Thierry STERN

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.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Watches & Jewels -

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.

I

Thierry Stern

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