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April 9, 2024

Patek Philippe brings its Rare Handcrafts Exhibition to London

The event will give visitors the opportunity to explore exquisite craftsmanship of centuries-old artisanal techniques

By Stephanie Bridger-Linning

Patek Philippe is set to bring its annual Rare Handcrafts Exhibition to London for the first time.

The event, taking place from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 June at the newly renovated Patek Philippe Salons on Bond Street, will give visitors the opportunity to discover the exquisite skill of rare handcrafts – a number of celebrated artisanal traditions including enamelling, wood marquetery, guilloché and hand gem-setting – which have been used to decorate timepieces for more than four centuries. 

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It will also celebrate the commitment shown by Patek Philippe to preserving these skills, which have been passed down from generation to generation and now adorn some of the finest timepieces offered by the family–owned watchmaker.

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Patek Philippe's “Morning on the Beach” / Calatrava wristwatch with dial in wood marquetry
Patek Philippe’s ‘Morning on the Beach’ Calatrava wristwatch with dial in wood marquetry

Spread across more than 2,500 sq ft and incorporating themed spaces, the Rare Handcrafts Exhibtion 2024 will involve more than 80 exhibits, including one-of-a-kind pocket watches, wristwatches and clocks, alongside demonstrations by artisans demonstrating their savoir-faire

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The exhibition will arrive in London following a showcase in Geneva, which takes place from 13-27 April. Details of the Swiss edition have already been released and offer a hint as to what viewers might expect in London.

‘Every year, to perpetuate all the fine artistic crafts associated with the decoration of timepieces for almost five centuries, Patek Philippe unveils a new collection of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces showcasing these precious skills,’ the family-owned watch manufacturer said in a statement.

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‘True to its “tradition of innovation” the manufacturer also aims to enable these exceptional techniques to progress, by constantly pushing back the boundaries of what is possible while drawing on ever-more diverse sources of inspiration – as evidenced by the rich creativity of the themes.

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‘The “Rare Handcrafts 2024” collection (82 pieces in total, comprising 27 dome clocks and small dome clocks, three table clocks, nine pocket watches and 43 wristwatches) once again shines the spotlight on a vast body of know-how, spanning both ancestral skills (Grand Feu cloisonné enamel, miniature painting on enamel, grisaille enamel, flinqué enamel, paillonné enamel, champlevé enamel, hand-engraving, hand-executed guilloché work, and gemsetting) and techniques that are relatively new to horology, such as micro wood marquetry and Longwy enamel on faience.’

UK-based watch aficionados will no doubt look forward to experiencing this technical mastery when the exhibition arrives in London in June.

Rare Handcrafts Exhibition London 2024 will be open to the public from Friday 7-Saturday 16 June 2024; 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday and 12pm-5pm, Sunday. Admission is free. 1st floor, Bond Street House, 14 Clifford Street, London, W1S 4JU. Registration will open at www.patek.com/rhc-london at the end of May.

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