One is the last family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva. The other is a prominent homegrown watch retailer, which has grown from a single-store family business in 1972 to a public-listed company with more than 45 boutiques in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia today.

Since its establishment, Cortina Watch has represented Patek Philippe and today manages six of the brand’s specialist boutiques across the region. This year, the two companies mark five decades as retail partners — as well as Cortina’s 50th birthday — with a limited-edition timepiece and a unique dome clock.

Ref. 5057G-010 Calatrava

Patek Cortina 5057G-010
Ref. 5057G-010 Calatrava

Limited to 100 pieces, the Ref. 5057G-010 Calatrava wristwatch created for the occasion is a new, white-gold iteration of the rose-gold Ref. 5057R-001 Calatrava model created in 1997 for Cortina Watch’s 25th anniversary. Like that earlier model, the new Calatrava is framed by a triple-row hobnail guilloche bezel and has a similarly easy-to-wear size with a diameter of 36.15mm. Set against a gradated, charcoal-grey sunray dial are white transfer-printed Roman numerals and white gold, pear-shaped hands.

The watch’s features are faithful to the original, with the date and moon phase, power reserve and seconds displayed on three subdials. The ultra-thin, automatic Calibre 240 PS IRM C LU is visible through the sapphire display caseback, which bears the inscription, “Cortina Watch — 50th Anniversary — Since 1972”.

Patek Philippe 5057G-010 movement
The movement and inscription on the back of the new Calatrava.

(Related: 180 years on, Patek Philippe’s innovations continue to impact the watch industry)

Ref. 20145M-001 “Singapore Skyline”

Patek Philippe’s dome table clocks are unique collectors’ items that showcase the best of the manufacture’s artistic savoir-faire, and the model created to mark its long-standing ties with Cortina Watch continues this tradition. Crafted using cloisonne enamel, the clock is further decorated with silver spangles, and gold and silver powder.

Cloisonne enamel involves the soldering of thin strips of metal to create the outlines of a tableau, and filling in the spaces with coloured enamel. It requires repeated firings at high temperatures, as well as grinding, smoothing and polishing. A total of 9.2m of 24K gold wire was used to create the Singapore city skyline and some of our most well-known monuments: In rich, riotous colour, the clock depicts the Merlion, the Central Business District, the Gardens by the Bay, the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands.

It is a joy to behold: Created with 50 different coloured enamels, the vibrant cityscape is crowned by 50 gold stars and fireworks — made from gold and silver dust — that shower down from the top of the dome. Another touch that pays subtle homage to Singapore is the guilloche hour ring, with wavy edges inspired by local flora. Twelve stick markers made from lapis lazuli indicate the hours. The finishing touch is an anniversary inscription.

(Related: Talking Time: Collector Tan Yan Ling’s boundless love for limited editions)

A travelling exhibition

Both special editions will be presented at an upcoming exhibition (the dates have not yet been confirmed — watch this space) co-hosted by Patek Philippe and Cortina Watch. Additionally, the travelling exhibition will also showcase the 25th anniversary Ref. 5057R-001 Calatrava, as well as Cortina Watch’s collection of other unique Patek Philippe pieces. These include the Ref. 1677M “Esplanade” created for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee in 2015 and the Ref. 20094M-001 “Bay of Singapore”, created for the Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition held here in 2019.

These celebrations are the latest chapter in a story that began 66 years ago, even before Anthony Lim founded Cortina Watch, which is controlled by his family. That was when Lim had his first professional encounter with the late Henri Stern, a patriarch of the Stern family that owns Patek Philippe.

“The friendship between my grandfather, father and Mr Anthony Lim started over 66 years ago and it still stands strong today, much like the relationship between Patek Philippe and Cortina Watch,” says Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe.

Adds Jeremy Lim, the CEO of Cortina Watch, “Patek Philippe and Cortina Watch share an intertwined relationship in Asia, from the establishment of the Patek Philippe boutiques across Southeast and East Asia, to our shared passion for fine watchmaking and craftsmanship (…) I hope that it will continue to strengthen over the next 50 years, and with the next generations after us.”

The anniversary inscription on the “Singapore Skyline” dome clock.
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