Patek Philippe is generally known for subtlety or an almost old-timey sense of classical elegance, not for its grandiose gestures of extravagance. But if the gala celebrating the brand’s historic 175th anniversary this past October was any indication, Patek Philippe may very well be loosening up; the event was quite the party. Held in a luxury tent outside Patek Philippe’s manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, the party treated collectors, journalists and retailers to an animated film showing milestones of the company’s history. The milestones included Polish immigrants Norbet de Patek and Francois Czapek founding Patek, Czapek and Cie in 1839 and the meeting of Antoine Patek and Adrian Philippe in Paris in 1844. The milestones lead to a ballet performance that segued into opening remarks by Thierry Stern and his son Philippe Stern. Champagne and caviar fueled the party and kept guests engaged in the stunning videos. The centerpiece of the event was the presentation of the Grandmaster Chime double-face reversible watch. Patek’s president Thierry Stern told the journalists in attendance that the piece was the result of “seven years of hard work.”
The work shows. It is the most complicated wristwatch that the company has come up with and one of the more complicated watches in the world. It’s the first Patek Philippe double-face wristwatch that can be worn from either dial.
Its $2.6 million price tag isn’t at all a stretch. Patek Philippe isn’t making light of its 175th anniversary, and this gala proved a worthy celebration of the brand’s history.