Watch connoisseurs on this side of the pond have big reason to celebrate: Patek Philippe has just opened its first full-service retail salon in the U.S., located on the mezzanine floor of the Tiffany & Co. flagship on New York's Fifth Avenue. The space marks the pinnacle of a partnership that began in 1851, when the companies' founders struck a deal—by way of a gentleman's verbal agreement and a handshake—for Philippe to manufacture timepieces for Tiffany & Co.
To commemorate the opening, an exhibit of Philippe's horological evolution is currently on display, through April 26, on Tiffany's fifth floor. After that, it heads to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills (May 16-18). Exhibition highlights include a silver and rose gold pocket watch that was gifted to Pope Leo XIII in 1888 to celebrate his ten-year pontificate (the timepiece is engraved with his likeness), and a wristwatch, circa 1945, made for King Farouk I of Egypt. While those items aren't for sale, many others are, such as the Star Caliber 2000, a pocket watch that, with six patents, twenty-one complications and more than 1,100 individual parts, is said to be one of Patek Philippe's most complicated timepieces ever. Its price? The exact figure has yet to be determined, but a company exec says it will be in the $3 million-ballpark.
Patek Philippe's Star Caliber 2000, King Farouk I of Egypt watch, and Pope Leo XIII pocket watch