In 2021, Salon Privé will bring together 10 of the world’s finest watchmakers for a very special showcase on the South Lawn at Blenheim Palace. The brand-new Salon Privé TIME exhibition will feature leading horologists lining up next to some of the greatest automotive and luxury brands, and guests will have the opportunity to browse, try on and purchase all the magnificent pieces on display.
Given that some of the German company’s most revered cars will be taking centre stage during the week, it’s entirely fitting that Porsche Design will also be represented at Salon Privé TIME. Designed in Austria and made in Switzerland, Porsche Design timepieces follow the ethos set down in the earliest days of the automotive marque – optimise function and reduce form to the bare essentials.
Porsche Design will be joining other luxury independent brands such as Christopher Ward – the world’s first online-only premium watch brand. The innovative Anglo-Swiss company offers everything from diving watches to the Military collection – a range of timepieces inspired and approved by the British Armed Forces.
Neil Duckworth recently revived the Prestex brand that was founded by his grandfather in the 1930s, and Duckworth Prestex will be displaying their range of watches as well as a collection of limited-edition clocks by L’Epee.
Bugatti has long been known for its striking designs and advanced engineering, so it’s no surprise that it has entered into a partnership with Jacob & Co. The New York-based company applies the same characteristics to its cutting-edge watches, and guests at Salon Privé TIME will be able to enjoy its range of unique timepieces.
The prestigious Richemont Group will be represented by six brands, including IWC Schaffhausen, which has been the Official Engineering Partner of the all-conquering Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team since 2013. Alongside it will be the extravagant designs of Roger Dubuis – a partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse – and Officine Panerai, which combines Italian style, Swiss technology and a passion for the sea in its elegant designs.
The Richemont Group also includes some of the world’s most enduring watch brands, including Piaget, whose master craftsmen have a long and illustrious history of blending watchmaking and jewellery, and Montblanc, which has been making timepieces in the Swiss Jura mountains for more than 150 years.
Completing the Richemont Group line-up at Salon Privé TIME is Vacheron Constantin – the oldest watch manufacturer to be in continuous operation. It has created iconic timepieces for the likes of King Farouk and Marlon Brando, and in 2015 created the world’s most complex watch as a special commission for its 260th anniversary.
Blenheim Palace has a lasting connection to horology. The fourth Duke of Marlborough, George Spencer, was fascinated by astrology and all things mechanical. During the 17th century, using a sundial and the specific latitude of the Palace, he established ‘Blenheim time’ to be five and a half minutes slower than Greenwich Mean Time. Today, its 30 antique clocks are maintained by official timekeeper Julian Newman, and the timepiece that looks over the East Courtyard has done so since 1710.
Salon Privé Director David Bagley said: ‘There’s a natural and long-standing association between the automotive world and leading horologists, and we’re delighted that Salon Privé TIME will have a full house of great brands for its inaugural year. Many of them will be presenting timepieces that pay tribute to the marques that will be on display elsewhere at Blenheim Palace – such as Porsche, Bugatti and Lamborghini – and we’re sure that our guests will find something that catches their eye.’
Salon Privé Week opens on Wednesday 1 September with the Concours d’Elégance presented by Aviva, and concludes on Sunday 5 September with the Classic & Supercar Day, which this year will feature the return of rally cars to Blenheim Palace. A mouth-watering selection of Group A, Group B and WRC machinery will be in action on a course running from the North Gate to the Great Vanbrugh Bridge.
Thanks to new features such as Salon Privé TIME and the exclusive Red Collection, plus the luxury hospitality for which the event is already famous, it’s set to be the best Salon Privé Week yet.