Patek Limoges Trays -- Origin, history, etc.?

 By: JRSMD : July 3rd, 2020-09:24

I have been collecting Patek Limoges trays for a decade and finally completed the series, each plate from 1997-2019! Am working on article about these unique commemorative artist pieces.  I reached out to Patek who were quite polite but really could not tell me much. 

Anyone know the back-story and/or the operations behind them?

Much appreciated!

That's an impressive collection! Congrats for that and welcome here. [nt]

 By: amanico : July 3rd, 2020-09:31
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Hi ๐Ÿ‘‹ John, As the Patek moderator, I extend to you a warm welcome to the Patek forum!

 By: GLau : July 3rd, 2020-09:38
Your collection of these plates is amazing !

We look forward to your posts about your Patek watches !

By the way, is that an aquanaut on your wrist ?


Thanks! [nt]

 By: JRSMD : July 3rd, 2020-10:23
Yes, that is a 5167, originally bought from an AD with a bracelet but I later bought a rubber strap from Patek and have kept that on since.  

Thanks again Gordon, please delete all of my posts and cancel my account.

 By: JRSMD : July 5th, 2020-08:59
I have tried to do so on my own but could not figure out how. Thanks again for everything.

Welcome to our great forum, and congrats on an impressive entrance! :-)That is a pretty unique Patek collection to have!

 By: FabR : July 3rd, 2020-09:44
I never looked into their history, but hopefully other friends will be able to give you some more information. Here's my only one from the 2014 anniversary, since I have one of the "corresponding" (wood marquetry) watches. 

Hope you'll enjoy your time here! smile 

wow, very cool! [nt]

 By: JRSMD : July 3rd, 2020-10:18
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Welcome, great entry! [nt]

 By: dedestexhes : July 3rd, 2020-09:50
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A collection to be proud of!

 By: sham1 : July 3rd, 2020-09:51
Well done on your efforts to assemble this fine collection and thank you for sharing this with us.  I have one piece and for me it is so special so to have 23 years worth of trays must give you immense satisfaction.

Yes, the hunt was a lot of fun -- not sure if they will make one for 2020 . . . such a rough year for everyone. [nt]

 By: JRSMD : July 3rd, 2020-10:04
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First time I've seen a complete collection. Your efforts are impressive! [nt]

 By: patrick_y : July 3rd, 2020-10:19
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That's cool! [nt]

 By: patrick_y : July 3rd, 2020-10:18
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Talk about an arc of horological collecting ...very passionate indeed. [nt]

 By: redcorals : July 3rd, 2020-11:18
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Wow, great collection! Welcome! [nt]

 By: Reuven Malter : July 3rd, 2020-12:43
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Great collection. How I wish my ad would give me 1. ๐Ÿ˜‚

 By: geross : July 3rd, 2020-13:53
But that's ok. My dream is to buy a lighter in the Patek saloon in Geneva. ๐Ÿ‘

Cheers. ๐Ÿฅƒ

Welcome. That is one spectacular collection. Would love to hear your stories about finding these wonderful pieces [nt]

 By: : July 3rd, 2020-14:56
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 By: FRAMII : July 3rd, 2020-15:31
I didnโ€™t even know that they had so many different ones.. I have only one which I got as a gift when I bought my wifeโ€™s PP.

But normally its used for this

Not as nicely displayed as you incredible collection ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Lovely collection!

 By: BigAppleBill : July 3rd, 2020-16:01
Whenever I see these at auction I always wonder about them. How satisfying it is to see a complete collection! Well done!

It's Just Awesome! Please share your story about your collection too...

 By: Pun : July 3rd, 2020-19:39
Warm welcome to this great community of watch lovers. ๐Ÿฅ‚

Some Quick Facts . . .

 By: JRSMD : July 4th, 2020-04:01

Wow, thanks for all of the kind words, what a friendly group! Collecting these trays has been a lot of fun and I keep them all right outside my home office, where they inspire daily. One of you asked for some stories -- so please pardon the length of this post but I thought I would oblige.  

The hardest one to find was for 1998 (see photo of tray with floral design)  Not sure why, but it took years and I finally found one in Germany sold by an antique dealer, and used a translator to negotiate the transaction. I paid up front via PayPal and had no idea if the guy would come through, but to my surprise the tray arrived on my doorstep perfectly packaged/wrapped a few weeks after I sent the cash. 

The most valuable one is tough to determine -- because some are so difficult to locate (one or two pop up on eBay every month or so and occasionally a group of them will show up at Christies, Sothenys or the Antiquorum). I believe the one that cost the most for was the small bowel/cover from 2000 (see photo) -- that one garnered a  lot of excitement at the time. My wife knew I wanted it but was too cheap to pay the outrageous perceived premium and gave it to me for Father's Day one year -- as I recall, she found it on eBay somehow and wildly overpaid -- but I am glad she did.  

The treys are arranged in chronological order staring at the top. My favorites are the two most recent at the end -- (The most recent is the one with the continents and the one before that with the dogs.) The back of each trey has a narrative explaining the design's inspiration, derivation, etc. -- each is a very special piece of art (at least to me).

Once I acquired them all, I asked the uncle of a friend, who is a carpenter, to build something for their display and he built the marvelous display shelf, which in and of itself, is extraordinarily solid and very beautiful -- all cherry wood and meticulously crafted specifically for the trays. 

As for the value of the collection  -- it is challenging to put a value on the entire group but alas, the hunt is over, and you all know how that goes. Along those lines, if anyone has a modern Patek in good condition (40mm or higher), I am ready to move on to my next project, and would consider a trade for all 26 treys (not interested in a cash sale).  It would probably have to be for pick up though (I live in Bethesda, Maryland). I guess I could ship them, but I would hate to have any sort of mishap in shipping. It is not a collection that is easily appraised or replaceable. I am also loathe to make a trade with any sort of seller -- only to fellow collector.

Thanks again for all of the nice posts --  most people see the collection and don't really know what to make of it -- but this group obviously understands  and appreciates their significance, which is so nice. I only wish I knew more about them so I could write an article -- I used to write for a watch magazine and would love more information. All I know is that dealers receive them occasionally and pass them along to special buyers. What is so shocking is that I have asked dozens of Patek sales people over the years about them and no one seems to know or really care too much about them.  For instance, the so-called Patek "boutique" in Beverly Hills has one or two on display but when I asked about the ones they had on display, the sales people had no idea what they were about or their history.  When I spoke with Patek, they were extremely complimentary and gracious but also very secretive about their process (what a surprise!) 

 Anyway, thanks again everyone! And please post any other questions you may have -- this forum is a wonderful escape. -- John 

Thanks for your story on this amazing collection ! A trade of the whole collection for a watch must be a...

 By: GLau : July 4th, 2020-04:47
difficult decision. If you are serious about it, please post on the forum "collectors market".

Got it, not quite ready for opening that valve . . .

 By: JRSMD : July 4th, 2020-05:29
and so sorry if I should have posted that notion elsewhere.   I am still hoping for some info for an article, and thanks again for f everyoneโ€™s interest! 

Sorry again

 By: JRSMD : July 5th, 2020-07:57
I just got an email from the moderator of the collectors market and he cancelled my post. I decided to offer the collection in exchange for โ€œone watch.โ€ I thought it would be a fun process and break the monotony. Apparently, I violated the โ€œno Schillingโ€ policy of this forum. Sorry to have offended everyone, yet another disappointing and frustrating endeavor during the pandemic. I will remove all of my posts.

The problem here is that you show and share your collection, then a few posts after, you offer to trade it for a Patek...

 By: amanico : July 5th, 2020-08:23
That's against our forum rules. OR you share your collection, OR you post in on our collectors market. But not both.

Had no idea, I did not read the rules -- did not know there even were rules . . .

 By: JRSMD : July 5th, 2020-08:40
I honestly never meant to offend anyone or at all overstep. All I set out to do was to write an article (I used to write for a watch magazine and thought it would be a nice distraction to dig into the history and maybe find some interesting ideas). But next, when no one seemed to know much about the history, I thought it would be a fun distraction to trade them all for one watch -- Just have some light-hearted fun and perhaps use the shelving for another collection. I started planning and thinking -- I was suddenly energized. 

Someone now just posted, "the problem here is that you show and share your collection, then a few posts later, you offer to trade it for a Patek."  Whoever posted that is exactly right -- but honestly, that was never what I set out to do initially. I saw all of the excitement and thought it could be a win-win for someone. My wife encouraged me to enjoy the new group and see what happens. I was not interested in cash, profit or otherwise -- just an interesting and exciting trade. I guess I should have known that this is like any other club -- and there are rules that must be followed. There are certainly quite a lot of unsavory sellers and your rules make sense so you can avoid them.

I realize it was no one's intention, but I can't help but suddenly feel like some sort of interloper, scam artist and am now oddly uncomfortable. Thanks so much for your initial support and pleasant posts -- it was so refreshing, and I really appreciated it, especially during these hard times for everyone. I thought initially this was such a warm and welcoming community -- I was really blown away and took advantage. Thanks again. 

Again, as I explained via PM, no offense taken. That ad needed to be deleted as we cannot allow an item that was presented on a forum to be immediately advertised for sale/trade on CM.

 By: FabR : July 5th, 2020-08:23
No reason to be frustrated, and nobody got offended. In fact, as I said, if you would like to advertise again this collection for trade in a few months from now, we will be happy to host it on Collectors Market.
Hope you have a great rest of the weekend!
FabR (Patek moderator)

Thanks for the further details, a really interesting journey! I do hope you'll write a piece about your collection, and we'll be glad to host it in the Patek forum if you so decide :-)

 By: FabR : July 4th, 2020-07:36
As far as trading something so unique for "just" a watch, I'd probably think about it *very* long before pulling the I do understand, however, the feeling that comes upon completion of a project, and the desire to somehow move on and find new motivations. I just hope you'll have the opportunity to admire the results of a such a fascinating, long-term "hunt" for a while longer. 

I have two (less sophisticated than yours) "side collections" with Patek that I hold dear, and which took me several years to put together since I decide to start (in one case, I'm not even done yet!).
One are the classical Patek magazines, and the other the annual "rare handcraft" books. My goal was to collect them all in new condition (without purchasing them from the net or dealers! smile), and I'm now grateful to Patek itself and to a bunch of kind ADs that helped along the way, if the project is near completion. I have received the full rare handcraft library (2011 through 2019), and 43 of the 44 issues of the magazine published since its inception (still missing #2 of the first volume -- hopefully, someone will find it and send it my way eventually!! ;-) 

These two collections, especially the rare handcraft books, will never leave my house in Italy -- even if someone (completely crazy) were to offer me a real, rare handcraft watch in exchange! smile 

Let me thank you again for sharing a beautiful and original story. And should you acquire more information on your fascinating collection, please feel free to share with the Patek forum! ;-) 

Hope you will stick around. Cheers.

Great collection, Iโ€™m missing 2011 and 2012 and the 2019 (the 2019 is at my AD for collecting)

 By: FRAMII : July 5th, 2020-03:50
In tips how to get 2011 and 2012?

I have been there my friend (!)

 By: JRSMD : July 5th, 2020-03:57
Keep checking eBay and the auction houses.


 By: anaroku : July 5th, 2020-04:22
I wish I could get all the magazine.
It is wonderful collection. Frami
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