Watch out

By Scarlet Taylor (That's shanghai)
Updated: 2006-11-13 09:49

At face value, the wristwatch is a useful timekeeping device. But given the amount of time we spend wearing and referring to them, it's little wonder that throughout the ages this mechanical tool has become a fashion statement, status symbol, and even a family heirloom.

In recognition of this heritage, a timely three-day exhibition of 250 fine timepieces will be on display at Bund 18 in December, presented by the world's only remaining independent watchmaker, Patek Philippe. The exhibition charts 167 years of watchmaking history and its parallel developments in society, art and science.

Valued at "too many commas for comfort", according to Patek Philippe brand manager Rosy Gao, the traveling exhibition from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva is the first of its kind in China, and a concept that the company is looking at developing not just for brand awareness, but for posterity. Among the many watches of interest, visitors will take special delight in the 41 antique timepieces, including the first wristwatch made by the company in 1839. In addition, the exhibit will feature 26 rare 'pair' watches crafted in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by watchmakers in Geneva and London for the Chinese emperor. These enameled pocket watches feature natural pearl inlays and ornate carvings of temples, peonies, butterflies and peaches, all of which were designed based on early European market research of Chinese tastes.

The highlight of the exhibit, however, is the Star Caliber 2000, a "gift to the new millennium" resulting from eight years of technological research. Comprised of 1,118 parts and incorporating six patented features, the watch's face features solar indicators, while the back incorporates lunar indicators displaying the position of the stars, the path and phase of the moon and other celestial information. And you thought your self-wind function was pretty cool.

The luxury brand's Shanghai boutique, which opened at Bund 18 in 2005, is the world's third Patek Phillipe store after Geneva and Paris, and has since been followed by openings in London and Dubai. The family-run company produces limited editions and is dedicated to preserving the grand traditions of Swiss watchmaking, innovating new technologies, and proving that a good wristwatch is, in fact, timeless.

The Values of a Family Watch Company - Patek Philippe Exhibition,
Date: Dec 1-3, 4/F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Tel:021-6329 6846


Pilgrimage to Tibet
If you want to get a detailed Travel Handbook to Tibet and know more interesting tour routes leading to this divine place. Please click here!

Yunnan New Film Project
Ten female directors from China! Ten unique sights from mysterious Yunnan Province!Yunnan New Film Project,Travel with the film.Wanna know more? Please click here!
Editors' Picks  
Beijing Guide  

Eating out: Zhang Ziyi's restaurant
Bars&Cafes: Tired of glitz,hungry for jazz
Weekend&Holiday: Where to skate?
Shopping: Find celebrities' stuff
What's on: Fantastic flute

Shanghai Guide  
Eating out: Hugo Brasserie makes it
Bars&Cafes: A student hang-out
Weekend&Holiday: Moca's first theme party
Shopping: Watch out
What's on: MTV Italian chic party