After more than two years of restoration and significant revamping, Patek Philippe is opening the first Maison Patek Philippe in China in the historic Bund area of Shanghai. This new exclusive venue marks seven years of growing success in the Chinese market developed with long-standing partner Melchers Group.
The company’s presence in China began with the inauguration of a Patek Philippe Boutique in Shanghai in 2005, now to be replaced by the Maison Patek Philippe and of a second Boutique in Beijing in 2008. The Maison Patek Philippe will offer Chinese watch collectors and enthusiasts an intimate place to share views and knowledge of fine timepieces as well as to experience the exceptional brand heritage of the famous Genevan watchmaking company.
Opening Ceremony of the Maison Patek Philippe
The official opening ceremony of the Maison Patek Philippe was hosted by Patek Philippe’s Honorary President Philippe Stern, alongside current President Thierry Stern and Managing Director Claude Peny, in the presence of Zhou Wei, Mayor of the Huangpu District, and Matthias Claussen, Managing Partner of Melchers Group.
The ceremony took place at Shanghai’s Waitanyuan Cultural Square situated behind the Maison Patek Philippe. Attending guests and government officials had the opportunity to discover the world of Patek Philippe in Geneva through a 3D projection “mapping show” on the building’s façade. It conveyed a sense of the brand’s identity and traditions embedded in a universe recreated at the Maison Patek Philippe in Shanghai.
In the grandstand structure built for the event, guests were invited to enter the world of Patek Philippe in Geneva, complete with live lake views recreating the outlook from the Geneva Salon’s 5th floor. In special themed workshops, guests enjoyed a demonstration of the sublime sounds of minute repeaters presented by trained watchmakers and explored a unique exhibition of the chronograph collection – a truly memorable experience for watch lovers.
A Patek Philippe Home Away From Home
The Maison Patek Philippe creates, for the first time in Asia, a venue serving a similar function as a Patek Philippe Salon. It highlights a remarkable display of beautiful timepieces with an invitation to experience the legendary history and values of Patek Philippe as well as its outstanding customer service. In this distinguished location of Shanghai, the first Maison Patek Philippe bears a unique status and architectural style that will delight enthusiasts of beauty and art.
As opposed to the existing Patek Philippe Salons in Geneva, Paris and London, the main purpose of the Maison Patek Philippe in Shanghai is to bridge the vast geographical distance between Europe and China and create a new Patek Philippe home away from home.
With the upgrading of the Service Center in Shanghai, Patek Philippe reaffirms its long-term dedication to offer professional service to Chinese customers. The new Customer Service Center, with its entirely independent space of nearly 1,000 square meters situated near the Maison, has been significantly improved to guarantee consistent business operations and customer service following the strict standards specified by the Geneva headquarters.
Beautiful Architecture and Interior Decoration
The Maison Patek Philippe is located in the historic Bund area, a neo-classical and colonial style district offering spectacular views of Shanghai. It shares ground with the former British Consulate built in 1849 and embodies a blend between Chinese and Western cultures.
The Maison Patek Philippe is housed in the former British Consul’s Residence, a building that dates back to 1884, at No. 33 Waitanyuan, on the converging point of two rivers. Shanghai opened up its port to foreign trade at this historical starting point. Great care was taken in the restoration phase to preserve the original two-story wood and brick structure of Roman and Corinthian styles, thus restoring the former brilliance of a historic landmark in Shanghai.
As is a tradition in the family-owned company, Gerdi Stern, wife of Philippe Stern and mother of Thierry Stern, put her whole heart into the interior decoration of this new Patek Philippe home. All the furniture and artistic ornaments come from Switzerland, France and Italy, adding a touch of grace and nobility. The invitingly warm salon atmosphere is reminiscent of the classical elegance of Napoleon III, accented with Louis XVI antiques.
Crystal chandeliers tailor-made by Bagues, a purveyor to the French royal court, were installed in the halls and display rooms. The showcases are built in wood and finished with paint and gilding. Every detail and work of art was carefully selected to allow visitors to experience the Patek Philippe universe of aesthetics, culture and hospitality.
Covering an area of 1,227 square meters on two floors, the Maison Patek Philippe spans nine rooms including the main exhibition hall, which accommodates the complete Patek Philippe current collection, the largest collection on display in Asia.
Special Collection of Timepieces
To commemorate the opening of the Maison Patek Philippe, the brand organized a special one-month exhibition displaying twenty-two rare handcrafted objects of art including a cloisonné enameled Dome table clock, a Dome table clock in hand-engraved Baccarat crystal, a hand-engraved pocket watch and two unique Haute Joaillerie wristwatches. All of these timepieces are unique treasures of art that traveled from Geneva to Shanghai to celebrate the inauguration of the Maison Patek Philippe.
Moreover, Patek Philippe specially designed a limited edition series of four commemorative watches in platinum celebrating the Year of the Dragon with a cloisonné enameled dial featuring a Dragon motif. In addition, a special Shanghai World Time model was created in a limited edition of 50 pieces, 25 pieces in rose gold and 25 pieces in white gold with a 24-timezone dial indicating Shanghai in red instead of the usual time zone indication of Hong Kong.
The legendary Star Caliber 2000 timepiece was also brought from Geneva to Shanghai for the inauguration ceremony. With 21 complications, this exceptional timepiece is the world’s third most complicated pocket watch. These special watches highlight the rare and superb traditional craftsmanship, technical innovation and legendary timelessness for which the brand stands.
The World of Patek Philippe
Since 1839, Patek Philippe has been continuously perpetuating the tradition of Geneva fine watchmaking. As an independent watch manufacturer, it enjoys total creative freedom to design, produce, and complete what experts agree to be the finest timepieces in the world.
The company’s precious, classically elegant watches, proudly handed down from one generation to the next, are the result of advanced technology combined with ancestral watchmaking know-how. Relying on its extraordinary experience, Patek Philippe’s tradition of innovation is crowned by an impressive portfolio of more than 80 patents.
THE PATEK PHILIPPE MAISON IN SHANGHAI
A Little History
- 1849: Completion of the first British Consulate building situated at the origin of the Bund
- 1882: British Consul General Residence start of the building – current Maison Patek Philippe
- 1884: British Consul General Residence completion of the building – current Maison Patek Philippe
- 1994: Former British Consul’s Residence classified as “Historic Monument” of Shanghai – current Maison Patek Philippe
- 2004: Start of the rebuilding of the Bund area by the Government
- 2010: Patek Philippe seized the opportunity to renovate this historic building
- 2012: Opening of the Maison Patek Philippe in the renovated historic structure
Interesting Facts and Figures
- Over 20 different craftsmen completed the project within the scheduled production time of 10 months.
- Over 60 local and foreign suppliers provided proprietary materials to meet the uncompromising Patek Philippe quality requirement and Chinese safety regulations.
- Over 1,000 hours were spent to laser cut a unique pattern on some 150 meters of brass panels, to be used as air conditioning and ventilation grilles, resulting in a stunning and unique rendition.
- The more than 100-year-old classified house took 6 attempts to establish the correct ceiling level and 5 more to build the base for the new flooring.
- All made-to-order furniture had bases adjusted on site in order to look straight against the uneven walls, while standing on a sloping floor and under an inclining ceiling. Every unit has its left side height different from its right. At some spots, there are 20 cm of difference in height to make everything look straight.
- 10 painters with restoration training worked for 10 months on site to restore over 100 doors and windows and their respective frames.
Building Layout Description
Total floor space: 1,227 square meters on two floors
First floor: Hall and reception, 2 sales and showrooms, exhibition room 1, VIP room 1, back office
Second floor: Hall, exhibition room 2, VIP room 2, bar with outdoor terrace, function room, exhibition space for dedicated events, back office.