Patek Philippe Grand Exhibition
PUBLISHED: 14:48 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:48 12 June 2015
Watchmaker extraordinaire Patek Philippe brought to a spectacular close its 175th anniversary celebrations with an exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery
London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery was filled with art of a rather different nature than usual when it played host to Geneva’s last family-owned watch manufacturer, Patek Philippe.
In a unique exhibition, occupying the entire gallery and held over 12 days, guests could view at close quarters more than 400 exquisite timepieces created by the brand throughout its 175-year history.
“We brought many historical timepieces to the exhibition,” said Patek Philippe UK’s managing director Mark Hearn. “Visitors were able to learn about horology generally, the history of watchmaking and also find out interesting information about this fascinating industry.”
The show was divided into 15 themed areas: the Movement Room, giving a 360 degree view of the intricate Patek Philippe watch movements; the Napoleon Room, which transported visitors to the brand’s Geneva salon on Rue du Rhone; and the 175th Anniversary Area, showcasing a very special collection designed to celebrate this landmark jubilee year, including the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch ever made.
Other spaces included the Interactive Room, Museum Room, Rare Handcrafts Gallery Room and the Immersion Room, while live watchmaker demonstrations gave visitors the unique opportunity to talk to the craftsmen who create these intricate masterpieces.
Highlights included the Patek Philippe Duke de Regla, a minute repeating pocket watch with Petite Sonnerie and Westminster Chime on five bells, the first Swiss wristwatch made by Patek Philippe in 1868, sold to a Countess of Hungary – and a circa 1830 table clock in the shape of a cage with five singing-birds and music.
Naturally in our capital city there was particular interest in The Royal Collection, which was given a dedicated room recreating the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace at Hyde Park in 1851.
Star of this room was the open-face, key winding and hand-setting pendant watch which belonged to Queen Victoria. Made in yellow gold with enamelling and rose-cut diamonds in the case, it was presented alongside an open-faced, keyless-winding and setting pendant watch (with matching brooch) which was also said to belong to Queen Victoria.
Now you know what to buy the man – or woman – in your life for their next big birthday. Treat it as an investment: after all, you are merely ‘looking after it’ for the next generation. n
Find out more
Patek Philippe watches can be found in Kent at G. Collins, 76/78 High Street, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1YB, 01892 534018, www.gcollinsandsons.com - see also: www.patek.com