If you missed a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, fear not. Patek Philippe has set his legacy in stone by creating a digital-age virtual room filled with the famous ‘Rare Handcraft’ watches from his late show.
In the real world, you can walk into a gallery and buy a one-of-a-kind artwork signed and authenticated as original, take it home and marvel at all its splendour. But what if you could wear it on your wrist?
Patek Philippe, the Swiss watchmaker, one of the most prominent players in the timepiece game, released a series of horological masterpieces into the virtual world after their successful exhibition ‘Rare Handcrafts’ shook the world. Placed in pockets of soft velvet padding in Geneva, the setting for the company’s private Salons was an astounding array of 70 unique and limited edition pieces.
From April 2022, the walk-in event included wristwatches, pocket-watches, domes and table clocks featuring artistic decorations such as manual engraving and gem-setting. After hopping to Paris the following month, it was time to give collectors worldwide a chance to step into the wonderland of it all.
Patek Philippe has always considered its watches to be works of art that reflect the refined aesthetics of mechanical perfection. With their primary focus on complicated mechanical inner workings and a commitment to handmaking every single part, it’s easy to see why the brand is one of the best worldwide.
A brand new creation may set you back tens of thousands of dollars but will get you four to five times more at auction. So, if you want to make a statement with your choice of luxury, you can’t go wrong.
As its title suggests, the entire exhibition showcases some of Patek’s most detailed handcrafted designs. From the 24-karat gold zebra pocket watch to the $117,987 alligator leather flower piece, it’s evident that more than 100 hours of craftsmanship went into the making of the manually engraved watches.
Like a snowflake in a storm, each one offers its unique design, some even containing 12 complications, a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and moon-phase indications. And celebrities have noticed. Patek Philippe has reeled in customers like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Mayer, Brad Pitt and even the Dalai Lama.
Not to mention each piece is a stellar investment. For example, one of Philippe’s complication pocket watches sold, and bidding ended with a sumptuous $24 million when the final hammer fell.
“We hope to catch the interest of younger generations for the artisans’ rare creatives. By inspiring them with what’s possible –maybe one day they can work in this artistic field,” claims Jasmina Steele to NYT, the company’s international communication and public relations director.
When you click on the virtual experience, the “zoom” feature also makes it easier to admire each piece’s meticulous details, intricacies you may have missed if you were in a crowded gallery.
Enjoy the golden ticking room.