Following the Watch Art Grand Exhibitions in Dubai in 2012, Munich in 2013, London in 2015, and New York in 2017, the fifth and largest Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore recently concluded with a record turnout of 68,000 visitors over the 16-day exhibition. Over two years in the making, the largest one of its kind Grand Exhibition provided a rare and unique opportunity to offer the public insights into the art of watchmaking and immerse them in the world of the last independent, family-owned Genevan watchmaking manufacture.

Held in the premise of the prestigious Marina Bay Sands Theatre, the space was reconfigured to remove over 1,000 seats, to make room for over 400 exceptional timepieces that were presented in 10 themed rooms spanning across 1,800 sqm. Special highlights include 120 historic timekeeping instruments from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva and the complete collection of Patek Philippe timepieces including some of the most complicated watches ever created by Patek Philippe—the Calibre 89 and the Star Calibre 2000.

Star Calibre 2000

The Grand Exhibition attracted visitors from around the Southeast Asia region and beyond, including media and VIPs from over 25 countries. Opened to the public from 28 September to 13 October, the Grand Exhibition in Singapore was the longest one Patek Philippe has presented. With a broad array of dome table clocks, table clocks, pocket watches, and wristwatches that are lavishly decorated by artisans with the mastery of the most elaborate rare handcraft techniques—engraving, enamelling, wood marquetry, and hand guilloché, the Grand Exhibition once again reinforces Patek Philippe’s keen interest in preserving the art of watchmaking.

“We are always on the quest for quality because we believe it is an essential and worthy pursuit over generations. The main goal of having this Grand Exhibition is really to educate people, and to give a passion to newcomers and collectors,” shared Mr. Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe. “The history and relationship between Patek Philippe and Singapore is long and storied from one generation to the next, and we had wanted to bring the Genevan manufacture here to Singapore. What we have created is a very unique exhibition. We were impressed by the turnout and the quality of visitors, numbers of them have high level of knowledge for artisanship and technical aspects.”

On occasion of the nation’s 200th anniversary, Patek Philippe saluted the city-state and its neighboring countries with a specially appointed thematic room and decor, as well as a selection of extraordinary exhibits that reflected the history, culture and heritage of Southeast Asia. To mark the Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore, six special editions and an important collection of rare handcrafts timepieces inspired by the mix of cultural and artistic expressions of Southeast Asia and Singapore were presented.

The Singapore 2019 special edition Ref. 5303R-010 Minute Repeater Tourbillon was revealed for the first time during the International Press Day on 27 September, presenting a new grand complication with an open architecture that allows the hammers and gongs of the strikework to be observed at work from the dial, making another watchmaking breakthrough with this new creation.

Upholding familial values that Patek Philippe strongly believe in, the Grand Exhibition also hosted Family Days across two Sundays, providing watch aficionados educational opportunities to share their passion with their family and the younger generation. The young ones were introduced to the universe of Patek Philippe through a series of interactive activities like “Time Treasures” hunt, colouring and watch tattoos, while others participated in the mechanical clockmaking workshops led by the team of Patek Philippe watchmakers who guided the young children wearing little watchmakers’ coat through the process of assembly and placing the various parts and wheels into position for the clock to function.

Patek Philippe also retailed a limited-edition commemorative catalogue that highlights the timepieces that were showcased during the exhibition. The funds collected will be donated to the National Museum of Singapore to support the preservation of the arts and heritage in Singapore.

“When it was announced that the Watch Art Grand Exhibition was to take place in Singapore, there was a sense of elation, but also a sense of deep honour and trepidation to host something of this calibre. Taking place in the Bicentennial year, Patek Philippe wanted to mark this edition with an event of extraordinary proportions,” said Deepa Chatrath, General Manager of Geneva Master Time Marketing LLP, “this exhibition was conceived as a tribute to a dynamic spirit of Singapore and its strong mix of collectors and enthusiasts based in the region. Our clients and the general public are all essential in conveying our message of long term value, tradition, innovation and craftsmanship. We hope the exhibition has inspired new generations to work in this industry and to become future clients.”

The Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019 was a free public exhibition that exquisitely showcased the Geneva-based environment of Patek Philippe’s historic salons, workshops, and the world renowned museum. The exhibition drew inspiration from the deep love for artisanship and mechanical watchmaking in the region, and through the Museum pieces, Patek Philippe celebrated the 500-year history of portable timepieces that encapsulate the knowledge and skills of the brightest minds that came together to create objects of timeless beauty and precision.