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The exhibition, organised by Patek Philippe in Dubai, will showcase timepieces such as the famous Sky Moon Tourbillon. Denis Balibouse / Reuters
The exhibition, organised by Patek Philippe in Dubai, will showcase timepieces such as the famous Sky Moon Tourbillon. Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Patek Philippe exhibition is one to watch

The Life: A new luxury watch exhibition by Patek Philippe is free, but its timepieces certainly are not. They can run anywhere from 10,000 to 1.2 million Swiss Francs - each.

This might be time well spent: watch connoisseurs can head down to the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, where through Friday they can ogle timepieces such as the famous Sky Moon Tourbillon - which some retailers sell for US$1.5 million (Dh 5.5m).

The exhibition is being put on by Patek Philippe, a family-owned watch business based in Switzerland that created the Sky Moon model. But while the company's showcase in the UAE is free, they charge anywhere from 10,000 (Dh39,544) to 1.2 million Swiss Francs for one of their timepieces.

"This is the average," says Thierry Stern, the president of Patek Philippe. Other exhibitions like this have been held elsewhere in the world by Patek, although this particular one features an entirely new layout spread across more than 1,500 square metres.

What is the need for all that luxury space?

Patek designed the area to recreate its headquarters in Geneva, including workshops and its own museum.

It plans to showcase about 400 timepieces dating back to its origin in 1839, including 350 watches and 50 so-called movements.

The "movement" of a timepiece is all-important, Mr Stern says. "It's the engine of the watch.

"Patek is well-known for not only aesthetics of the watch, but also the accuracy and precision of the movement. We always talk about that because when you buy a watch the most important is the movement you don't see," he adds.

Patek's museum in Geneva features about 2,000 watches - and about 60 have been brought to Dubai. Some models are hundreds of years old or rare one-off pieces and many were collected by Mr Stern's father, who was an avid history buff in this market.

The exhibition will also include handcrafted clocks and "the great flower" pocket-watch, which was designed for the Arabian market circa 1660.

nparmar@thenational.ae

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