Patek Philippe’s US President, Larry Pettinelli, recently paid a visit to the Beverly Hills boutique at Geary’s where he talked about what is moving the needle with luxury watch buyers and motivating his brand in the year to come.
What are some of the timepieces and complication that are trending at Patek Philippe this year? Larry Pettinelli: Without giving away the Basel fair collection, I can tell you that minute repeaters are certainly trending and that we are very interested in reintroduction of perpetual calendars, which, for whatever reason, were lost in the shuffle over the years.
What do you feel is Patek Philippe’s greatest strength in the highly competitive luxury watch category? LP: We are about inherent value. Patek Philippe [manufactures] 55,000 pieces—that is not a lot of pieces. Sometimes we will have 20 pieces for our 95 doors and we have to pick which doors. We want to make sure that the pieces we are putting into the marketplace are available to buyers and collectors who will appreciate them.
How is being one of the few independently owned watch brands an asset to Patek Philippe? LP: The fifth generation of the Stern family is now involved in the business. Prior to the Sterns ownership they were dial makers for Patek Philippe, so their engagement has been long term. Being a family-owned business allows the Sterns to look 20 or 30 years down the road and offers a strong sense of stability. We never do anything that is trendy.
This July Patek Philippe will present The Art of the Watch Grand Exhibition in New York. Tell me some of the elements that connoisseurs, collectors, and the general public will experience? LP: Patek Philippe is building a two-story structure at Cipriani 42nd Street that will function as a pop-up, interactive museum, and workshop. Some of the exciting things that will be on display and that people can experience include Mr. Stern sharing pieces from his personal collection. He has timepieces that reach as far back as the 1500’s and encompass the history of timekeeping. People attending the exhibition will also be able to meet some of our watchmakers and see the incredible engineering it takes to building these amazing complications, as well as observe the artistic side through decorative arts like enameling. We are also making a special, limited-edition series of of watches just for the exhibition that will be available to selected US retailers. We are working hard to create a flow in this space so that people can see the building blocks of timekeeping and the artistry that goes into it. I think it will be a lot of fun.
Visit Patek Philippe—Presented by Geary’s, 360 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-887-4250