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The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition, New York

Patek Philippe brings the world of Swiss watchmaking to America.

Patek Philippe has created a watch lover’s nirvana with its latest and greatest Grand Exhibition, which runs July 13 through 23 at Cipriani 42nd Street in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The revered Geneva brand has transformed the huge space with an installation of 10 different rooms, including spaces that evoke its Geneva workshops, museum, and boutique. More than 450 antique, vintage, and modern timepieces are on display, and entry is free of charge.

You can peruse the complete current collection as well as museum pieces dating to the Renaissance, some of which have not been displayed outside of Patek’s Geneva museum before. Another room is dedicated to historic watches owned by prominent Americans, such as Joe DiMaggio, Duke Ellington, General George Patton, and legendary mid-20th-century watch collectors Henry Graves Jr. and James Ward Packard. A movement room flaunts the brand’s technical achievements and offers virtual reality activities that let you dive inside a mechanism. And a special section is dedicated to rare handcrafts, such as enamelling, engraving, gem setting, and marquetry, where artisans ply their crafts before your eyes.

To mark the occasion, Patek created a number of unique and limited-edition pocket watches and wristwatches using these refined arts to create images that reference U.S. culture, history, and landscapes. Another room, modelled on the Geneva boutique’s salon, displays nine new limited edition wristwatches for men and women, including the groundbreaking World Time Minute Repeater Ref. 5531 New York 2017 Special Edition, limited to 10 pieces with cloisonné enamel dials—five depicting the New York skyline by day and five by night. The brand has never before combined these two complications, and the watch has a patent pending for its challenging striking mechanism, which chimes local time rather than home time.

Given its considerable historic ties to New York and the U.S. (Norbert de Patek’s first travelled to America in 1854), Patek Philippe went all out to deliver an exceptional and thorough watch experience for collectors, enthusiasts, and neophytes alike.

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