For Fratelli living in the proximity of London or traveling there today or tomorrow, this episode of Coffee Corner Watch Talk contains an urgent message. Let me start with that. The inaugural display of The OAK Collection — a spectacular, one-of-a-kind collection that reflects French businessman Patrick Getreide’s 40-year horological passion — will only be shown at the Design Museum until Wednesday, May 25th before it goes on a world tour. Now, for something less pressing, I have an announcement about a free app called Régulateur. It’s a handy tool that will make life so much easier if you have trouble setting your watches and complications. And for those who have been dying for a mystery/adventure/historic/watch novel, Louis Moinet CEO Jean-Marie Schaller answers the call with his book Les Mystères d’Apophis.

French entrepreneur Patrick Getreide loves watches. He loves buying them and he loves wearing them. Writer Nick Foulkes said about him, “If you drop Patrick Getreide on a deserted island, within no time he will find a watch dealer, and he’ll be shopping.” It’s a story the collector himself did not deny. But he did have something to say on the matter of wearing watches. “If Patek Philippe says the watch is water-resistant, I go swimming with it,” he stated just before the OAK Collection — OAK is an acronym for One of A Kind — was revealed to the public. Getreide sees sharing his collection as “a reward to [him]self for building it and as a unique opportunity to share it with the many people who are just as passionate about watches [he is].”

Coffee Corner Watch Talk

Coffee Corner Watch Talk — The OAK Collection

The OAK Collection comprises a little over 160 supreme vintage and contemporary watches that are divided into 11 sections. Each section represents “a chapter of time”. The Patek Philippe models in the collection account for six of the exhibition’s 11 sections, covering Calatrava, Nautilus, World Time, perpetual calendar, and complication models, as well as Rare Handcraft pieces. The impressive selection of vintage Patek Philippe models includes several pieces formerly owned by celebrities such as music legend Eric Clapton and actor Jean-Paul Belmondo. Another five examples once belonged to one of Patek Philippe’s most prestigious clients, banker and railroad magnate, Henry Graves Junior. Between 1922 and 1951, Graves commissioned no fewer than 39 watches from the Genevan high-horology house. They are known today as some of the finest that Patek Philippe has ever made.

Coffee Corner Watch Talk

Patrick Getreide — Photo by Torvioll Jashari

But while the collection is very “Patek heavy” there are other watches on show too. There’s also an interesting collection of Rolex sports watches, plus a selection of watches from contemporary watchmakers such as Kari Voutilainen. Please have a look at a few select watches from Patek Philippe and Rolex in the gallery below.

Right now, the OAK Collection is open to the public free of charge until Wednesday, May 25th. If you’d like to see it, you can find it at the Design Museum, located at 224-238 Kensington High Street in London. New York will be the first port of call on the collection’s world tour. Unfortunately, I can’t give you any dates yet. I will keep an eye out.

Coffee Corner Watch Talk

Coffee Corner Watch Talk — Set your watch with the Régulateur app

If you not only want your watch to be precise to the second but also want the exact moon phase, life can be complicated. Keeping your watch(es) running spot on can also be time-consuming. If this situation rings a bell, maybe you should give Régulateur a try. Régulateur is a new free app for setting your watch. The app includes a list of common complications — day, date, month, day/night, leap year, moon phase, and a second timezone. But most importantly, it has something the iPhone’s clock app does not have, and that is a large seconds hand. On top of that, there’s no need to go online to use it.

The developer of the app is Eric Kunz, a watch enthusiast and a software engineer at Instagram. Kunz wanted something to help him set his watches. He came up with an app that is filled with fun detail. For instance, when you adjust the second-timezone complication, you see the hemisphere on the tiny globe change. The moonphase complication also shows the number of days since the last new moon. You can download Régulateur from the App Store and follow the creator on Instagram @nyc__engineer.

Coffee Corner Watch Talk — Buy the book Les Mystères d’Apophis and get lucky

Until this year, Jean-Marie Schaller has been telling the story of Louis Moinet through watches. Exuberant, colorful, and complicated watches that honor the watchmaking genius who created the first chronograph — no easy feat. And with his book, Les Mystères d’Apophis, Schaller now also literally tells the story of Louis Moinet. It’s not a bone-dry non-fiction work, though. Instead, Schaller offers a novel that hovers between reality and his own imagination. The story starts at the dawn of the 19th century when watchmaker Louis Moinet was assigned the difficult task of preserving the Treasure of the Kings of France. In order to carry out his mission and thwart the hunt conducted by Apophis, he integrated secret messages into his timepieces.

on Instagram @nyc__engineer.

Louis Moinet Memoris Alchimia

Read the book, solve the mystery, win a watch

Two centuries later, the chase is on again. This time, it is James Sinclair who must use all his imagination to foil the plans of an evil organization. This can only be achieved by interpreting Louis Moinet’s mysteries. Protagonist James Sinclair finds a small booklet titled Tempus Fugit, inside which are twelve riddles devised by the Count of Saint-Germain, an “adventurer with an interest in science, alchemy, and the arts.” The mysterious texts accompanied by hermetic symbols may enable the reader to find one of the jewels of the treasure trove — a real-life, unique, rose gold Louis Moinet Memoris Alchemia worth CHF 40,000 that is inspired by the story in the book. If this incentive doesn’t want to make you read the book, what will? Mind you, Les Mystères d’Apophis is only available in French.

For more information and ordering, please click here.

Because of the urgent message at the beginning of this week’s “Coffee Corner Watch Talk” I completely forget to ask about your weekend and offer you a cup of coffee. Sorry about that. Let’s have a coffee now, catch up, and get this week started! Oh, and if you want to know more about the Breguet Tradition Quantième Rétrograde 7597 on my wrist, you can click right here.

Please find and follow me at Lex Stolk • Instagram