The president of Patek Philippe shares his thoughts during the launch of the brand’s b n new boutique in Suria KLCC. By Evanna Ramly.
Patek Philippe is all about family values. Do they still influence the business? There’s always that influence – it’s just so deeply ingrained in us. I was raised with the values of honesty, beauty, doing something well, respect. What’s important is how we communicate them, and this is not something you can implement. It is something you grow up with, and we’ve been doing this for four generations now. The brand is famous for technical innovations such as the silicone escape wheel movement of 2005. The most memorable for you? For me the biggest one was the relaunched minute repeater in the ’80s. It was beautiful, and showed the world that we are able to realise those fine pieces that you normally see on pocket watches but not on wristwatches. Sold for USD11 million in 1999, the Henry Graves pocket watch holds the record for the most expensive watch auctioned. What do you feel records like these communicate? It gives people the chance to know us and to invest in something that could be worth much more in the future. It’s also a matter of chance, to find a watch belonging to somebody very important. People will think “I’m lucky to find this piece; it could be something unique.” With a lot of consumer emphasis on fashion, have you ever felt pressured to look into trends as much as you look into the complications? I think you have to look at the trends but you should not try too hard. It would be wrong to say you don’t n’t follow trends but ut you have to go step ep by step. Pick out the best of fashion and tryy tr try to find what works. Your wife has been een working with the company for years. The dynamics of
Calatrava Ref. 7121 watch in yellow gold working with
with diamonds, both your spouse?
from Patek Philippe It’s great because she is what I would call a Patek Philippe product. She started 16 years ago with the commercial department and then she joined the creation department. It’s nice to work with the person you love and trust, and do something together that you’re passionate about. She understands the product, the value behind it. Her father is a jeweller so she was raised exactly like me. And a man could never replace a woman in terms of designing a ladies watch, so her feedback is very important. But, I don’t believe you should work in the same office; it is too much. How do you predict the response to the new boutique will be? It depends on the pieces here but I think people like the Patek Philippe atmosphere and dealing with professionals. They can see we’re working with a trustworthy retailer, investing in a very nice boutique but ultimately a client wants answers. I believe it will be a success. Let’s talk about the debut display; what was the key message there? That Patek Philippe has a wide collection; our strength lies in classical pieces, complications, and craftsmanship. We have over 30 calibres in the collection; it shows that we are real watchmakers and we do everything in-house. This is unique; you don’t have many brands with such a wide assortment of movements. What ca can we expect for the brand’s 175th anniversary? Something Someth nice, limited, and unique but you have to wait until next year. Yo Your favourite watch? I’ve always liked the Nautilus. It’s a sporty watch to wear with jeans or a suit. s The 52-70 chrono with a perpetual calendar ca is also a beautiful work of art. The perfect timepiece? Something that suits you in every case. That means I do not have to think twice when I’m wearing it. It will match my suit, my identity, and when I wear it, I don’t even know I’m wearing it because it’s part of me. Who is the Patek Philippe woman? It has to be someone active, with some knowledge of watchmaking. She is a sophisticated, self-made woman; she doesn’t need to receive a watch, she buys her own. Your father taught you … To respect people; to travel and try to understand the world. And you, of course, would pass these values on to your sons? I already have. As I said, it’s a matter of education. For watches, it’s different; I won’t push them. I tell them, “Work hard at school and after that, we’ll see. If you like watches, I will help you. If you don’t like watches, that’s fine. Do something else but do it well.” What’s the best part of your job? From a young age I have always enjoyed creating. It’s just magical to be able to create something that will be all around the world afterwards. This is the best thing you can do. What inspires you? You have to imagine, listen to people, and walk around. I enjoy looking at buildings and cars all over the city. Last night, I saw the Petronas Towers and thought it would be good for a dome clock with Baccarat and lighting inside. Inspiration is all around you; you just have to open your eyes.