Beyond the Shop Window
At the age of 20, Thierry Stern began a two-year work stint with two German retailers to learn the intricacies of selling fine timepieces. “My dad (Philippe) thought it would be great for me to see the needs of Patek, to anticipate what retailers would require from us," recounts the now president of Patek Philippe.
That two-year stint showed him the importance of cleaning timepieces, storing them at night, minimising the risks of scratching in the window displays, presenting straps and dealing with the ‘tough guys’ – the watch collectors who know so much about the brand and its products.
That interaction consolidated Stern’s belief that the figures will come if you have a nice product.
Stern is confident about the brand’s strategy of making the finest watches in the world.
“I’m not willing to have my own network of stores since watchmaking takes up 100 per cent of our time. It’s a lot of work but the beauty of Patek is that everyone knows what we are about. Our people work without fear and our clients do not need to imagine a day when we will suddenly change the strategy to follow trends or create crossover products."