The OAK Collection – Talking Points

… STORIES THAT MAKE THE OAK COLLECTION TRULY ONE-OF-A-KIND.

The Oak Collection
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The Oak collection offers a selection of exceptional timepieces, collected over 40 years.

The diversity and rarity of the collection, in combination with the watches quality, excellent provenance and perfect condition, make this collection an hommage both to Haute Horlogerie and to the passing of time.

Each of the 600 pieces in the collection has in common its rarity an exceptional state of conservation. The collection almost exclusively features One-of-a-kind watches, watches produced in limited series as special editions or on special order. It also includes many items worthy of being showcased in museums.

The motto of Henry graves the greatest collector of Patek Philippe of all time was “ Esse quam Videri” (“to be, rather than to seem” ). The OAK collection pays tribute to him in two ways. First, it is the private collection featuring the greatest number of timepieces that once belonged to him and second , by wholeheartedly embracing his tireless quest for excellence.

Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe said that the OAK collection was one of the greatest collections in the world, and that it had been built over the years by Patrick Getreide, as had Henry Graves Jr. and James Ward Packard.

H166 – Patek Philippe, minute repeater, yellow gold, Breguet numerals
H166 – Patek Philippe, minute repeater, yellow gold, Breguet numerals

1. A WORLD PREMIERE

FOR SUCH A LARGE AND EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTION OF PATEK PHILIPPE, ROLEX & OTHERS…

  • Never before has such an important private collection been revealed to the public.
  • An exquisite selection of 162 watches drawn from a collection of over 600 significant timepieces. A collection built over the span of 40 years, behind the scenes, far from the spotlight, by a passionate watch lover…
  • Quite unique in the world of watch collecting: the collection is a combination of historical and contemporary watches.
  • Antique or vintage watches from the 20th century – including the largest holding of Patek Philippe watches owned by Henry Graves Jr. outside the Patek Philippe Museum – make up half of the collection. The other half are contemporary, the majority made to special order.
  • ‘One-of-a-kind’ not only due to size and scope, but also because it consists mainly of one-offs.

…INTRIGUING ECLECTICISM

  • Most Patek Philippe timepieces were made bespoke, in close concert with the collector in a creative process based on mutual trust and respect, from design to manufacture.
  • There are also exceptional pieces from other marques. Chiefly Rolex.
  • As well as watches significant by their ownership history – Eric Clapton, Jean-Paul Belmondo,…
  • Interesting watches for interesting purposes, too.
  • But also the world’s largest concentration of iconic Patek Philippe ‘Calatrava’ watches.
  • And numerous significant chronographs, a complication dear to the collector since the beginning.
  • All watches – antique, vintage & contemporary – are in pristine condition.
  • A world tour with four stops in spectacular venues, each one the perfect setting for a shared passion.

2. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT HOLDING OF ‘HENRY GRAVES JR.’ PATEK PHILIPPE WATCHES – BAR THAT OF THE PATEK PHILIPPE MUSEUM

  • For high-end watch collectors, a piece from the Henry Graves Jr.’s collection is the ultimate grail. The OAK Collection holds five. The most held in a private collection outside the Patek Philippe Museum.
  • Among them, the 1932 Platinum Tourbillon Chronometer.
    This is one of the most significant Patek Philippe watches to be commissioned by Henry Graves jr. It won the coveted Geneva Observatory Timing Contest in 1933, which made it the most accurate watch in the world, unrivalled for many years – until 1944, when the judging criteria were modified.
  • Henry Graves Jr, heir to a banking and railroad fortune, ordered 39 Patek Philippe watches between 1922 and 1951. Only about 30 are believed to still exist. 13 are held by the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
  • The motto of Henry Graves Jr. was “Esse Quam videri” (“To be rather than to seem”), it simply and discreetly expressed the never-ending quest for horological perfection. The OAK collection pays tribute to him in two ways, as a private collection featuring the greatest number of timepieces that belonged to him, and secondly, by wholeheartedly his tireless quest for excellence.
H500 - Patek Philippe 530A OAK, steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, circa 1941
H500 – Patek Philippe 530A OAK, steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, circa 1941

3. A TREASURE TROVE OF PATEK PHILIPPE ‘CALATRAVA’ WATCHES

  • The essence of the prestigious dress watch.
  • The ‘Calatrava’ family has always held a special fascination for the collector for its simplicity at the highest level of excellence.
  • The OAK Collection not only holds the largest selection of Calatravas in terms of numbers, but also the most diverse as well as exceptional by their rarity – most of them are unique, made on special order – and significance.
  • This Calatravas collection is the result of a close collaboration between Patek Philippe and the collector, giving rise to unique remarkable models.
  • The Calatrava is the quintessential pure design in watchmaking. It takes its name from the ornate Calatrava cross, the cruciform symbol first used on the marching banners of the Calatrava knights who defended the Calatrava fortress against the Moors in 1158.
  • This same symbol was registered as a trademark, alongside ‘Patek Philippe & Cie,’ on April 27th, 1887. The use of the Calatrava name for this collection gives an indication of its importance to the brand.
H204 – Patek Philippe 530R OAK - Retailed by Gobbi Milano.
H204 – Patek Philippe 530R OAK – Retailed by Gobbi Milano.

4. A RARE TRIBUTE TO THE BEAUTY AND ENGINEERING OF CHRONOGRAPHS. NOT JUST FROM PATEK PHILIPPE AND ROLEX.

  • The chronograph is a very contemporary complication. From the beginning, the collector’s passion for chronographs was manifest.
  • Over the years, he not only brought together exceptional pieces by Patek Philippe, but also from other brands such as Rolex, including pre-Daytonas and Paul Newman Daytonas, Audemars Piguet, A.Lange & Söhne, Heuer, Breguet, Universal and others – all remarkable for their technical and aesthetic significance.

5. AN INVITATION TO EXPLORE YOUR HORIZONS WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTION OF WORLD TIME WATCHES FROM PATEK PHILIPPE.

  • Vintage and contemporary Worldtimers, adorned with a guilloched pattern or a colorful map crafted entirely by hand in cloisonné enamel.
  • A cult object beloved by seasoned travelers and collectors of fine mechanical devices, displaying the time in all 24 time zones.
  • Over the years, he not only brought together exceptional pieces – some from very rare editions, e.g., the one of three Patek Philippe Ref2523J.
  • But also ordered some One-of-a-kind, made on special order such as the Patek Philippe Ref. 5130P bearing the city name of “Jerusalem”.

6. THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF ONE-OFF PIECES CREATED FOR THE ‘ONLY WATCH’ CHARITY

  • Only Watch is the world’s most prestigious auction in the watch universe.
  • Every two years, only one-off luxury timepieces donated by the world’s pre-eminent watchmakers, including Patek Philippe, are sold at auction exclusively for the purpose of raising funds to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
  • To date, the collector has been the most prolific bidder on “Only Watch” timepieces.
  • No fewer than 10 unique watches have thus become proud additions to the OAK Collection (H.Moser Endeavour concept Moon, Chanel flying tourbillon, Roger Dubuis, Montblanc Split-second chrono, Hublot Depeche Mode, Fabergé Winter,…)
  • The 9th edition of Only Watch will be held in November 2021.
H087_FP Journe section - FP Journe « Tourbillon Souverain »
H087_FP Journe section – FP Journe « Tourbillon Souverain »

7. ALL WATCHES – ANTIQUE, VINTAGE AND CONTEMPORARY – ARE IN PRISTINE CONDITION. A RARITY IN ITSELF.

  • Pristine condition, among the rarest attributes of antique and vintage watches, has been a paramount acquisition criterium since the collection’s inception.
  • All the watches of the OAK Collection are thus new or virtually unworn. They are also in perfect working order.
  • All watches are serviced several times a year by a certified watchmaker dedicated to the OAK Collection. Each watch is given a rare degree of attention, something about which the collector is particularly adamant.
H730 – Patek Philippe 3700/1A, steel, 1st series
H730 – Patek Philippe 3700/1A, steel, 1st series

8. A FASCINATING HISTORY RECOUNTED THROUGH FAMILIES OF WATCHES ACROSS GENERATIONS, AND DIFFERENT VERSIONS

Most watches are presented in the context of sets and families, e.g., the Patek Philippe Nautilus: from 1st editions to the most recent contemporary models… From two-hands to sophisticated functions, each interpretation in a different metal and dial colour is represented in the OAK collection; the F.P.Journe The Ruthenium set including five Chronomètre à Résonance, Octa Calendrier, Octa Chronograph, Octa Auto and Tourbillon Souverain.

H196 – Patek Philippe Ref. 982/140G OAK - gold pocket watch, enamel depicting a Geisha on the back.
H196 – Patek Philippe Ref. 982/140G OAK – gold pocket watch, enamel depicting a Geisha on the back.

9. AN INVITATION TO RETRACE A COLLECTOR’S JOURNEY…

  • … that began over 40 years ago.
  • From intuitive attraction to discerning passion. From initiation to deep connection with the art of watchmaking. The OAK Collection invites you on the collector’s journey of discovery.
  • It takes you through every stage of the progression toward the collector’s – and the collection’s – truth.
  • And it also explains that, whilst the majority of the watches are Patek Philippe and Rolex, the OAK collection also comprises other brands. Chapters of an exciting story full of twists and turns.
The Oak Collection International Exhibition
Picture: Torvioll Jashari

10. THE BEST-KEPT SECRET.

  • The OAK Collection was patiently, passionately built over the span of over 40 years. Far from the spotlight.
  • No one has ever seen this collection before.
  • It is the best-kept secret in the watch world, waiting to be revealed in May 2022, at the Design Museum, London.
The Oak Collection International Exhibition

11. WITHOUT ANY COMMERCIAL PURPOSE.

  • Each location will offer a rare and precious opportunity to connect, share, learn.
  • To bring together the watch community, the high-end collecting world, the experts, the media and watch aficionados around a shared passion.
The Oak Collection

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