Patek Philippe’s art is on display in Paris

To What is the myth of Patek Philippe? And why does Geneva production continue to fascinate collectors of exclusive and collectible watches? Two questions that a new traveling exhibition of the house called “Haut Artisanat” will try to answer. After Dubai, Munich, New York, London or Singapore in 2019 and before settling in Tokyo, Patek Philippe opens for the first time in Paris – at 85 Faubourg Saint-Honore – the main retrospective highlighting the richness of its heritage and more than 180 years of history of the brand, founded by the Stern family in 1839.

First of all, it will reveal the brand’s diverse know-how, including many arts and crafts techniques used to make watches decorated with decorative arts. The legacy and tradition that Patek Philippe cultivates to preserve the endangered know-how today, such as micromarketing or miniature enamel painting, are two processes highlighted in the new collection of items specially presented as part of the Haut Artisanat Exhibition. .

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Three works are specially created for the exhibition

On this occasion, Patek Philippe selected 59 new models, including 25 watches, 24 Dôme watches – the main parts of home crafts, 10 pocket watches, as well as three exclusive models designed specifically for retrospective. These are three pocket watches with hand engraving on the back and paying tribute to the various attractions that marked the history of the World’s Fair in Paris.

To do this, the masters of Patek Philippe drew inspiration from the illustrations of the time, using the sophistication of a technique known as “hand engraving in relief or bas-relief” to create a three-dimensional effect at a very small thickness. All made of white gold and covered with white enamel, the first is a Giffard balloon, which in 1878 raised visitors 500 meters above the capital in 1878, and the second model is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, the star of the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889, celebrating the centenary of France. revolution. Finally, the last copy pays tribute to 1878, during which the head of the Statue of Liberty was presented before it was sent across the Atlantic.

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Fireworks of creativity

Another showcase will take visitors on a journey to Geneva – the cradle of the manufactory – with two unique examples of the famous Dome clock with cloisonne enamel, including “Bol d’Or”, a tribute to seven victories won by Philip Stern during the famous regatta on Lake Geneva, and Geneva in the style of Ananbo “, which combines the decor of exotic vegetation in gold threads and translucent enamels with a panorama of the city in a miniature painting on enamel. The tropical jungle and wildlife will also be honored with two life-size portraits of chameleons on Calatrava models, a Golden Ellipse and a pocket watch in a wooden market, like the Guépard watch, made of 16 different essences to recreate cat running.

And to enjoy the sophistication of the various techniques used by Patek Philippe masters, the public will have the opportunity to attend demonstrations by professionals at work. They will rediscover hand engraving, the oldest form of decorative art associated with watch decoration, or Grand Feu’s cloisonne enamel, which has also been used for a long time in watchmaking, where the art master uses gold wire to trace its pattern before filling “partitions” with enamels. .

Also note the miniature enamel drawing, which has been a specialty in Geneva since the 17th century, the so-called pailloné enamel technique, which allows small motifs cut from gold or silver to be integrated into translucent enamel and visible through transparency, not forgetting the micromarket of wood, diamond pressing, or two skills developed in France, such as grizzly bear enamel in Limoges white or enamel on longwave pottery.

Exhibition Haut Artisanat, from 14 to 22 May 2022, 85, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris. 11:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and 10:00 to 18:00 on weekends. FREE ENTRANCE.

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