85th Philippe Stern’s birth year Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Ref. 1938P


The Stern name dominates in the world of horology. The family has owned Patek Philippe since 1932, and four generations have managed the manufacture and have developed it into one of the most important and sought-after watch brands today. Philippe Stern was president from 1993 to 2009 and now, he acts as honorary president. His son Thierry Stern serves as the company’s president, he is the fourth generation of Stern family men to do so.

Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Ref. 1938P

Philippe Stern is recognized for his love of the chiming watch and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of the craft at the Patek Philippe manufacturer. He turned 85 this year, and as a way of making his 85th birthday and horological legacy as president of the manufacturer from 1993 to 2009 and current honorary president, his son Thierry Stern honoured his father by creating a special edition of a timepiece, the reference 1938P which is embellished with a completely new exclusive movement and it houses a minute repeater which is his father’s favourite complication.

Vastly high complications are limited in production by their very nature, but Patek Philippe brings the idea of a limited-edition watch to new heights with its release of 30 timepieces, which is the price available upon request. The reference 1938, which is named for Philippe Stern’s birth year, features a new movement, Caliber R AL 27 PS, with four pending patents which will never be used again.


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Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Ref. 1938P – A Technical Challenge

The new self-winding calibre R AL 27 PS blends a minute repeater and an alarm chiming on the same two classic gongs. The mixture of these two functions represents a real technical challenge and it has led to the addition of 227 components and the filing of four new patents. The sapphire crystal gives a fine view of the particularly painstaking finish lavished on this exclusive movement. The chamfered edges of the bridges and hammers are gilded, and the 22K yellow-gold mini-rotor is rhodium plated with yellow-gold edges and is adorned with a black-lacquered hand engraving generating Philippe Stern’s signature.


Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Alarm Ref. 1938P – A Portrait In Grand Feu Miniature Painting On Enamel

The tribute to Philippe Stern still proceeds on the 18K gold dial with its portrait in Grand Feu white and grey miniature painting on enamel, on a ground of Grand Feu black enamel. It features a tiny picture built up in small deft touches –the fruit of one of the precious rare handcrafts that the manufacturer’s honorary president has taken such care to nurture.

The Officer’s style case in platinum also recollects one of the creations that is cherished by Philippe Stern, dating from 1989, when, on the occasion of the manufacturer’s 150th anniversary, he launched the limited edition Reference 3960. The case is also endowed with a sapphire crystal back that is protected by a hinged dust cover bearing the hand-engraved inscription “A mon père, 85 ans de passion horlogère” which is translated:  To my father, 85 years of watchmaking passion.


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Technical Specifications


ortrait of Mr Philippe Stern in Grand Feu white and grey miniature painting on enamel

  • Grand Feu black enamel
  • Portrait of Mr Philippe Stern in Grand Feu white and grey miniature painting on enamel
  • White gold applied Breguet numerals
  • 18K gold dial plate 
  • White gold Breguet hands 
  • Rose gold Breguet alarm hour hand


  • Platinum
  • Diameter: 41 mm
  • Height: 14.2 mm
  • Humidity- and dust-protected only (not water-resistant)
  • Sapphire crystal case back protected by a hinged dust cover hand-engraved with “À mon père, 85 ans de passion horlogère”


patek Philippe Ref. 1938P strap

  • Alligator leather with square scales
  • Hand-stitched
  • Shiny black
  • Platinum fold-over clasp


Patek Philippe  Ref. 1938P movement

  • Calibre R AL 27 PS
  • Self-winding
  • Minute repeater with two classic gongs
  • 12-hour alarm
  • Chiming mode indication in aperture
  • Small seconds
  • Diameter: 30 mm
  • Thickness: 8.23 mm
  • Number of parts: 561
  • Winding rotor: Rhodium-plated 22K gold off-centre mini rotor with yellow gold edges
  • Hand-engraved with Mr. Philippe Stern’s signature
  • Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations/hour (3 Hz)
  • Power reserve: min. 43 hours – max. 48 hours.

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