Never before has a watch brand taken over the entirety of the historic bank building that today houses Cipriani 42nd Street for an entire month, let alone build an entire two-story building inside the cavernous hall. Patek Philippe, however, did exactly that – and so much more. July 13 marked the opening of the 10-day long exhibition called “Patek Philippe – The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition. Open to the public free of charge until of July 23, this is one exhibition you will not want to miss.
Not only did Patek Philippe bring in hundreds of watches from its museum and other museums, but also – among the more than 450 timepieces on display – brought in some of the most coveted historic pieces – including watches owned by President John F. Kennedy and American baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio, among others. Additionally, the brand showcases its high complications and its rare handcrafts—unveiling many one-of-a-kind pieces. To celebrate its legacy and its relationship with America, Patek Philippe has also assembled an impressive line up of American-inspired watches that are exclusive for the US market. Oh, and let’s not forget the exceptional demonstrations by watchmakers and artisans alike who bring their arts to life right before your eyes.
Because we could never bring the entire exhibit to you – you really must go – we have decided, instead, to bring three key highlights that can be seen now in New York, one each from a different discipline of watchmaking. All the details can be found here, on www.patek.com.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5531 World-Time Minute Repeater, New-York Special Edition
This new watch represents so many things for Patek Philippe and its enamored followers. To begin with, the patent-pending piece houses an all-new movement (R27 HU) that combines the World Time and Minute Repeater – and can actually chime the time in any of the 24 time zones of the world. Not only is the grand complication movement a representation of five years of research and development and technical prowess, but also the watch is visually stunning. It features a hand-painted cloisonné dial that pays tribute to New York. The Patek Philippe Ref. 5531 World-Time Minute Repeater is offered in two versions: New York by day and New York by night – with five of each being made, and priced at $561,341. Editor’s note: For more details on the technical side of this watch, take a look at Roberta’s website here.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5522A Calatrava Pilot
In the same as the controversial Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524, Patek Philippe also benefited from the Exhibition to unveil a new piece in this aviation-inspired collection, this time with a simple 3-hand display, the Ref. 5522A Calatrava Pilot. The first noticeable point here is the “A” attached to the reference, which indicates that this watch is stainless steel. For the rest, the matte dark blue dial, the pilot-style blued steel hands and the applied indexes are equal to the previous Ref. 5524. The watch, powered by the well-known automatic calibre 324, measures 42mm in diameter and 9mm thick – and it has no date! All of that is limited to 600 pieces, allocated exclusively to U.S. retailers, and priced at $21,547.
The Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5230G New York 2017
Finally, amongst the various watches that Patek Philippe introduced especially for the US market is the World Time Ref. 5230G New York 2017. Based on the traditional world-timer, this Limited Edition (again a US-market exclusive) differs from the standard version with a specific dial, with art-deco NYC-inspired scenery, in dark blue. The metal relief image shows the Manhattan skyline, the same image as the Ref. 5531 World-Time Minute Repeater. This Ref. 5230G New York 2017 is limited to 300 pieces, all in white gold, priced at $47,000.
In the USA Historical room lie many grand surprises. In fact this room, along with the aforementioned complication and rare handcrafts room, will steal most of your time. Not only are important pieces made for James Ward Packard and Henry Graves on display, but also a table clock made for President John F. Kennedy is there in full glory.
We could wax on eloquently about the exhibit, but suffice it to say that these highlights should whet your appetite enough for you to get to Cipriani 42nd Street before July 23 when the Patek Philippe The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition closes its doors.
This article has been written by Roberta Naas, founder of A Timely Perspective; and author of six books on watches.