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Patek Philippe - #InstaPatek : It all adds up!

Patek Philippe #InstaPatek : It all adds up!

It has not even been around for a year, and yet it already a textbook case. After mulling over the decision very carefully, Patek Philippe finally opened its official Instagram account last March. In doing so, it broke all the rule.

It was one year ago, almost to the day. An announcement that would have gone unnoticed if it had come from 99% of the other watch brands – especially a few days before Baselworld opened its doors. The subject? The launch of a new official Instagram account. Hardly anything of great import. Except when the brand is… Patek Philippe.

A polarising debate

The brand’s strategy 2.0, if there was one at the time, was something that the watchmaking microcosm was only too happy to criticise. Its notable absence from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had ended up polarizing opinions. On the one hand there were those in favour of the status quo, claiming that the illustrious manufacture was above all the 2.0 thing and guaranteed its respectability by steering clear of it. On the other, the progressives, who claimed that you need to move with the times and that, without a social presence, Patek Philippe’s image would be one of horse-drawn carriages and powder wigs, too far removed from the concerns of its future customers.

#InstaPatek : It all adds up !

Jasmina Steele, International Communication & Public Relations Director © WorldTempus/Olivier Müller

“You need to be in tune with the time,” says Jasmina Steele, who heads up the communications department and has worked at Patek Philippe for 25 years. On 18th March 2018, at 18.39 (the year of its creation, 1839), Patek Philippe staged its 2.0 coming out with the opening of its official Instagram account. It consisted of a surprising digital mosaic of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524 that the company was promoting at the time. Behind each thumbnail image was some different content, text, image or video, that explained the watch from different angles (technical, historical, aesthetic etc.).

#InstaPatek : It all adds up !

© Patek Philippe

“We are looking to share content just like we do with our exhibitions and our museum,” explains Jasmina Steele. “We can incorporate content from these into other platforms, like YouTube. Instagram meets our need for a platform where we can really work on aesthetics, which is very important for us.”

Half a million followers

In one year the success has been phenomenal: the account has nearly half a million followers. With just 11 mosaics published, the ratio of posts to followers is well above the industry average for a luxury watch brand and much higher than those of Breguet or Audemars Piguet. “Yes, the figures are good,” admits Jasmina Steele with a smile, admitting that she had “some doubts before the account was opened. There is always some resistance to change.”

#InstaPatek : It all adds up !

© Patek Philippe

Another rare thing about Patek Philippe’s digital customers was that the brand consulted influencers, but also its own customers, before launching the account. “Some of them had very firm views on whether or not we should be on Instagram,” explains Jasmina Steele. “Our customers are very protective of the brands. With our advertising campaigns about transmission they really feel involved.” It’s an involvement that seems to be have converted into a massive following for the brand’s digital platforms, despite its totally unusual format. With just one post per month (with the exception of “stories”), Patek Philippe manages its digital rarity as well as it manages its horological rarity.


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