Patek Philippe announced on Monday that it will produce 170 special versions of its most popular watches as part of its partnership with Tiffany. This is a launch that is likely to cause enthusiastic purchases among wealthy watch collectors.
The astonishing move happens less than a year after Patek abolished the famous watch known as the Nautilus Ref. 5711, demand and prices are skyrocketing.
Patek said it is creating 170 special Refs. 5711 with a Tiffany Blue face for sale at certain Tiffany boutiques. Patek says the watch was created to celebrate the 170-year partnership between Swiss watchmakers and Tiffany and the new ownership of Tiffany under the French luxury giant LVMH.
For Tiffany, the opportunity to sell the world’s most popular new watch adds luster and marketing brilliance to the jewelers who are already making a makeover under LVMH and Bernard Arnault.
“This was my little gift to congratulate me on buying Tiffany,” Patek CEO Thierry Stern told CNBC. “It was clear to me that I had to choose something unique and extraordinary. This is really the last round of this watch.”
Watch lovers around the world thought the final round would be January. In the record demand for top luxury watches, Patek unexpectedly announced that it would stop producing Ref. 5711 said that the attention and demand for watches has gone too far. Launched in 2006, the stainless steel watch has gained fame through social media and wealthy watch lovers, making it one of the ultimate wrist trophy. This is a blessing for sophisticated companies that take pride in the wide range of creative and complex watches. Gold, platinum and other designs.
“I still don’t know why it suddenly succeeded. [of this watch] “But what I know is that I don’t want to be a single product company, so I stopped 5711,” Stern said, “very fast and very expensive.” We made it enough. “
Many watch buyers were furious. Get a reference. Sold for about $ 30,000, the 5711 already contained a long waiting list and uncertain terms from dealers, even Patek’s priority customers. It is impossible to buy the new 5711 now. Used Ref price. 5711s — Already speculative — soared online to over $ 150,000. One was sold at the Sotheby’s auction in 2020 for $ 475,000.
Stern said his decision to make the final 5711 for Tiffany came from the deep history and mutual value of the two companies. In 1851, Tiffany became Patek’s first official retail partner in the United States, and Antonius Norbert de Patek met Charles Lewis Tiffany in New York. Patek watches are now sold at certain Tiffany boutiques, and Patek watches engraved with “Tiffany” are sold at a high price.
Both companies are also family-owned with plans to pass on leadership to the next generation. The Swiss Stern family has owned Patek, which has been dominated since 1932, and LVMH is dominated by Bernard Arnault, the third wealthiest man in the world. Arnault has long explored the possibility of adding one of the big four watch brands, Rolex, Patek, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille, to the stables of luxury brands already including TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot. “We are independent and not interested in selling,” Stern said in a past meeting with Arnaud.
However, Stern wanted to offer Arnaud something “special” to commemorate LVMH’s $ 15.8 billion deal to buy Tiffany. He held a virtual conference to present references. 5711 to LVMH, including Alexandre Arnault, a 29-year-old family Psion who was recently appointed Executive Vice President of Products and Communications at Tiffany.
“First, I said to them,’Gentleman, you’re pretty surprised, so stay seated,'” Stern said. “The moment I showed them the picture, they were very excited.”
In addition to the special Tiffany Blue color, the watch has “Tiffany & Company”. It is paired with a stamp at 6 o’clock and a Patek Philippe stamp at 12 o’clock. The sapphire crystal caseback is engraved with the “170th Anniversary 1851-2021 Tiffany-Patek Philippe” monument. Stern also created a small “surprise” on his back for the owner to discover.
“I put some secret behind the watch,” Stern said. “It’s pretty interesting.”
For Tiffany, Patek’s “gift” means that retailers can offer the holy grail of new sports watches to their most valuable clients and create excitement in boutiques. Alexandre Arnault said in a statement that Tiffany “is proud to introduce this special edition with a Tiffany Blue dial to the most discerning clients.”
But it also comes with risks. Tiffany has more than 170 VIP clients who are willing to buy cash and watches, most of which are rejected. It retails for about $ 52,000 and is only available at Patek Philippe’s Tiffany boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco.
“I had to warn Tiffany, and I said,’Listen, this is a great gift,'” Stern said. “But it’s also toxic because there are only 170 and it’s up to you to sell to the final client. 170 people are very happy and the rest are unhappy.” I hope you sell it to the right people. This is really the most important to me. When you wear such a watch, it must go to the right person. “
reference. The 5711 is the most extreme example of a larger supply-demand imbalance in the luxury watch market. Stock market soaring, crypto wealth, and a flood of government stimuli have created record wealth, but a whole new generation of young buyers have learned about high-end watches during a pandemic and started buying online. rice field.
Still, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille are all privately owned and have not significantly increased production. According to a Morgan Stanley report, Rolex sold 810,000 watches, 40,000 Audemars and 4,300 Richard Mille last year, but fewer than usual due to a pandemic shutdown.
Patek typically manufactures about 60,000 watches annually. Like other brands, the company states that it cannot significantly increase production without compromising quality. As an example, Stern said it would take 10 years to train a good watchmaker who could master the complex parts and manufacturing of Patek watches.
“Quality is always at the top of my wishlist,” Stern said. “You don’t have to hurry. There’s no shareholder pressure. I’m not interested in increasing quantities. I’m more interested in longevity and beauty.”
However, the online gray market for used watches is vast due to the low production of top brands. First-time buyers who set foot in Rolex or Audemars stores usually don’t get the watch they want, so for those lucky enough to make a list, the waiting list has been around for years. May grow. So they’re raising the ranks of online sites that sell second-hand watches, often with huge markup, such as Chrono24, Chronext, Hodinkee, and WatchBox. Popular watches, officially priced at $ 25,000 or $ 35,000, sell online for over $ 60,000.
The online price of used 5711 is currently over $ 120,000. It is not yet known what the secondary price will be when the Tiffany model goes on sale. One answer may come next week. Tiffany will auction one of the watches at Philips on December 11th, and the proceeds will go to Nature Conservancy, a charity of Arnaud’s choice.
Patek Philippe has revived the “Holy Grail” of watches for 170 lucky buyers
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