A “one-of-a-kind” exhibition featuring more than 160 rare watches belonging to an entrepreneur has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
The Oak Collection – “Oak” standing for “one of a kind” – had been due to be displayed at the Design Museum in Kensington, west London, for a week starting on December 10 before going on a world tour.
However, the private collection of Patrick Getreide will now go on show in the spring because of growing concern surrounding the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the resulting international restrictions.
The Oak Collection said: “It is with great regret that we announce the postponement of the Oak Collection Exhibition at the Design Museum, which was due to take place from December 9 2021.
“In light of the current situation surrounding Covid-19 and the necessity to ensure public health, we have taken the decision to delay the opening of the exhibition until 2022.”
The collection, spanning four decades, varies from unique limited edition and personalised contemporary models to handcrafted and vintage pieces by Patek Philippe, Francois-Paul Journe and Kari Voutilainen.
The display will be divided into 11 time periods, and the exhibition ends with a look to the future and the contemporary watchmakers the collector supports.
Mr Getreide said: “As a young boy at boarding school in Switzerland, I lived among the children of some of the world’s wealthiest people – but all I had was a small, weekly pocket money allowance.
“I didn’t feel envy, but I did want to be like these people and their parents.
“It gave me what I call ‘the Count of Monte Cristo syndrome’, a determination to achieve a level of success that would give me freedom to do the things I loved.
“As soon as I achieved a moderate level of success, I began to buy watches at prices I could afford.
“Gradually, that amount increased and, little by little, the watches became better and the passion for collecting them became stronger.
“Perhaps strangely, I never thought of the financial aspect or that values might rise, but thankfully I seem to have bought the right ones at the right time.”