Time passages

An exploration of the storied history of Swiss watchmaking is about to land in Manhattan, with Patek Philippe’s “The Art of Watches, Grand Exhibition New York 2017.”

Back in the January issue, we shared the announcement of what promises to be a summer highlight ­— the Geneva-based company welcoming watch collectors, antiques lovers and history buffs into its world during a July 13-23 exhibition at Cipriani 42nd Street.

As the event nears, the organizers have shared some additional details about this sweeping exhibition devoted to luxury timepieces.

Designed to showcase the brand’s tradition of high-precision watch manufacturing, the exhibit will offer an elaborate journey into the 178-year-old company’s history, complete with the recreation of a Geneva workshop.

Patek Philippe will fill more than 13,000 square feet of exhibition space as it examines the history of both pocket and wristwatches through 10 themed rooms. As previously announced, these will range from the Film Theatre room, where the Patek Philippe historical movie will be shown, to the Current Collection room that will replicate the Patek Philippe Salon on the Rue du Rhône in Geneva to the Rare Handcrafts Gallery, where artisans will demonstrate the company’s dedication to craftsmanship and time-honored techniques.

In the latest update, the company has announced details of a U.S. Historic Room, where Patek Philippe has curated a collection of notable timepieces from iconic U.S. collectors.

The room will feature 27 timepieces on loan from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston and private collections. 

“The United States has been an extremely important market for Patek Philippe collectors since the 1850s,” Larry Pettinelli, president of Patek Philippe U.S., shares in advance of the show. “We hope to showcase some of these extraordinary timepieces… putting into context the evolution of Patek Philippe within the U.S. market.” 

Highlights from the U.S. Historic Room will include 11 timepieces from two of the most legendary Patek Philippe collectors from the early 20th century, New York banker and fine-arts enthusiast Henry Graves Jr., and Ohio automobile magnate James Ward Packard. 

In addition, the room will feature a historic desk clock on loan from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. The autonomous quartz desk clock was commissioned by German retailer Heinz Wipperfeld and manufactured by Patek Philippe for President Kennedy and presented to him in 1963 by Willy Brandt, the mayor of West Berlin. Sports fans will also delight in a timepiece owned by baseball legend Joe DiMaggio.

Guided tours will be offered throughout the exhibition’s run, when a Patek Philippe Café will also be available.

For more, visit patekphilippe.com.

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