UPDATE – Delayed until 2022.

For one week only, a collection of rare watches owned by an anonymous collector will go on display at the Design Museum.

What is known as the Oak Collection, an acronym for One-of-a-Kind watches, is known to be owned by a French businessman based in London, but other than that the collection is said to be one of the best of its kinds in the world, very little is known about the owner.

For nearly 40 years the mystery owner has been buying and commissioning watches from the world’s top makers, and outside the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva, owns one of the largest private collections of Patek Philippe Henry Graves watches from the 1900s.

Now the owner has done something that owners of fine collections can sometimes be persuaded to do — and that is to let other people share the joy they have in their collection.

Something around 160 watches will be on display, all of them being the rarest and best of their type.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is expected to be a unique platinum pocket watch that boasts a tourbillon escapement, that was made in 1932 for the American banker Henry Graves Jr.

Other watches include a number of very rare Patek Philippe watches, including one that was commissioned by the collector themselves for their collection.

The Design Museum has been fairly quiet about the exhibition, so you might find a lack of publicity about it, as the publicity was apparently low-key at the owner’s request. There’s a hint though that the mystery owner of the collection will be unveiled just before the exhibition opens to the public.

The exhibition, the Oak Collection will be open at the Design Museum daily from Friday 10th December to Thursday 16th December 10am-6pm, with late-night openings to 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

The exhibition is free to visit.


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