Patek Philippe - Watchmaking History at a Glance

Jul 15, 2007
Unique Museum
Everyone interested in the Swiss watchmaking tradition is invited to visit an exceptional museum of the Patek Philippe Company. The museum exhibits about 2,000 exclusive watches, mechanisms, some miniature enamel portraits and other exhibits that take museum visitors through the whole history of Swiss watchmaking. Besides displaying about five hundred years of European horology, the museum also introduces its visitors into the 160-year history of the brand.

Two Departments
Many experts consider timepieces created by Patek Philippe to be the finest in the world. The marvelous collection of watches displayed at the Patek Philippe museum is divided into two departments. The first department is dedicated to the history of European watchmaking, while the second department is created specially for the brand's historical timepieces that were born during the whole period of Patek Philippe's activity in the field of horology.

Museum's History
The building was built back in 1920 when it housed a few jewelry producers, including such brands as Heller and Son, Ponti Gennari, a jeweler from Italy, and jewelers from Piaget. Later, the house was acquired by Philippe Stern and turned into Ateliers Reunis SA. The factory started manufacturing bracelets, chains and most importantly it manufactured watches. The building was located in Plainpalais, Geneva.

Only in 1995 the workshop of Patek Philippe moved to Plan-les-Quates and the building remained deserted. That is when the idea of creating a museum dedicated to the history of Patek Philippe appeared. Initially, the watchmaking company wanted to show to the public the two collections of the brand bought by Philippe Stern more than 30 years ago.

Then, there followed the idea of enlarging the building. While keeping the history of its walls, the building was to be given a contemporaneous look. The complicated work was performed under the supervision of the president's wife, Gerdi Philippe. The building was thoroughly refurbished and redecorated. The designers also opted for a special lighting system for displaying the museum's exhibits in the best possible way.

Renovated Building
The original building of 700 square meters was transformed into a new modern museum. Today the Patek Philippe museum has four floors. On the first floor there is situated the reception, a collection of various antique toys, a shop for the restoration of timepieces and finally an auditorium.

The second floor presents an antique collection dating back to the 16-19-th centuries. The third floor invites visitors to a library and some archives of the brand. Finally, the fourth floor displays the marvelous collection of Patek Philippe from 1839 till nowadays.

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