Mark your calendars, as one of the biggest events of the watch year will be held in New York City from July 13 – 23, 2017. Open to the public and free to all, the Patek Philippe Grand Exhibition comes to the USA. This exhibition is Patek Philippe’s way of doing outreach to educate the world about watches in general and their brand in particular.

“I’ve done three of these Grand Exhibitions over the course of 30 years, and the impact of these events is really remarkable,” says Larry Pettinelli, president, Patek Philippe USA. “Most of what we do to communicate about the brand is in small groups and it’s preaching to the choir, really, as the people are already watch lovers and often are Patek fans. Every 10 or 12 years, we do something bigger to reach out to people who know nothing about watches. We are trying to speak to a broader group of people, to talk about wearable art, to have a museum quality experience. We are not selling anything, it’s free of charge, and it’s open to everyone. People come in with their families and see some of these incredible timepieces. We will have some surprises where we have some very memorable watches.”

Pettinelli is keeping things close to the vest about the special surprises they will have in store, but he did let slip that included in the historical watches on display will be timepieces that have belonged to some of the most famous people to ever walk this earth.

Over the course of the ten days, Patek expects more than 25,000 people to attend, and in the past, people have stayed an average about an hour and forty five minutes in the exhibition, which is great exposure to high watchmaking at its finest.

“The goal of this exhibition is exposure to Patek Philippe and the history of watches and the history of portable timekeeping,” Pettinelli explains. “We want it to be an educational process. Every room you go into will be a different experience and it will be building up your knowledge of watches, and the end room will be the high complications.”

The exhibition will be held in Cipriani 42nd Street, Cipriani’s exhibition space across from Grand Central Station, where for the very first time a two-story structure will be erected. There will be 10 specific rooms inside – including the Theater Room, Current Collection Room, Museum Room, US Historic Room, Rare Handcrafts Gallery and Grand Complications Room. At total of 13,218 square feet of exhibition space will showcase watches that date back to the 1500s. After their tour, visitors can even relax in the Patek Philippe Café.

“I’m excited because this is our opportunity to speak to people who have no idea about watchmaking, much less Patek Philippe,” explains Pettinelli. “We are going to have watchmakers there, stone setters and more. We want to have the children come in and we will have special activities for them. We want people to be amazed. For the first time I can remember, Thierry Stern, Patek’s president, is going to allow some of the pieces dating back to the 1500s to come to this exhibition. We will have something for the watch connoisseur, we will have things for the casual watch person and a lot for the people who know nothing about watches.”

Rest assured that Revolution will track this story to find out the exceptional watches that will be on display, and we will be there when the exhibition opens to report on it and see it first-hand.

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