If you like pilot’s watches, you need to head to the nearest airshow immediately. Irrespective of whether your eyeline lifts up to the craft in the air, or stays firmly on wrists, an airshow will give you more of a chance to spot aviation related watches than just about any other place. This setting – Avalon airshow, on the outskirts of Geelong – is where I spotted this dashing Patek Philippe 5524G, AKA the patek philippe replica watches sale Pilot Travel Time.
It’s a watch that Felix and I hotly debated when it was released a couple of years ago. To recap, the topline quote was this: “The replica patek philippe calatrava automatic rose gold case diamond watches Pilot Travel Time is the watch that’s confusing the most people at Baselworld 2015. While the familiar Patek quality is there, that is pretty much the only thing about this watch people are associating with the name on the dial.” We wondered, not only then, but several times throughout the year, whether it would be worn by real pilots, or by mere earthbound Patek collectors?
At a briefing in London today, Peter Miller, who heads the training, exhibitions and in-store display team for Patek Philippe, said that the Calatrava accounts for around 50% of all units sold in this country.
Rhone Products, the wholly owned subsidiary of Patek Philippe that manages all aspects of the watchmaker’s business in the UK, ended its 2016 financial year on January 31, and is expected to show growth over the £124 million turnover of 2015.
Patek Philippe increased its prices by 10% in the UK in August last year, a few months after the Brexit vote crashed the pound, but at current exchange rates watches in this country are still around 6% cheaper than Continental Europe.
patek philippe replica uk does have a policy of adjusting prices around the world so that they are as close to parity with each other as possible, but there has been no announcement that prices will rise again to close the gap in prices between the UK and the eurozone.
British retailers, who ran out of stock for certain models before Christmas last year, will be hoping for a greater share of the 58,000 watches Patek Philippe distributes around the world each year, but are unlikely to find relief in 2017 as allocations are unlikely to be significantly different. Production never jumps for Patek Philippe because every watch requires so much work from highly skilled watchmakers that cannot be trained overnight.
The Calatrava is Patek Philippe‘s broadest collection. Its simple circular case dates back to the earliest days of wristwatches in 1932, and has not changed dramatically since.
The range includes both men’s and ladies’ models, usually in gold, and rarely feature complications other than small seconds or date.
“It is sometimes the best watch somebody owns, and sometimes the first Patek somebody buys on the road to building a collection including more complicated models,” Mr Mills said.
If you are a British GQ reader, you may have noticed something shiny on the wrist of cover boy Ed Sheeran for their March 2017 issue – a Replica Patek Philippe reference 5524G Calatrava Pilot. And not just any reference 5524G, but Sheeran’s own 5524G. While this watch received mixed reviews when it was released at Baselworld in 2015, it has clearly made its way onto some wrists. In fact, it remains one of the most difficult to acquire modern Pateks on the planet, at present.
Based on two of Patek’s early 1930s hour-angle watches, the 42mm white gold Patek Philippe 5524G Pilot watch made quite a splash when it was launched. With its unusual textured blue dial and oversized SuperLuminova Arabic numerals with white gold surrounds, this was one of the more casual watches from Patek Philippe, well, ever. It features a functional Patek Philippe caliber CH 324 S C FUS, which is a travel-time movement with adjustable GMT-Hand and Spiromax spring. The 5524G was a big push for Patek Philippe – hoping to attract younger buyers to the traditional conservative brand. The watch received mixed reviews from readers and buyers alike; you can read more opinions on this watch in our Letters to the Editor.
But critical review aside, the 5524G remains one of the hottest sub $100,000 watches in the world and it is next to impossible to purchase from an authorized dealer. The story here is that Sheeran has one, and his appears to even be Tiffany-signed!
As many of you have noticed, Sheeran is an avid collector with some fantastic pieces to his name. Some notable spots include a patek philippe calatrava replica reference 5726A, Rolex Paul Newman reference 6239, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Volcano,” and Richard Mille RM030. It is cool to see the Patek Pilot’s watch in the wild and on the cover of such a mainstream publication, and on the wrist of such a serious watch guy. Very cool, indeed.
The Patek Philippe reference 5524G Calatrava Pilot retails for $47,300. You can read more about Ed Sheeran in British GQ online.
Patek Philippe’s US President, Larry Pettinelli, recently paid a visit to the Beverly Hills boutique at Geary’s where he talked about what is moving the needle with luxury cheap patek philippe replica watch buyers and motivating his brand in the year to come.
What are some of the timepieces and complication that are trending at Patek Philippe this year?
Larry Pettinelli: Without giving away the Basel fair collection, I can tell you that minute repeaters are certainly trending and that we are very interested in reintroduction of perpetual calendars, which, for whatever reason, were lost in the shuffle over the years.
What do you feel is Patek Philippe’s greatest strength in the highly competitive luxury watch category?
LP: We are about inherent value. Patek Philippe [manufactures] 55,000 pieces-that is not a lot of pieces. Sometimes we will have 20 pieces for our 95 doors and we have to pick which doors. We want to make sure that the pieces we are putting into the marketplace are available to buyers and collectors who will appreciate them.
How is being one of the few independently owned watch brands an asset to Patek Philippe?
LP: The fifth generation of the Stern family is now involved in the business. Prior to the Sterns ownership they were dial makers for Patek Philippe, so their engagement has been long term. Being a family-owned business allows the Sterns to look 20 or 30 years down the road and offers a strong sense of stability. We never do anything that is trendy.
This July Patek Philippe will present The Art of the Watch Grand Exhibition in New York. Tell me some of the elements that connoisseurs, collectors, and the general public will experience?
LP: patek philippe replica watches sale is building a two-story structure at Cipriani 42nd Street that will function as a pop-up, interactive museum, and workshop. Some of the exciting things that will be on display and that people can experience include Mr. Stern sharing pieces from his personal collection. He has timepieces that reach as far back as the 1500’s and encompass the history of timekeeping. People attending the exhibition will also be able to meet some of our watchmakers and see the incredible engineering it takes to building these amazing complications, as well as observe the artistic side through decorative arts like enameling. We are also making a special, limited-edition series of of watches just for the exhibition that will be available to selected US retailers. We are working hard to create a flow in this space so that people can see the building blocks of timekeeping and the artistry that goes into it. I think it will be a lot of fun.
Having become President of Patek Philippe in 2009, assuming the mantle once donned by his father and grandfather before him, Thierry Stern is no mere watch industry boss, he is the steward of a multi-billion Swiss franc enterprise that is arguably the world’s most prestigious watchmaker.
What’s the Patek Philippe “DNA”?
It’s what I have seen since I was a child. I was always in the middle of watches, with my grandfather, with my father, and all the books. Imagine when you are living in the middle of watchmakers, even if you are not going to look at them, you will see them. That’s how you have to learn the DNA. There’s no book that will teach you that, except today we have the museum book so you can have a look at all the pieces.
A good example: I asked my dad many years ago, how do I recognise good enamel pieces? Early on I had difficulty distinguishing between a normal and a very fine example, but that was easy for my father. He told me there is only one solution, when you have a hundred of them in your hands, you will know.
A trio of enamel Patek Philippe pocket watches that sold at Phillips’ Hong Kong watch auction in November 2016
Name the stand-out watch introduced during your time as President.
The pilot copy patek philippe calatrava automatic opaline dial watch. The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time was something that was not needed and was not expected. But I thought it was fun to do it.
Most of the time, people who really like Patek know what are we going to launch the next year. You look at the collection and see this reference in white gold, so you can imagine we will launch it in yellow gold or rose gold.
That’s something that bothers me sometimes, because I think it’s great to surprise people. It’s like having your gift for Christmas but you already know what you’re going to receive. You’ll be happy but on the other hand you’re losing the effect or the pleasure. That’s why sometimes it’s fun to prepare something that nobody expects. The pilot watch was one of them.
Today it’s a very successful piece. People accept it. I could sell much more but I am limit the production.
And if you look at the details, people didn’t realise how far we went. All the small details on the dial, on the case, the pushers. That’s Patek Philippe.
People said it’s not your design, but it is. You see it in our museum where you have the two original examples. In fact, I have another vintage patek philippe nautilus black dial brushed stainless steel case black leather strap that can prove to everybody that it’s not a copy of Zenith or IWC. Mine was earlier. I have never showed the picture, I kept it in case the criticism went too far.
Is Patek Philippe on the acquisition trail?
We did buy, for example, dial makers, but today not that much anymore, because we have everything. The only thing I should buy, but I’m not willing to do it, is a farm for all the crocodiles.
Patek Philippe was already fabricating everything inside our own factories. Many years ago I asked my dad, why should we do everything in-house? We have good people outside the firm, in Switzerland there are a lot of good companies. He told me he tried; they are good and they can reach Patek Philippe quality, but the quality goes up and down. So if you want to maintain the right quality, it has to be internal – that’s the only way.
But we do not invest in watch companies. We have investments, for example, in research. It can be together with some other brands, because it’s too expensive to do it alone.
Or we invest in some suppliers who are in difficulty. For example we need the rubies for movements and there’s only one company making all the small rubies. I don’t want to buy this company because I don’t need that quantity, because I am using maybe 1% of their output.
But I need those rubies so we are investing in the supplier, alongside many other brands… we have to invest inside to protect that.
Strong auction results give confidence to the customer. He appreciates the fact that yesterday we created those beautiful pieces and then today we are still making beautiful watches.
For sure it’s beautiful when you see that in the 1940s when we created the 1518 in stainless steel, the price was SFr2500. And today, SFr11m. Wow.
As I say it does give confidence. Most important, people realise that the watch is still working and we can fix it. This is also beautiful, that the watch of my great-grandfather can be restored and it’s going to work again. And maybe also the value will also be there and increase.
The ref. 1518 in stainless steel that sold in November 2016 for SFr11m.
It’s really a boost, but we should not also take too much advantage of it, because I do not want that customers to believe that when they buy a Patek Philippe, in ten years they will sell it for ten times the price.
I prefer to see customers wearing the patek philippe complicated watches annual calendar 5147g-001. It should not remain in the safe. I am not working so hard to design the watches so that clients can just leave them in the safe. The watch has to be a pleasure, it’s something that you should enjoy.