement that drives the new Twenty~4 ensures both durability and accuracy. Moreover, the silver oxide battery 1.55 V should last up to 3 years. The hype for women’s watches with mechanical movements is growing in tandem with women’s expectations. Treating yourself to a luxury watch even with a quartz movement is a pleasing moment, but nothing can beat the thrill of a mechanical movement.
In this case, the mechanism fits perfectly inside the thin case (6.8mm). Well, it certainly makes the timepiece lighter to wear. Furthermore, a watch with mechanical movements and gemstones could come with a heftier price tag. But should we bear these factors in mind while considering a Patek watch? I believe this is the finest time to reinvent the watch industry and create products that exceed female customers’ expectations. I doubt timepieces that strike us with just their beauty will withstand the test of the current times.
Modern women current fondness
Concentrating on the essence of what modern women demand from a watch is extremely important. Patek Philippe as a brand couldn’t be closer to the mark. Having said that, I’m not sure I can say the same about the new Twenty~4. Now, women are moving toward complicated and surprising timepieces. Despite the outstanding Patek craftsmanship on display here, I can’t see much value in quartz besides practicality. The Swiss brand could embrace its codes and at the same time reinforce the aesthetic with a proper movement.
The price for a stainless steel Twenty~4 is CHF 12,400. For Patek, it’s a new level of affordability. That said, I hardly think I would pay 12,4k for a steel watch with a quartz movement but who knows? Fortune favors the brave. And reservations aside, it is a very versatile timepiece that every woman can wear with a quiet sense of pleasure. More details about “Manchette” Twenty~4 you can find on Patek’s official website.