Patek Philippe completed 175 years of operations this year. It recently celebrated its 175th year of establishment when Antoine Norbert de Patek, the Polish cavalry official-converted-watch industrialist sought out the skills of Jean Adrien Philippe, the popular French watchmaker, who had just designed the keyless tasks essential for winding and regulating the watches without keys.
Thierry Stern, the President of the watch company addressed the press, explaining the area where he feels very comfortable, being a vital part of process that develops new models. When asked about their mostcontroversial launch this year, he stated that it was an annual steel calendar chronograph (ref.5960/1A) that substituted the existing models in platinum and gold.
After the death of Antoine Norbert in the year 1877, the watch manufacturer turned out to be a general affiliation and later a joint-stock affiliation in the year 1901. Since 1932 Patek Philippe has been completely managed by the Sterns when the family, which was a supplier of dials to them at that time, acquired the firm. A continuous operation of 82 years has given the Sterns a rare chance in company management.
That sense of timelessness and stability is the main strategy of Patek to develop watches that will endure the test of time instead of making just a quick buck.
In the yesteryears, Patek Philippe has manufactured few of the most astounding ‘super complications’ like the Star Calibre 2000 and the Calibre 89 (the most complicated watch in the world). These watches cost several millions and were released in limited numbers, implying they were within the reach of only few wealthy collectors.
Stern stated – “What I can tell you is it will not be something unique. You cannot always create the biggest, most complicated watch in the world. Today the client also expects to share this moment with us, which means that if I’m only having one masterpiece and that’s it, it’s not really something you can share with everybody. So there will be different types of watches, for both men and ladies.”
Though, the 175 years of experience of the company have not all been smooth sailing. Similar to any other firm, it is bare to the flow and ebb of the global economy. The long reign of Stern’s family has assisted Thierry in building a confident strategy for handling the times of crisis.
By Catherine Strearns