Hand-finishing work at Patek Philippe, whether it is on the case, the dial or the individual components of the movement, perpetuates the traditional art of mechanical watchmaking. Historically, the decoration on the movement, such as hand-bevelling and polishing, were part decorative and part functional (to allow an optimum distribution of lubricant, for example). Nowadays, such hand decoration has become a signature for a manufacture, and sometimes even for the individual craftsman or craftswoman, whose singular touch means that no two movements are ever exactly the same.
In the case of Patek Philippe, the hand-finishing work on the various components of the watch is also required to meet the stringent requirements of the Patek Philippe Seal, which dictate that no trace evidence of industrial manufacturing processes (in other words, any microscopic scratches or surface imperfections on the case) should be visible. They also require individual components to be checked meticulously – sometimes repeatedly – to ensure the highest standards of quality. Only this way can Patek Philippe offer its unparalleled precision guarantee of -2/+3 seconds accuracy per day.
The Patek Philippe Seal also offers a further important benefit: In signing each certificate beyond this, Philippe Stern, Honorary Chairman, and Thierry Stern, CEO of the family owned brand, offer their personal guarantee that the timepiece will also be serviceable for generations to come. What better way is there to show respect for your customers?