Marina Bay becomes home to Patek Philippe’s biggest exhibit yet
From September 28 to October 13, Singapore gets front-row seats to Patek Philippe’s meticulous world of watchmaking. The luxury watch brand, famous for the $11 million valued 1518, draws its curtains to unveil its history and secrets in a free-entry exhibit held at The Marina Bay Sands Theatre. The Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019 is geared to be the biggest of its kind, occupying at least ten distinct rooms that honour Patek Philippe’s glorious eras, both in their opulent timepieces, and the skilled artisans who made them.
Patek Philippe goes all out in their sprawling showcase. Cherished artefacts and historical timepieces lodged in their Geneva headquarters are travelling abroad for a first glimpse from their Southeast Asian audience. To produce a more immersive experience, two rooms are bedecked with the same look and feel of the brand’s Rue du Rhône shops, transporting the onlookers into its Geneva home. The first of which is the Antique Room, which bares Patek Philippe’s heirloom pieces and earlier watches. A collection of past to present becomes the highlight of the Museum Room, showcasing timepieces and their stories starting from 1839. The display includes the 1868 debut women’s watch—a golden number encased in ornate gildings, a rectangular face and capped off with a chunky bracelet. Another is the 1925 golden-rimmed chronograph—the world’s first perpetual calendar—featuring four individual apertures for the serious readers of time.
One of the most unique rooms is the Rare Handcrafts, Patek Philippe’s curtsy to its Southeast Asian market who is notably fond of colours, sublime craftsmanship and individuality. Hand-painted watches prevail in this room, including the gold-engraved Calatrava that features a flower enamel dial, the vibrant Tropical Plants that features a micro-painting on its face, surrounded with crystals; and the rainbow-hued domed watches adorned with willowy abstract shapes and grand feu enamel.
Jaw-dropping pocket watches and complications exist in the Grand Complications Room, a synchronous tick-tocking of extraordinary timepieces that include the gorgeously handsome Graves collection and Patek Philippe’s age-old chronographs. There is an Interactive room with guided audio that allows the onlookers to learn more about each timepiece as they stroll through each display.
But the most outstanding collection, perhaps, is the Singapore 200th Anniversary Room. Coinciding with Singapore’s Biennial anniversary, Patek Philippe pays tribute to the bustling port of the Far East, with rare handcraft watches that echo the whimsical beauty of the 1830 Canton seaport in miniature enamel painting. There’s a breath-taking handcraft Tropical Island dome watch that features an illustration of majestic sea creatures swimming inside a luscious tone of blue, a homage to the vibrant seas that surround this region.
Singapore’s Watch Art is the fifth exhibition hosted by Patek Philippe. The first one debuted in 2012, right in the heart of Dubai, and subsequently gained traction that it has travelled all over the world—from Munich, London, and in New York.
Tickets are free, but one is required to reserve online. Two special Sundays are allotted for families—a perfect way to tag the children along and have them discover the beauty behind luxury and horology. www.patek.com ◼
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© This article was first published online in Sept 2019 – World Travel Magazine.