Business News: Patek Philippe Revamps Boutique in Singapore’s MBS

A gentle evolution of the familiar look.

Patek Philippe has just reopened its longstanding boutique in the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino resort in Singapore, after a renovation that gave the store a wall-to-wall makeover. Operated in partnership with Cortina Watch, a family-owned retailer that’s one of the brand’s biggest partners, the boutique features the brand’s latest store aesthetic that nonetheless remains recognisable with it use of dark and pale woods along with brass.

Located in a choice location near the entrance to the gaming floor, the boutique covers 262 sq m, or over 2,800 sq ft. As is increasingly the practice for watch stores, the space is not just a showroom to display watches, but also includes an exhibit on Patek Philippe’s history as well as a lounge area with a bar.

An enduring partnership 

One of Southeast Asia’s biggest retailers, Cortina became a Patek Philippe retailer in 1972. Twenty-twenty tw0 marked Cortina’s 50th year with Patek Philippe, an occasion marked by the Calatrava ref. 5057G, one of the rare instances the Geneva brand created a reference specifically for a retailer.

Cortina established the first Patek Philippe boutique in Singapore in 2010, with the MBS story opening a year later. The retailer now operates more than half a dozen Patek Philippe boutiques in Asia, including stores in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5057G made for Cortina’s 50th anniversary in 2022

The MBS boutique is the first in Singapore to feature the brand’s latest store design, which is set apart from earlier boutiques with the black facade and script Patek Philippe logo that replace the pale colours and Calatrava cross of the previous generation.

On the inside, the evolution of the design is more gentle, with the interior retaining familiar materials and colours. Decked out in dark brown and beige woods, the store is also decorated with straw marquetry panels on the walls. A section of the store is dedicated to the brand’s history, which is illustrated with a detailed timeline with further information on the brand and its watchmaking contained within tablet computers.

Some details of the boutique, however, are unique to this store, specifically the triptych depicting the enamel panels of the Dome Clock ref. 20145M-001 “Singapore Skyline”, a unique piece that was made to mark Cortina’s anniversary in 2022 and remains in the retailer’s possession.

The Patek Philippe boutique is located at the Marina Bay Sands and is open daily from 10:30 am-10:00 pm.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018972

For more, visit


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Girard-Perregaux Introduces the Free Bridge Meteorite

The time-only "Bridge" in fancy dress.

Girard-Perregaux (GP) is dressing up its entry-level “bridge” model with meteorite panels that flank the visible barrel and going train. The Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge Meteorite retains the model’s 44 mm steel case with a domed crystal and ergonomic lugs, with the centrepiece being the free-sprung balance wheel and escapement in silicon.

Initial Thoughts

GP’s flagship complication, historically speaking, was the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges. The Free Bridge is an abbreviated, affordable take on the Three Bridge concept. Although the Free Bridge is a simple watch – it’s a two-hand timepiece indicating just hours and minutes – it has been executed fairly elaborately in terms of the movement. In that sense, the Free Bridge is similar to the Ulysse Nardin Freak X, which is not surprising since the two are sister companies.

However, past versions of the Free Bridge were fairly plain in terms of design. The Free Bridge Meteorite is a bit more stylish in terms of aesthetics thanks to the meteorite panels that frame the open-worked movement. The silvery-grey tone of the meteorite is a good match for the black and grey palette of the watch.

At CHF24,600, the Free Bridge Meteorite isn’t too expensive, though it isn’t the same sort of value proposition that the Freak X is. Though the two watches are similar thematically, the Freak X has a more complex movement but only costs about 10% more. The Free Bridge Meteorite would have been a similar value proposition in the low twenties.

A fancy balance

The Free Bridge is equipped with an automatic movement based on GP’s longstanding in-house calibre, but reworked to reveal the symmetrically laid out barrel, going train, and balance wheel on the front. These components are visible through the base plate, which doubles as the dial.

The two meteorite panels sit on either side of the open barrel, with the balance wheel sitting just below. Made of silicon with regulating masses on its periphery, the balance wheel is a complicated construction that is a design feature in itself. Also in silicon are the escape wheel and pallet lever, which are visible to the top left of the balance.

The balance sits under a sculpted bridge modelled on the bridge found in the Neo Tourbillon. As in the tourbillon, the bridge is finished with frosting and accented with wide, bevelled edges, making it a decorative highlight of the calibre. Though the rest of the movement is less visible due to the black finish on most bridges, it is finished to a similar level as the single bridge.

Like its pricer tourbillon cousin, the Free Bridge Meteorite has a large 44 mm case without a bezel. Though the case is large, the lugs are relatively short in order to help wearability. The highly domed “box” crystal sits right on the case band and allows for a better view of the dial, even at an angle.

Visible though the back is the movement, which is derived from the GP cal. 1800. With majority of the key components visible on the dial, the view on the back has little to offer, save for the full rotor with the GP emblem in relief.

Key facts and price

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge Meteorite
Ref. 82000-11-3259-5CX

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 12.2 mm
Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: GP01800-2085
Functions: Hours and minutes
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 54 hours

Strap: Black calf leather with a fabric effect

Limited edition: No
Availability: Starting March 2024
Price: CHF22,750 before taxes

For more information, visit


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