Patek Philippe Takes Over London’s Saatchi Gallery with Dazzling Watch Exhibition
Get ready for an extravaganza of 400 haute-jewelry and historical timepieces.
Swiss luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe is taking over London’s Saatchi Gallery until June 7, which will be the brand’s most ambitious exhibition to date.
As part of “Watch Art Patek Philippe Grand Exhibition,” visitors will be able to see, for the first time in London, more than 400 historical timepieces—some of them from the Patek Philippe Museum collection—including the first Swiss wristwatch, which was made for a woman. In 1868, Patek Philippe sold the watch, which consisted of a thin strip of gold with a hidden dial, to Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. Also on view is a stunning jewel-watch made of pearls, on loan from the Queen of England.
The exhibition dedicates a full room to timepieces with “complications,” the rarest and most complex pieces, and also includes five films, spanning 3D renderings of intricate timepieces to documentaries surrounding the founding of the company.
The brand has brought some of its most treasured historical and contemporary creations to the gallery, and the exhibition designers have painstakingly recreated several rooms of the brand’s Geneva-based headquarters.
The Napoleon Room, for instance, is an exact reconstruction of the Patek Phillipe salon, which is located in its historical enclave in Geneva’s Rue de Rhone. Even the view to Lake Geneva and the iconic Jet d’Eau have been re-created for the exhibition.
There’s also the Rare Handcrafts Artisan’s room, where Patek Philippe’s professional gem setters, engravers, enamel painters, and engine turning experts are showing their skills in live presentations and engaging in conversation with the visitors.
But it is the Rare Handicrafts Gallery and Museum rooms, devoted to spectacular haute-jewelry timepieces, ranging from the 16th century to today, that will capture the imagination of gallery patrons and horologists alike.
The assemble of exquisite dome clocks made of pearls and Baccarat crystal are sensational, and a recently-made wristwatch set with 1675 diamonds is as beautiful as it is decadent. In another room, a cluster of pocket watches which once belonged to the royal families of countries including Siam (now Thailand), Serbia, Sweden, Norway, and the UK, seem to be proof that Patek Philippe is a brand fit for kings.
With this exhibition, the Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into one of the most beguiling and persuasive showrooms.
“Watch Art Patek Philippe Grand Exhibition” is on view at London’s Saatchi Gallery, from May 27-June 7.
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