|19th May 2022, London: The OAK Collection exhibition – ‘One of A Kind’ – comprises 168 ‘best of the best’ vintage and contemporary museum quality watches was previewed at London’s Design Museum with an exclusive cocktail party event to mark the Grand Opening of the week long OAK Collection public exhibition.|
This is the first time a private collection of this magnitude and importance has been exhibited at a museum therefore representing a significant moment in the modern history of horology. The OAK Collection is a one of a kind collection that reflects a four-decade long passion of a single private collector, Mr Patrick Getreide. Among the collection includes a carefully curated edit of the world’s finest timepieces including; unrepeatable special orders, ultra-rare limited editions, the most valuable examples of their type and the largest number of Patek Philippe pieces once owned by the celebrated collector Henry Graves Jr. to now be held in private hands.
|Mr Patrick Getreide welcomed his special guests with an opportunity to delve into the exclusive preview of the curated private collection prior to public opening. The exhibition was officially declared open with a traditional ribbon cutting moment presented by Patrick Getreide, the Swiss ambassador Markus Leitner, Tim Marlow CEO & Director of the Design Museum, exhibition curator Nick Foulkes and Lord Peter Mandelson Chairman of the Design Museum.|
|Guests of Patrick Getreide were included Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe, Jean Arnault from LVMH Group, Jean-Claude Biver, Pierre Biver, H.E Evelyne Genta, Adam Clayton from U2 music band, Guy Ritchie, Rocco Ritchie, George Bamford, François Curiel, President of Christie’s Luxury, Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo, Tinie Tempah, Marchioness Weymouth, Lord Ceawlin Thynn, June Sarpong, Tamara Beckwith, Giorgio Veroni, James Marks, Jay Rutland, Bella Freud, Martha Freud, Jeremy Hackett, Patrick Grant, Oliver Spencer, Flora Vesterberg, Fiona Leahy, Lily Gabriella Elia, Sebastian Conran, Sophie Conran and Gertrude Conran|
THE EXHIBITION FORMAT
Visitors to the OAK Collection exhibition will be taking part in a ‘world first’ event, because never before has a privately-owned collection of such exceptional watches, all in impeccable condition,been made available to the public. It is also unlikely that such a comprehensive and carefully curated collection encompassing the best of the best of both vintage and modern watches will ever be compiled within the lifetime of current generations. As a result, the exhibition will undoubtedly set a new benchmark for quality, rarity and scholarship in the field of watch collecting.
The OAK Collection will be displayed within a series of bespoke-designed, interconnected rooms that will be recreated at each location and will take the viewer on a tranquil horological journey comprising 11 sections, each of which could be described as a ‘chapter’ of time that encapsulates the collector’s appreciation of specific genres of watch, from simple, three-hand models to high complication pieces. The maker most strongly represented in the exhibition is Patek Philippe, with many examples owned by the collector having been made specifically for him in close, creative collaborations with the manufacture-a process available only to a small number of the firm’s most respected clients. Vintage Patek Philippe models, meanwhile, include references once owned by noted individuals including the musician Eric Clapton and the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, as well as pieces that were developed for particular uses or which display the maker’s mastery of rare hand crafts such as enamelling and engraving. Also remarkable is the OAK Collection’s extraordinary holding of Patek Philippe watches that once belonged to the legendary patron Henry Graves Jnr, the late banker and railroad tycoon who, between 1922 and 1951, commissioned no fewer than 39 watches from the revered maker.Of those, only around 30 are believed to have survived, five of which form part of the OAK Collection. The only larger selection of Graves watches belonging to a single entity is that on show at the Patek Philippe museum, which holds 13.The Patek Philippe models in the OAK Collection account for six of the exhibition’s 11 sections,covering Calatrava, Nautilus, World Time and perpetual calendar/ complication models in addition to the aforementioned Graves and rare handcraft pieces.But while the collector focuses strongly on the work of Patek Philippe, he does not do so exclusively. As a Rolex connoisseur, he has allocated three significant sections of the exhibition to its pieces, and has also dedicated an area to watches made by the ‘new age’ independents,notably Francois-Paul Journe and Kari Voutilainen. The collector’s commitment to modern makers is further demonstrated in the fact that, during the eight editions of the biennial Only Watch charity auction, he has been the most prolific buyer,accruing no fewer than 10 unique pieces with dial names as diverse as Kari Voutilainen, H.Moser, and Chanel.