A New Limited Edition from Massena LAB and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Pays Tribute to a Classic

Phillips, along with Bacs & Russo, has recently unveiled the 1952 Observatory Dial Limited Edition. This watch was created in partnership between three industry leaders: Phillips Watches, William Massena from the horological concept studio Massena LAB, and the award-winning independent watchmaker Raúl Pagès. The result is a watch that encompasses each collaborators’ unique talents, while building a watch that melds past and present seamlessly.

Drawing inspiration from the legendary Observatory-grade Patek Philippe Ref. 2458 wristwatch, originally crafted in platinum for collector Joe Ben “J.B.” Champion, Jr. in 1952, this watch pays homage to horological history. Notably, the original timepiece set a record in 2014 as the most valuable time-only wristwatch ever auctioned, solidifying its iconic status.


Despite its vintage influences, the 1952 Observatory Dial Limited Edition has a distinctly modern essence. Building upon the technical foundation established by Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès in 2022 with the Magraph Limited Edition, this collaboration introduces a 38.5mm × 10mm stainless steel case housing the manual-wind, proprietary caliber M690. This movement is a refinement of Massena LAB’s inaugural movement, features sub-seconds at 9 o’clock and hand-decoration (including hand finished anglage on bridges and plates) overseen by Swiss craftsmen under Pagès’ direction. 

Embracing a love for vintage timepieces and the narratives surrounding them, the collaborators crafted a two-tone gray dial accented with yellow gold details. The dial showcases Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock, complemented by baton hour markers, all set against a pearl-style minute track. This, along with the gold accents, complement the two-tone gray dial nicely, giving it a sophisticated look that’s both timeless and contemporary. 

The 1952 Observatory Dial Limited Edition is available for CHF 8,800 and is limited to just 99 pieces. To order, reach out to [email protected], to register your interest in purchasing this reference. Massena LAB

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Brett F. Braley-Palko is a writer based out of Pennsylvania. Having a full-time job in the luxury pens industry has given Brett an appreciation and understanding for the EDC market. When not working, Brett has three dogs and an upcoming novel that both keep him pretty busy.