England & Switzerland
WHEN TO GO
ALL YEAR ROUND
A Watchmaking Journey
From England’s dignified Georgian townscapes to the sub-alpine Swiss Jura, The Luminaire presents a horological adventure through time itself. Charting a course through priceless museum collections and world-famous watchmaking dynasties, this journey seeks to showcase the avant-garde designers and chief executives taking heritage brands in bold new directions. The rarefied world of watchmaking was once an almost exclusively male domain, but how have times changed? Explore some answers with a number of the industry’s most accomplished female watchmakers.
Benefit from knowledge and insights provided by expert creators, curators and clock restorers, and have private, hands-on interactions with some of the world’s finest and most significant timepieces.
A Brief History of Time
Our journey begins at zero, the historic Prime Meridian, with a curator’s tour of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in London, the ‘home of time’. The story of horology continues with an exclusive, after-hours study of historic timepieces assembled by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, now housed in London’s Science Museum. In the UNESCO-listed Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, where up to half of the world’s watches were produced during the early 20th century, a private visit to the remarkable International Museum of Horology reveals the world’s largest collection of objects devoted to the measurement of time.
The Artistry of Precision
Step into the inner sanctum of haute horlogerie as three of the finest watchmakers in Switzerland grant rare access to their workshops and private museums. The exquisite timepieces of Vacheron Constantin are notable for creating the world’s first watch complication in 1790. In Geneva, handle some of Patek Phillipe’s most coveted timepieces that command decades-long waiting lists. At Audemars Piguet, whose esteemed legacy includes inventing the world’s first minute-repeating movement in 1892, explore the production workshops comprising part of its innovative ‘living museum’ concept realised in 2020.
Disassembling Gender Stereotypes
In what ways are women disrupting the once male-dominated arena of watchmaking? With behind-the-scenes visits to the workshops of leading female watchmakers, view preliminary sketches of new designs and try out yet-to-be-launched timepieces. Meet the female descendants of a world-renowned watchmaker – how are they preserving and reenergising a legacy for future generations?
The Future of Watchmaking
A rare invitation to get hands-on with a priceless cache of 4,500 watches in the British Museum will reveal how the search for innovation has never lost momentum, and invite the question: what next in the 500-year long tale of watchmaking? Among the innovations disrupting watchmaking and collecting are NFTs. Guests will have the opportunity to meet with a leading NFT watchmaker, and purchase the essence of a timeless memento – an NFT watch designed exclusively for The Luminaire.
ENLIGHTENED TRAVEL, SHAPED BY YOU
Choose a location anywhere on earth, from the cultural hubs of Europe to the wilds of Patagonia, and share your passions with us. A Guild of experts will add substance and purpose to one-off experiences, shaped by you. The Luminaire shares private access, selects properties of historical or cultural provenance, and creates engaging and accessible ways to participate and learn, for a community of curious minds, young and old.