Having heard a lot about Patek Philippe’s Watch Art Grand Exhibitions in Dubai (2012), Munich (2013), London (2015) and New York (2017), I couldn’t help but be curious and excited about going to its exhibition in Singapore.
Well, the fifth and largest Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition in this part of the world didn’t disappoint. With several marvels of time on display, I found myself going from one exhibit to another enthusiastically. Each piece was unique and each one of the 10 themed rooms, clearly masterpieces in a class of their own.
Held at the prestigious Marina Bay Sands Theatre, we were told the space was reconfigured to remove 1,000 seats. This was to make room for the over 400 exceptional timepieces that was presented at the exhibition.
What I personally liked and appreciated was the fact that this Grand Exhibition was open to the public. Admission was also free. Not everyone gets the chance to see such wondrous displays of time and historical, one-of-a-kind, innovative timepieces.
With a passion to share knowledge and educate, the brand went to great lengths to give a rare insight into the art of watchmaking.
Getting an in-depth look into the world of the last independent, family-owned Genevan watchmaking manufacture was not something to be missed. And, there was indeed a record turnout of 68,000 visitors over the 16-day exhibition held recently. Over two years in the making, the final result was absolutely spectacular, setting new benchmarks of excellence.
In his speech, Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe shared, “We are always on the quest for quality because we believe it is an essential and worthy pursuit over generations. The main goal of having this Grand Exhibition is really to educate people and to give a passion to newcomers and collectors.”
Highlights of the exhibition included 120 historical timekeeping instruments from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. There also was the complete collection of Patek Philippe timepieces such as some of the most complicated watches ever created by the brand – the Calibre 89 and Star Calibre 2000.
Each themed room had been thought out carefully. One could learn so many things about the watchmaking world just by taking this journey of time. The Singapore and South-East Asia Room was absolutely impressive and there were interactive exhibits in some of the rooms too, including one where you could feel like you were putting the tiny parts of a watch together.
Dome table clocks and normal table clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches that were lavishly decorated by artisans with the mastery of the most elaborate rare handcraft techniques could all be seen up close. Engraving, enamelling, wood marquetry and hand guilloche were all presented and the Grand Exhibition clearly reinforced Patek Philippe’s keen interest in preserving the art of watchmaking.
To mark the exhibition in Singapore, six special editions and an important collection of rare handcraft timepieces inspired by the mix of cultural and artistic expressions of Southeast Asia and Singapore were presented. When the Singapore 2019 special edition Ref. 5303R-010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon was revealed for the first time during the Grand Exhibition, there was a thrill in the air in appreciation of the artistic beauty and innovation that went into the creation of this breakthrough of time. This new grand complication with an open architecture allows the hammers and gongs of the strikework to be observed at work from the dial.
Deepa Chatrath, general manager of Geneva Master Time Marketing LLP shared, “Taking place in the Bicentennial year, Patek Philippe wanted to mark this edition with an event of extraordinary proportions. This exhibition was conceived as a tribute to the dynamic spirit of Singapore and its strong mix of collectors and enthusiasts in the region. We hope this exhibition has inspired new generations to work in this industry and to become future clients.” The Singapore Bicentennial in 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore.
What was lovely was also that to uphold familial values that Patek Philippe strongly believes in, the Grand Exhibition also hosted Family days across two Sundays, providing watch aficionados educational opportunities to share their passion with their family and younger generation.
It would be hard to rival this grand, comprehensive and innovative exhibition of time. Patek Philippe has proven its mastery over time yet again, clearly showing why it is the leader in its field. After looking at the masterpieces, a clearly overwhelming feel by many would certainly be the wish to own a Patek Philippe creation.
The exhibition may be over but there is still a chance to see some Patek Philippe watches in their boutiques such as the one in Suria KLCC. Or maybe, a visit to their retailers’ outlets such as Cortina Watch at Starhill Gallery, KL, will fulfill your dream of wearing what can be considered the most coveted timepiece brand in the world on your wrist. Time is just so precious and we seriously should appreciate every moment of it.
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