they also began building their treasured collection of the house’s earlier creations. In 2001, the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva opened to the public, showcasing these historical showpieces, in addition to the largest known collection of portable timekeeping devices, dating back to the 16th century.
The opening of the museum coincided with an effort to revive awareness of highly skilled traditional watchmaking handicrafts. Patek Philippe’s honorary president, Philippe Stern, and his son Thierry, the current president, were acutely aware that the rare artisanal skills and know-how evident in the exquisite museum pieces would not survive unless they were practised daily, refined to perfection and passed from one generation to the next. Consequently, the manufacture enlisted the last few masters of these skills to ensure they passed their knowledge to the up-and-coming generation of craftsmen.
As the oldest and only remaining independent family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva, it came as no surprise that this year’s festivities took place in the city.
THE OPENING OF THE PATEK PHILIPPE MUSEUM COINCIDED WITH AN EFFORT TO REVIVE AWARENESS OF HIGHLY SKILLED TRADITIONAL WATCHMAKING HANDICRAFTS
The highly detailed video of the illustrious watchmaker’s journey was complemented by an exhibition of some of its finest rare historical handcrafts, and was followed by an opulent evening of fine food and champagne. The evening was a celebration of not only Patek Philippe’s commercial triumphs, but also its unrelenting passion and deep understanding of the art of watchmaking.
A number of limited edition Rare Handcrafts models were on display during the evening to highlight the manufacture’s journey and its skillset. They paid tribute to techniques such as engraving, enamelling, grisaille, guilloché, marquetry and high jewellery. In addition,
FROM LEFT: WALL PROJECTIONS ON THE FACADE OF PATEK PHILIPPE’S MANUFACTURE; THE CHIMING JUMP HOUR IS ONE OF SIX NEW TIMEPIECES FOR THE ANNIVERSARY