Watch Happening: Patek Philippe
Paul Sucharitkul on ‘The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition’ held from July 13 to 23 at New York’s prestigious Cipriani 42nd Street.
August 02, 2017
In the world of horology, no other name is mentioned with quite the same reverence as Patek Philippe, and rightly so in terms of aesthetic perfection, unequalled craftsmanship, and a legacy that has come to epitomize the art of fine watchmaking. So when the news broke of a Patek Philippe ‘Grand Exhibition’ being held at the prestigious Cipriani 42nd Street in downtown Manhattan from July 13 to 23, I could hardly contain my excitement.
A beautiful spread of some of Patek’s early chronographs, and signature chronographs with perpetual calendar. (pic from www.hodinkee.com)
Patek Phillipe’s ‘The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition’ showcased Patek Philippe’s tradition of high-precision watch making, and highlighted their 178-year heritage with a comprehensive range of current and modern production watches, as well as rare vintage pieces that included time-only complications and other high complications such as the minute repeater, chronographs, astronomical complications, grand complications, and their signature perpetual calendars.
A modern Patek Philippe split second chronograph with perpetual calendar circa 2012, the ref. 5204 in rose gold. (pic from www. Hodinkee.com)
A military prototype hour angle watch at 55mm circa 1930s. One of two known. (pic from www.hodinee.com)
Another highlight from the exhibition was the ‘Historic Room’, featuring 27 rare and historically significant time pieces, some of which belonged to famous American figures including Joe Dimaggio, Duke Ellington, and John F. Kennedy, on loan from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, museums, and other private collections. These important timepieces offer a profound insight into not only the provenance of the brand but also the relationship between Patek Philippe and the US market.
Joe Dimaggio’s (famous baseball player for the Yankees and ex-husband of Marlyn Monroe) Chronograph with Breguet numerals ref. 130; in private collection (photo from www.hodinkee.com)
Duke Ellingtone’s Split Second Chronograph ref. 1536J, one of only 3 known (pic from www.hodinkee.com)
P.S – And if this makes you want to spend a little money, Patek Philippe has released nine very limited and special ‘New York’ edition watches for men and women that were sold at the exhibition. The three most interesting pieces are highlighted below.
From left to right (1) Men’s Calatrava Pilot Watch ref. 5522A ‘NY’ Edition in steel, inspired by early Patek Philippe aviator watches circa 1930s. This one is limited to only 600 pieces and has a price tag of around $21,500 usd. (2) Men’s World Time ref. 5230 ‘NY’ Edition in white gold and limited to 300 pieces and with a price tag of around $47,000 usd. (3) Men’s World Timer Minute Repeater ref. 5531 ‘NY’ Edition in rose gold with 2 different enamel dial variations, a ‘New York by Day’ dial, and a ‘New York by Night’ dial. Each version limited to 5 pieces only and comes with a price tag of around $560,000 usd.