If you’ve got the time, check out Patek Philippe’s new exhibit

From left Joe DiMaggio’s REF 130, Henry Graves, Jr’s Grande Complication Pocket Watch and James Ward Packard’s Astronomical Pocket Watch (credit: Patek Philippe)

Yesterday, luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe debuted “The Art of Watches: Grand Exhibition New York,” a 13,000-square-foot pop-up museum at Cipriani 42nd Street. The show features hundreds of the brand’s stand-out pieces and will run for a total of 11 days.

Timepiece aficionados should watch out for a 1948 chronograph once owned by Joe DiMaggio as well as a quartz desk clock given to JFK in 1963 after his famous speech in Berlin.

According to Larry Pettinelli, the president of Patek Philippe, the luxury timepiece market is a bit strained right now, though he still thinks people flock toward quality.

“In Silicon Valley, some of the people you would think would be into throwaway, fast-moving technology are looking for something with lasting value, something they can pass down. I’m not trying to sell it as an investment, but people have realized, ‘If I bought a Patek in the ’40s for $500, it’s $15,000, $20,000 today,'” Pettinelli told the Times.

And the younger generation are embracing the old school, high-end, mechanical wristwatches as well.

“I think young people are curious: You have this tiny little micromachine that seemingly has a life of its own, its own heartbeat. Imagine taking a year trying to make something the size of a half dollar. There are not many products out there that have that kind of old-world craftsmanship.”

So if you have time to spare, hopefully you will wind up at the pop-up next week to marvel the Patek Phillippe wares on display. [NYT]