For 6 more days, the iconic Swiss watch brand Patek Philippe will be taking over New York’s Cipriani 42nd Street location with a 2-story pop-up museum. The temporary museum is supposed to educate the public about mechanical watches and watchmaking’s rare handcrafts.
“Ich bin ein Berliner.”
Alongside several significant historical pieces from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva dating back to the 1500s, visitors will be able to see John F. Kennedy’s table clock, which was given to him back in June 1963, at his famous speech in Berlin.
Also exhibited is a 1948 chronograph, one of Patek’s first, which was once owned by Joe DiMaggio as well as a steel perpetual calendar chronograph from 1941 sold for a world-record breaking $11,112,000 last year.
“We’re an understated brand.”
Larry Pettinelli, U.S. President of Patek Philippe, describes the brand’s signature aesthetic by saying “We’re an understated watch. You don’t buy it to be showy of for conspicuous consumption.”
As part of the exhibit, Patek Philippe created nine limited special editions of ladies’ and men’s watches, mostly linked to the U.S. and New York City in particular. Amongst the special pieces is the Calatrava model, a Patek Philippe icon.
While the limited edition pieces are not available online, there is a variety of Patek Philippe Calatrava watches for sale on JamesEdition. You can find the one displayed in the picture here and browse the full selection here.
“This is a fun, interesting, wearable art concept.”
According to Pettinelli, the idea behind the costly exhibition is to connect with a new generation of potential customers. Patek is making an effort to educate a wide variety of people, including their current collectors as well as the young crowd. “Maybe it’s the twenty-something-year-old who maybe doesn’t even wear a watch these days.” The brand has understood that recent developments in timekeeping and especially the ongoing development of smart watches cannot be ignored.
If you’d like to get some more insight from the brand’s president himself, check out this interview.
A stable investment!
With “beginner models” starting at around $20,000, Patek Philippe is a truly aspirational brand. This particular model is made from 18k white gold and comes with a special diamond dial. The 40th anniversary edition is limited to 1,300 pieces.
A wider variety of the Nautilus model can be viewed here.
While watches might just be an accessory to some, they represent a stable investment in turbulent times. If you are into numbers, you can take a look at a price index for the Patek Philippe Nautilus over time here.
Luxury with a cause
To commemorate the exhibition, Patek Philippe will offer a dedicated catalogue, available for purchase at a nominal fee. The book will highlight historical timepieces, current novelties, Rare Handcrafts and Grand Complications showcased throughout the temporary exhibit.
Patek Philippe will donate 100% of the proceeds from the catalogue to The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.
by Vanessa Loeffler