Patek Philippe Watch Museum

Holiday Travel Guide
Patek Philippe Watch Museum showing street scenes, night scenes and a city

Browse the collection of antique watches and pick up insights into the evolution of one of Switzerland's most famous industries.

The Patek Philippe Watch Museum guides visitors through more than 500 years of watchmaking history. The collections are spread across four levels and feature Genevese, Swiss and European watches, including early timepieces from the 16th century.

The museum is housed in a former watchmaking workshop. Much of the collection focuses on pieces designed by Patek Philippe, one of Switzerland’s leading luxury watchmakers in the 19th century. In addition to the brand’s own pieces, there are watches created by other companies.

Begin on the lower level, where you will find restored workbenches and more than 400 antique tools used by watchmakers in previous centuries. Stop by the recreation of an old workshop and watch a real watchmaker at work.

Browse the collection of Patek Philippe watches once owned by Queen Victoria. The brand became particularly fashionable after the Queen took an interest in their innovative keyless designs. Look for the lilac pocket watch decorated with diamonds in a flower motif, one of the monarch’s more exquisite pieces.

As you study the museum’s collection, notice how watch styles changed over time. They evolved alongside the fashions of various eras and gradual advances in technology. The earliest watches were designed exclusively for men, often decorated with the owner’s coat of arms. In later watches, you will find a movement toward simpler designs and styles for women.

See the display of exquisite fantasy watches from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among the collection is a watch shaped like a mandolin, which plays music and has automated figures. There is also a watch built into the handle of a knife.

Save time to see the museum’s extensive library of materials dedicated to the art and science of clock making. Visit the two interactive kiosks that explore this comprehensive collection of horology literature.

The Patek Philippe Watch Museum is located in the Plainpalais district close to the center of the city, and is served by several bus and tram routes. The museum is open every day except Sundays and Mondays. On Saturdays, free guided tours in English and French are included with the admission fee. Children under the age of 18 get in for free.

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