Baselworld 2014 is almost upon us, and I have continued to preview new watches and cover other news on my blog, Watch-Insider.com. This week Patek Philippe, one of Baselworld’s most popular exhibitors, announced that it will be debuting an all-new booth at the fair.
Patek Philippe describes the new space as “An innovative, functional and futuristic booth to illustrate the brand’s core values, showcase its products in a modern yet timeless environment, and provide a functional yet traditional work space.”
All the showcases are visible to the public from the outside, creating a surprise with the presentation of all (!) the Patek Philippe collections — namely 198 timepieces in total — including a special focus on new watches. An innovative showcase dedicated to movements presents 50 different calibers with detailed information on screen. There will also be visuals and films devoted to the new collections.
Detailed info on the new Patek Philippe Baselworld booth, from Patek’s press materials, follows below.
“Patek Philippe marks its presence at Baselworld 2014 with a new and original booth, both futuristic and functional to strongly illustrate the brand’s core values. Modern and yet timeless, the transparent and luminous pavilion replaces the previous one disclosed in 1999. It presents the entire Patek Philippe collection in outward facing showcases to underline the company spirit of transparency and open communication to the world. The striking design embodies the balance between innovation and institution.
“The new booth, which serves as a translucent showcase on the occasion of the world’s largest watchmaking event, embodies the founding values of the brand and reaffirms Patek Philippe’s notorious independence. Combining innovation, tradition and functionality in its aesthetic design, the pavilion stems from the concept of a huge transparent glass shield to best reveal the timeless beauty of its timepieces displayed toward the outside, while the inside harbors the bustling activities of a watchmaking company during a major exhibition.
“The pavilion sets the universe of the brand in a bright glass structure and provides an exceptional venue for exhibiting, interacting with clients and working in a functional and elegant environment that is totally befitting to Patek Philippe watches.
“In 2014 the Patek Philippe booth remains in its usual location in Hall 1.0 of Baselworld, but its ground area increases to 630 [square meters] while its total area, which previously reached 955 [square meters], now encompasses 1,500 [square meters] on three levels. This enlarged space accommodates various functional and exhibition rooms, including 16 outward facing showcases, a dozen sales rooms, several conference and meeting rooms, kitchens, a bar and a restaurant, as well as technical and storage space.
“The timeless design focuses on innovation in the exhibition part of the booth and welcome areas at the forefront, and on tradition in the back areas dedicated to offices and services. The front part serves the exhibition and lounge activities with aesthetic design to welcome clients and visitors while the back part is primarily functional to allow busy activities and services.
“The architect Ottavio Di Blasi chose glass and steel as the basic materials for the pavilion: 117 glass elements weighing 70 tons were assembled on a structure made of 125 tons of steel to build a glass envelope of 600 [square meters]. The glass structure reveals 16 exhibition showcases. Inside the pavilion, the central structure is made of 400 [square meters] of backlit Corian®. In addition, 5 km of LED strips serve to illuminate this construction transformed into a gigantic pavilion of light.
“The values of quality and craftsmanship of the Geneva watchmaking brand are embodied in various ways in the new booth. For instance, a semi-transparent curved wall was handcrafted with more than 5 km of leather strips. As with precious timepieces, it took more than two years of architectural and engineering work to execute this amazing structure. The sophisticated custom-made glass joints were carefully studied to minimize the metal parts, thus pushing the limits of technology to achieve extreme transparency in this revolutionary construction.
“The interior decoration is extremely welcoming, aiming to appeal to the senses and emotions of visitors. The interior design of the lounges is in line with the Patek Philippe Corners and Boutiques concept.
“The showcases are visible to the public from the outside, creating a surprise with the presentation of all the Patek Philippe collections, namely 198 timepieces in total, including a special focus on new watches. An innovative showcase dedicated to movements presents 50 different calibers with detailed information on screen. Visuals and films about the new collections and the company workshops will satisfy the most curious watch enthusiasts.
“In addition, an exclusive area of 35 [square meters] inside the booth is entirely dedicated to the exhibition of Rare Handcrafts timepieces, which also make the unparalleled reputation of Patek Philippe. A number of photos and videos complete the exhibition of rare traditional handcrafts.
“The Patek Philippe booth features the latest in communication technology to allow increased interaction and display of rich digital content thanks to a huge outside screen as well as many smaller screens and tablets inside. These devices serve to run documentaries and films on rare handcrafts, product information, exceptional timepieces, the quality of watch movements and cases, as well as the variety of calibers.”