About Patek Philippe Museum
The Patek Philippe Museum was founded in 1839. Today, it is situated right amidst Plainpalais. On display are some of the most exotic, rare and prestigious creations of their master brand along with other creations. The museum is dedicated to watch-making and celebrates the same.
For visitors it is a visual treat to view this extravagant and amazing range of watches. The collection also includes musical automata and enamel miniatures. These range from the 16th to the 19th centuries and include specialty designs, which were crafted in Geneva, Switzerland and Europe.The museum also has a library that is completely dedicated to horology and relevant subjects. The museum is often regarded as a 'temple to watchmaking’.
It has four-story with an archive of 500 years of haute horology. On display are the founding stories of watchmaker’s Patek, Philippe & Co. and some of their breathtaking achievements. One can view the pioneering of mechanical timekeeping. Along with many to the technical and aesthetic marvels, one can also view enamel miniatures and ingenious automata.
This museum should be a must-visit on the list of people who have a passion for watches. Added entertainment also includes a cinema hall which is located in the basement. It features short movies on the history of watch-making. This museum puts your curiosity to test as you look at your digital or chronograph watch and wonder how far technology has come — and yet drool over one of the timeless pieces.
How to Reach Patek Philippe Museum
If you want to reach the Patek Philippe Museum from the airport then there are multiple ways of doing the same. The first is either by Bus or Light Rail. Some of the lines that go to the museum are Bus - 19, Bus - 2, Bus - 5. The Light Rails going to the museum are Light Rail - 12, Light Rail - 15 and Light Rail - 18. You can also reach the venue by a private car or taxi.
Best Time to Visit Patek Philippe MuseumIdeally you should head to the museum right before it opens. This will give you plenty of time to work out which guided tour you want to visit. Do remember that more people, especially locals visit the museum on Saturdays. It is advised to go on a weekday. Also, consider the timings for the French and English guided tours because you can get a better insight of the museum’s history.
What Not to Miss at Patek Philippe Museum
There are plenty of activities to do around the museum too.
1. St. Peter's Cathedral (Cathédrale St-Pierre): St. Peter's Cathedral gives you an insight of Roman mosaics and neoclassical columns that grace its facade. This cathedral remains to be the main house of worship here and is regarded as a fascinating time capsule. It takes the viewer through the many influences of architecture that the city has experienced through the centuries.
2. Flower Clock (Horloge Fleurie): The Flower Clock of Geneva is nothing short of a masterful marriage of horticulture and technology. It remains to be one of the most popular and most striking landmarks of the city. A huge clock face is created with more than 6,500 plants and flowers. It is situated in the Jardin Anglais (English Garden) and was built in 1955.
3. Geneva Water Fountains (Jet d’Eau) Tours: The Water Fountains is called the Jet d’Eau of Geneva. It is located/ situated right in Lake Geneva. The fountain launches about 460 feet or 140 meters of water into the air. Initially constructed in 1886 for regulating water pressure, this remains to be a popular tourist spot in the city. It is also a scenic location where you can view the point where River Rhône meets Lake Geneva.
4. Palais des Nations: The Palais des Nations is the home to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). This structure has a rich history and features a neo-classical complex. It had been originally built in the 1930s and was the headquarters of the League of Nations back then — which was the predecessor to the UN. Today it is an active building that hosts global conferences along with diplomatic meetings.
5. Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens): Located between the Avenue de la Paix and the Chemin de l'Impératrice, is a spectacular botanic garden. It was formed in 1902 and features greenhouses, gardens, and a conservatory too. The garden is spread over 28 hectares and has about 12,000 species of plants and trees.
Other Essential Information About Patek Philippe Museum
1. Location: Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 7, 1205 Genève, Switzerland
2. Entry fee:
- Adults: CHF 10.00
- Senior, disabled, unemployed, students aged 18-25: CHF 7.00
- Groups: 10: CHF 5.00
- Children below 18: Free
2. Timings: 14:00 – 18:00 from Tuesday - Friday and 10:00 – 18:00 on Saturdays. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday.
3. Tours: There are various kinds of guided tours available like the A Legacy of Genius, Geneva at the Heart of Time, etc.
4. Tickets and Admission: The public guided tours are free of cost and the private guided tour rates vary.
5. Distance from Geneva Airport: The museum is about 6-7 kms from the Geneva airport.
History of Patek Philippe Museum
It was in the 1800s when a Polish watchmaking veteran named Antoni Patek entered the world of regal, opulent watch trading and production. In 1839 he and partner Franciszek Czapek formed Patek, Czapek & Co.
Adrien Philippe then displayed his inventions and creations at the French Industrial Exposition and also won the first prize. It was here that he got acquainted with Antoni Patek. It was Patek who invited him to Geneva and later hired him as the head watchmaker of Patek, Philippe & Co -- and would get 1/3rd of the profits.
Through the course of this period, Geneva region was already much advanced in watch-making as compared to the rest of Europe.The company continued to thrive through this period. It was best know for blending precision of Swiss watch-making with intricate craftsmanship. Soon this brand became the epitome of watch-making.
Over the years, the company continued to grow and was renowned for their art of making precise, accurate Swiss watches. Even today, the brand continues the legacy. The Patek Philippe Museum honors this journey and shares the remarkable collection collated over the years.
The second floor houses the Patek Philippe factory which worked from the 18th to 21st century on display. On the third floor is the library which has thousands of books on physics and mechanics along with machines and tools to produce clocks.
Cinema in Patek Philippe Museum
Patek Philippe Museum has a mini cinema in the basement. In this movie theater, short movies are played. These movies are focussed on the history of Patek Philippe company. One of the popular movies is how Patek and Philippe met. Along with this, the movies include details on how watches came into being in and how Geneva became a hub for this niche -- dating back to the 15th century.
It takes you through time and displays how clocks have evolved over time. Right from the period when watches were religious ornament — meant only for men — to the emergence of simpler designs for everyday — and for women as well. The cinema experience gives a realistic touch to this museum.
The movies here are screened in both English and French. On Tuesdays the French movie timing is 2:15pm - 5:45pm and on Saturday it is 10:15am - 5:45pm. The museum is closed on Monday and Sunday. The English movie screening is Tuesday - Friday: 2:30pm - 5:30pm and Saturday: 10:30am - 5:30pm.
The history of watch-making is one of the major attractions in the museum because it visually connects one to the past and story of watch-making. It gives a realistic touch to the items displayed in the museum.
It is advised that you plan your movie screening and get your tickets on time. The queue for the movie screening is longer on weekends and during holidays. One is able to learn much more about the history of the museum and the founders through the viewpoint of cinema. It is best to book tickets on time to avoid disappointment.
Tips for visiting Patek Philippe Museum
1. When visiting the museum try to keep extra time in hand if you want to catch a movie here.
2. A guided tour is always advised for first timers so that you can enjoy the most of the historic platform.
3. Also, check the prices for private tours. If you have a passion for watches, a private tour is advised.
4. Wear comfortable shoes.
5. Remember pictures are not allowed inside the museum — else you can be fined for it.
6. iPad guided tours are available too.