On auction websites, Patek Philippe radio-controlled timekeeping units are still in circulation. They can also be found from time to time in watch factories.
On my way to Fleurier, with the mission of discovering a secret factory in which the names of prestigious brands are jostling each other, I was waiting in the conference room… The object that caught my attention had none of the incredible mechanical components that I was about to discover. It was, embedded in a wall, a Patek Philippe clock, sturdy and in excellent condition. A wall clock that reminds us of that not so long ago time, the 60’s-70’s if I’ m correct, when the brand from the Acacias district in Geneva and since 1946, had a production unit entirely dedicated to electronics. The unbeatable tic-tacs, very loud, used to set the tempo in factories, or in silent version and with red filaments, used to invade the radio-TV studios.
Each unit was unique, as it was made to order from various modules that could be assembled side by side, and was tailored to the specific needs of each client. It was the mother precision, permanently installed. It was the ultimate in precision since they were tuned to radio waves coming from such transmitters as the one in Prangins. A whole era…
M.S. Lau, LA New Orleans. Purchase.