In the mak­ing

Country Life Every Week - - In The Making - Patek Philippe

As a teenager, Mark Hearn, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Patek Philippe, was taken to Jersey by his fa­ther to buy his first grown-up watch, an Omega with a light-blue shaded dial and rec­tan­gu­lar case. He re­calls be­com­ing trans­fixed by the ro­tor, which moved when he moved, liv­ing be­cause he was liv­ing. sadly, the prized pos­ses­sion was stolen dur­ing a night out at univer­sity and Mr Hearn has been look­ing for it ever since, scour­ing auc­tions and sec­ond­hand shops—such is the emo­tional tie to a watch—in the hope of find­ing the trea­sured time­piece.

How fit­ting then that Patek Philippe’s mantra is that you never truly own one of its watches, but merely look af­ter it for the next gen­er­a­tion. In­deed, it’s the com­pany’s en­dur­ing qual­ity, tra­di­tion, her­itage and con­sis­tency— ‘the fact that we never chop and change,’ as­sures Mr Hearn— that’s made it the ul­ti­mate watch brand, yearned for by en­thu­si­asts the world over.

The only Genev­abased watch firm to re­main fam­ily owned and in­de­pen­dent—quite some­thing when um­brella com­pa­nies run the rest— ev­ery com­po­nent of a Patek Philippe watch, right down to the strap, is of the high­est qual­ity. Many hours of crafts­man­ship are in­vested in each cre­ation pro­duced in the firm’s work­shop, where 220 watch­mak­ers beaver away on the finest of time­pieces.

The watch mar­ket con­stantly changes and now women are buy­ing men’s watches—as their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of tech­ni­cal pieces has grown, they’re in­creas­ingly pur­chas­ing their own time­pieces, rather than wait­ing to be given them as presents.

It’s no sur­prise that Patek Philippe’s cus­tomers are dis­cern­ing and knowl­edge­able watch buy­ers, for whom only the very best will do, but it’s good to know that, hav­ing made such an in­vest­ment, their great-grand­chil­dren will be able to take their trea­sured time­pieces back to the com­pany’s New Bond street store in Lon­don W1 for a ser­vice, safe in the knowl­edge they’re pre­serv­ing a piece of history and a true heir­loom for the fu­ture.

Mr Hearn’s tips for watch keep­ing

• In the same way that you wouldn’t run a car with­out ser­vic­ing it, as it would seize up and stop work­ing, you should en­sure your watch is ser­viced ev­ery 3–5 years • If you wear your watch un­der wa­ter, get a wa­ter-re­sis­tance test done ev­ery year • When you take your watch off, place it crown side down to limit the scratches on the case. If you have your time­piece ser­viced by Patek, we re­place the crown dur­ing each ser­vice any­way • If it’s been a par­tic­u­larly hot day, wipe away any mois­ture with a soft cloth to keep your watch in tip-top con­di­tion.

‘A watch holds huge emo­tional value, it’s with you ev­ery day, so ex­pe­ri­ences your life in its en­tirety–it stays with you from the day’s start to its fin­ish Hetty’ Mark Hearn talks to Chid­wick

Patek Philippe Gen­tle­man’s Man­ual Me­chan­i­cal Cala­trava in rose gold, £15,640, Ge­orge Prag­nell (01789 267072; www.prag­nell.co.uk)

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