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Patek Philippe has been perpetuating the tradition of Genevan watchmaking without interruption since May 1, 1839. As the last family-owned independent watch manufacturer in Geneva, it enjoys total creative freedom to entirely design, produce and assemble what experts agree to be the finest timepieces in the world – following the vision of its founders Antoine Norbert de Patek (1839) and Adrien Philippe (1845). Thanks to its exceptional know-how, Patek Philippe maintains a tradition of innovation hailed by an impressive repertoire of more than 80 patents.
Top Quality Patek Philippe Watches (565) Items.
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  • Patek Philippe Museum - The Mirror of Seduction

    VIEW THE PHOTO-GALLERY

    Since it was inaugurated on 8th November 2001, the Patek Philippe Museum has repeatedly delighted visitors with rare and remarkable exhibits that justify its global stature as a uniquely reputable repository of horological treasures.
    The museum showcases important collections of horological artistry as well as Genevan, Swiss, and European enamel art from the 16th to the 20th centuries. It also accommodates a library with more than 8000 books on watchmaking and related fields.
    Its historic collection comprises mainly timepieces, automata, and miniature enamel portraits. Additionally, the museum harbors exemplars of the prestigious creations that the Patek Philippe manufacture has designed, developed, and crafted since it was established in 1839.
    It was the year 2002 when curator Arnaud Tellier first had the idea to showcase an array of watches produced for the Chinese market, especially those that had been made in companion sets. Now, an extensive exhibition has been dedicated to this topic, and the Patek Philippe Museum is hosting it from 15th May to 16th October 2010.
    "Chinese" watches... in pairs
    The collection of the Patek Philippe Museum includes more than one hundred timepieces that were crafted explicitly for the Chinese market from the mid-18th century until about 1850. The oldest ones originated in London, and many others pay tribute to the craftsmanship for which Geneva, the Vallee de Joux, and the Neuchâtel region became famous. Quite a few of them share a peculiarity: they were manufactured in pairs.
    Thanks to generous loans by public institutions and private collectors, the museum has the rare opportunity to present some forty pairs of "Chinese" watches, including those taken from the museum's permanent collection.
    The eclectic decorations of these watches are highly varied, depicting religious, mythological, and purely secular themes. Together, they offer a revealing cross-section of the talentsmobilized in that era for an exotic market. Watchmakers, goldsmiths, enamelers, and engravers worked hand in hand to create masterpieces designed to charm Chinese dignitaries.
    The watch trade with China
    The global reputation of timepieces made in Geneva and of Switzerland's watch trade with the Orient, particularly with China, had its roots at the court of Constantinople (Istanbul) with which Geneva had entertained close relationships since the early 17th century. Bypassing French diplomats - the Edict of Nantes had just been revoked in 1685 - Geneva's watchmakers benefited from the presence of Great Britain at the Sublime Porte. They were quick to enlist British merchants with outposts in the Far East as agents through whom they exported clocks and pocket watches. In those days, it was customary for nations to leverage their diplomatic relations not only for political but also for decidedly commercial purposes.
    Although Swiss watchmakers long relied on British affiliates to sell their products, they also gradually began to establish their own trade relations with China. Under the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1736 to 1796), the Genevan luxury watchmaking industry played an important role and at the turn of the century evolved to become the preferred purveyor of timepieces for the Chinese Empire. Many Swiss watchmakers took up residence in China until trade relations collapsed with the eruption of the First Opium War, fought between 1839 and 1842.
    VISITOR INFORMATION
    PATEK PHILIPPE MUSEUM
    Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 7
    CH - 1205 Geneva
    Tel.: + 41 (0)22 807 09 10
    Fax: + 41 (0)22 807 09 20
    www.patekmuseum.com
    info@patekmuseum.com
    DATES
    15th May to 16th October 2010
    OPENING HOURS
    Tuesday to Friday: 2 PM to 6 PM
    Saturday: 10 AM to 6 PM
    Closed on public holidays
    Opening hours extended to 8 PM every first Tuesday of the month from June to October
    TOURS AND OTHER INFORMATION
    Public tours on Saturdays and days with extended opening hours, every half hour starting at 2:30 PM
    Private tours on appointment. Enquiries: visit@patekmuseum.com
    Group conferences on appointment at 7 PM every first Tuesday of the month from June to October
    Further information: www.patekmuseum.com
    EXHIBITION CATALOG
    The Mirror of Seduction
    Prestigious pairs of "Chinese" watches
    Philippe Stern, Patek Philippe, Geneva, Honorary President
    Arnaud Tellier, Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva, Curator
    Melanie Didier, Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva, scientific assistant
    Price: CHF 30.00
    Available at the Patek Philippe Museum or via www.patekmuseum.com

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