What To Expect When Visiting Patek Philippe’s Grand Exhibition?

It is almost time for Patek Philippe’s Grand Exhibition in New York City to open its doors. This exciting, and free, event will allow everybody to get an insight into the world of this illustrious brand. We already learned more about this when we talked with Larry Pettinelli, President of Patek Philippe US, who also pointed out the long relationship between the brand and the US market, but what can you expect when visiting it?

In essence, the Grand Exhibition will unite the best of Patek Philippe’s museum and workshops, and bring them to the US. For this, the ballroom of Cipriani 42nd Street in New York will hold a two-story building that is designed to bring Geneva to you.

The Past
The exhibition will be showcased in several different rooms, each designed to introduce you to a specific part of Patek Philippe’s universe. In the Napoleon Room, two impressive views will fight for your attention. Designed to show you the limited edition timepieces Patek Philippe created specifically for the US market, the room will also show you something else. Resembling the Patek Philippe Salon on Rue du Rhone in Geneva, and although a continent away, large screens will show you an impressive live view over Lake Geneva.

Owned by Henry Graves Jr., this is one of the most complicated pocket watches ever created.
Owned by Henry Graves Jr., this is one of the most complicated pocket watches ever created.

The Museum Room will have on display some of the finest watches from the Patek Philippe Museum, which also includes timepieces from other brands, and the oldest one on display dates back to 1530. It gives an incredible overview of not only the development of Patek Philippe as a brand but also that of watchmaking as a whole. In the Film Theater, there will also be a movie running that gives you an even better understanding of the history of Patek Philippe.

Joe DiMaggio's gold Ref. 130J Chronograph
Joe DiMaggio’s gold Ref. 130J Chronograph

The strong relationship Patek Philippe has with the US market becomes evident in the US Historic Room. This space is dedicated to the timepieces of prominent US collectors. Among them, the gold ref.130J chronograph that used to belong to Joe DiMaggio, the clock that graced the desk of President Kennedy, and of course the pocket watch by Henry Graves Jr., one of the most complicated pocket watches ever created.

The Present
Although impressive, Patek Philippe is not a brand that dwells on the past, unless when it comes to preserving the expertise and craftsmanship. They put this also on display in “The Rare Handcrafts Gallery.” Here you can see artisans create enamel masterpieces, in the many different types of this craft that they master. This is a unique opportunity, as these presentations are rarely held outside Patek Philippe’s manufacture in Switzerland. Also, rare watches featuring these decorations, from past and present, are on display in this room to give you, even more, an insight into these forms of art.

Patek Philippe will also show how they create the enamel decorations on the their dome table clocks
Patek Philippe will also show how they create the enamel decorations on the their dome table clocks

“The Watchmakers’ Room” will take you into the beating heart of Patek Philippe, its movements. Here some of their master watchmakers will guide you through the mechanics that keep the time. It will also give you perhaps a better understanding of what you are about to see in the next room. “The Grand Complications room” brings together the most complicated timepieces of the brand together. This is a rare treat, as these watches almost never share a room together. It will give an unprecedented insight into the technical prowess of Patek Philippe.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime will also be on display

The interactive room will feature an opportunity to “walk through” the manufacture in Geneva, allowing you to witness first hand how all these mechanical marvels come to life. This will also make you appreciate their contemporary watches even more, which is on display in the “Current Collection room,” which is also designed to look like, and have the same atmosphere, as the Patek Philippe Salon on Rue du Rhone in Geneva.

Current collection watches will be on display as well
Current collection watches will be on display as well

Each of the rooms by itself is reason enough to visit the Grand Exhibition, yet as a whole, they make it quite the experience, as well as a unique opportunity to see so many extraordinary watches and get an intimate insight into the world of Patek Philippe.

Patek Philippe’s Grand Exhibition will take place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City from July 13 through July 23, 2017, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and is free of charge.

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