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Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied

A World-Class Patek Philippe Collection Just Touched Down in Melbourne


If watchmaking did indeed have its own Mount Rushmore, one face that would undoubtedly be etched into the granite would be Patek Philippe. For close to 200 years, the iconic Swiss producer has delivered exceptional pieces that traverse the traditional spheres of luxury and function, and it’s little wonder the Geneva watchmaker has wound up on so many ‘grail watch’ lists. But while owning (or even seeing a rare Patek Philippe in the flesh for that matter) is often a pipe dream for the watch nerds of the world, Australians will soon have a front-row seat to an immaculate performance.

Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied
Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied

For the first time ever in Australia, a collection of Patek Philippe’s most revered pieces will be made available for viewing, courtesy of luxury retailer Kennedy. Held at Melbourne’s The Ritz Carlton from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December, the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity for Aussie watch lovers to immerse themselves in the maison’s awe-inspiring universe.

“Patek Philippe as a brand, it really is the epitome of elegance,” Kennedy Watches general manager – timepieces Debbie Kok says. “What it has been able to do is use inspiration and references from the past, but bring them into the present. If you look at the original Calatrava that was created in 1932; the innovation, the modernity of the 1930s, it’s a signature that still lives across the collections. It’s still a very prominent look, it’s still an icon of the brand, and that’s 90 years on from its inception.”

Pieces from the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied
Pieces from the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied

As Kok explains, the exhibition leans heavily into heritage, exploring the early stylistic choices that underpinned production, but there is a profoundly modern theme that flows through Passion For Workmanship. The watch expert revealed that the new exhibition will also mark the Australian debut of Patek Philippe’s latest creations, including two ladies’ additions to the iconic Nautilus range.

“We would love to create a whole lineup of heritage timepieces or vintage timepieces, but it was actually more important for us to highlight the contemporary spirit of Patek Philippe,” Kok explains. “Over 118 timepieces have been curated within the current collection, including 2023 novelties that we saw at Watches and Wonders, as well as pieces that were newly released two weeks ago. So, it’s an Australian premiere to see this whole lineup together.

“The focus is really to educate and highlight, although these timepieces are new and current on the range, all of them come from a very, very deep history, and all of them take cues from designs that have existed in the past,” she continued. “That is the strength of Patek Philippe. It manages to create timepieces that are not only works of art and incredibly complicated, but quite romantic in their creation and true to their history.”

Described as a “meticulously curated symphony of history and modern-day innovation”, Patek Philippe’s 2023 novelties and main collection take watch fans on a unique journey through the foundations of craftsmanship. As Kok revealed, over 100 exceptional timepieces will be on display over the course of the exhibition, including Watches & Wonders standouts such as the 24-hour Travel Time Dial and the recently released purple lacquered dial Calatrava. For Aussie watch lovers, however, all eyes should be on the ref.5231, a World Time in enamel execution that depicts a bird’s eye view of Oceania.

Patek Philippe Complications Ref. 5231G-001 White Gold | Image: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Complications Ref. 5231G-001 White Gold | Image: Patek Philippe

“For the first time, Patek Philippe has brought that heritage to Australia and New Zealand, and you can see it very prominently on a watch,” Kok says. “It feels incredible to be recognised as a market and to be called out as such. It is a really incredible collector’s piece, and to see it here (at the exhibition), it’s something.”

The largest collection of Patek Philippe timepieces ever exhibited in Australia, Kennedy’s three-day event offers an unprecedented opportunity to see the brand’s revered design language up close. For the first time ever, you can marvel at the newly unveiled Calatrava 24-Hour Travel Time 5224R or take a gander at the maison’s ultra-limited grand complications.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Travel Time 5224R | Image: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Calatrava 24-Hour Travel Time 5224R | Image: Patek Philippe

In a sense, the Passion for Workmanship exhibition feels like an invitation to the inner sanctum, a rare chance to peer behind the curtain and step into unique world of one of watchmaking’s last true independents.

“You really see the beating heart of the craftsmanship, and you see the beating heart of the operation,” Kok says. “It’s a chance to transcend and lift that veil of mystery, bringing everyone a little bit closer.”

The Patek Philippe A Passion for Workmanship exhibition will be held from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December at the Ritz Carlton in Melbourne. Public access tickets are free to book and are available now.

Pieces from the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied
Pieces from the Patek Philippe Passion For Workmanship exhibition in Melbourne | Image: Supplied

Patek Philippe A Passion for Workmanship Exhibition

  • Where: Level 2, The Ritz Carlton, 650 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000 VIC
  • When: Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd December, from 10am – 4pm
  • Price: Free
  • Tickets: Public Access available now