NYFW Diaries, part 4

One of the most anticipated events of the week – if not the season – was the opening night of the The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition New York from legendary watch brand Petek Philippe (patek.com/en/home).

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Hosted at Cipriani on 42nd street, 10-day public exhibition (from July 13-23) gave visitors a peek into Patek Philippe’s 178-year history as well as its heritage in the domain of Haute Horologerie.

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Upon entering, guests were treated to a two-story structure – the exhibit’s space was 13,218 square feet – that was created within Cipriani to accommodate an exhibition of this scale. Showcasing timepieces from 1530 to present day, ten rooms (including the Theater Room, Current Collection Room, Museum Room, US Historic Room, Rare Handcrafts Gallery and Grand Complications Room) were designed as unique environments, while interactive watchmaker and artisan demonstrations educated visitors on the inner-workings of fine watchmaking.

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One of the guides saw how intrigued I was while looking at the inner workings of a wristwatch and we spoke about micro-thin mechanisms and how tough they have to be to ensure day-to-day usage (and the occasional fall); he saw the shock in my face when referring to “crash testing” trials.

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I also chatted with some artisans – in French, naturellement – about enamel work. As it turns out, it’s not paint; it’s multiple layers of finely ground powders that are baked one at a time, sometimes dozens of layers of colors, to achieve contoured, shaded and ombréd effects. Amazing.

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I could only imagine what the insurance would be for such an event. Good thing I didn’t pay the deductible.

As much as I wanted to stay another hour, I couldn’t. Dinner time. It started to rain while I walked a few blocks south to Bedford and Co. (bedfordandco.com). The staff was gracious to hold my table for 20 minutes; I was running late after the Patek Philippe event. While waiting for my friend to arrive, I glanced around at the wood-panelled space. A buzz permeated throughout; this isn’t a restaurant designed for a quiet night out.

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Lead to my table in the back, I ordered a drink from the Writer’s Cocktail Collection. Apparently celebrated writers liked their booze. My rum-based Bumbu Punch arrived the same time as my friend. We placed our orders, talked about our day, and got to relax. (Note: The Colorado Lamb Leg with spring peas, greens, labneh and chermoula is very tender.) I ended my meal with a Raspberry Cheesecake in a Jar (rhubarb compote, almond crumb) and a glass of Muscato. Because, why not?

She drove me back to the hotel and we talked for an hour in her car. Now, that was a luxury. Not the talking, but the fact she found a parking space downtown.

With my last day in New York, I made it one of leisure. Sort of. There was still plenty to do, but at least I didn’t have to do it in a rush.

I grabbed lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost three years, then tried to find a store that sold tourist memorabilia (for the family, of course). After a quick stop at Macy’s (to cool down) and Uniqlo (also, to cool down), I went to RH Modern (rhmodern.com). Walking through the building, floor by floor, I took mental notes of what I wanted to buy. Surely, my own place wouldn’t look as good as a showroom, but I could always dream.

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Ever since Barneys opened their downtown location (barneys.com/store/downtown/R-store-001), I’ve wanted to take a peek inside. It’s more casual than their Madison Avenue shop, but still luxurious. The spiral staircase, connecting each floor, is an Instagram-worthy image. Before I walked out, a rumpled man and a very pretty woman exited ahead of me. It took me a few seconds to realize it was director/producer Judd Apatow and his actress wife, Leslie Mann. Small world.

I went back to the Hotel Henri to pick up my bags and headed to Penn Station. Although the flight normally takes about 1.5 hours, this time the return trip took 18. Let’s say that if there was one delay, there ended up being a full day of delays… and cancellations. But, that wouldn’t deter from returning soon.

Until next time, New York.

About The Author

Steven Carver
International Editor

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