Last night, Patek Philippe and LK Boutique hosted a lavish dinner at Crown’s Garden Room, in Melbourne to mark the aspirational brand’s 175th Anniversary and also to open the temporary Patek Philippe Exhibition in the main foyer of Crown, which will remain until November 9th.
While the tone of the evening was suitably refined, there was also a spirit of joie de vivre and celebration. As in, it actually felt like a birthday party – and it was a fun one at that, with musical acts that spanned Django Reinhardt era jazz, Rat Pack style lounge bar crooning and a dramatic reimagining of classical music via a very talented solo violinist whose performance was as athletic as it was virtuoso. She was feeling it. We were feeling it.
The speeches were precise and timely, like a Patek movement. James Kennedy, Managing Director and CEO of LK Boutique spoke warmly of their 30 year partnership with Patek Philippe and hopes his company “can celebrate as many birthdays”. Patek Philippe Vice-President of Sales, Yves Cavadini also spoke and listed some of the brand’s recent achievements with highly complicated pieces, culminating in a short movie. Emotions (mine) went up another notch when the lights dimmed and the Grandmaster Chime mini-movie commenced. As I went to tell the table my (many) feelings about this masterpiece of film, Felix practically put a finger to my lips to stop me: “we already know how you feel Buzzfeed.”
The running of the event was simple. Guests were seated, hydrated, and then delicious things were brought to their table. Occasionally, there was food too. All of the Basel 2014 novelties were presented and available to be touched and tested.
Later, we were introduced to Mr Cavadini, who told us of his love for his daily watch; an Aquanaut Travel Time. “It is very handy for me. I travel alot,” Yves said, before listing his sales territory which seemed to be most of the countries in the world. He spends four months of the year on the road. And if he could choose any Patek timepiece in the collection? “There are so many, but I think I would choose the 5270G.” And what about Patek Philippe President, Thierry Stern, what does he wear? “He actually wears this model a lot of the time,” he said, pointing to his Aquanaut, “but really, he can wear whatever he likes.”
Being able to try a seemingly endless stream of Patek Philippe timepieces ‘in the metal’ and feel the superbly finished cases, straps and bracelets on the wrist made the night almost decadent. Famously, each link of a Patek bracelet is brushed by hand, an almost manic attention to detail that can only be appreciated with full, satiny contact on the skin.
We were particularly giddy with the Nautilus collection; from the warm tonalities of the 5980/1R-001 on brown leather strap, the functionality of the 5990/1A-001 Nautilus Travel Time (so easy thanks to the split pusher on the left) to the subtle variations of the dial colourings.