In order to understand watches, I knew I had to understand Patek. So I went to Geneva for a tour of the brand’s mother ship museum. Lesson one: Don’t show up late to a place that’s all about timekeeping
he Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva marches the visitor through 500 years of watchmaking history, so what did it matter if I was 12 minutes late? “No matter what you do, don’t be late in Switzerland,” I’d been warned by all and sundry, but here I was (long story) walking into the museum sweating and disheveled and full of apologies, earning a D in my brand-new major: Time Studies.
My guide was an elegant and refined woman, trés Geneva, doing middle age in tones of tan and cream while I passed through the same stage of life in my trusty Trillbilly Worker’s Party T-shirt and slutty earrings. Her tasteful accessories included a small watch, and a cat pendant hanging from a long necklace. She said it was “not a problem” that I was late, but she and the cat wore similar expressions of decided un-amusement. Then she told me I couldn’t bring in my tape recorder. I protested. The un-amusement intensified. A lucite clipboard holding several sheets of unlined paper was thrust into my arms.
Text by SARAH MILLER