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The Millennium Watch Book
Patek Philippe - Thierry Stern: President and Owner

Patek Philippe Thierry Stern: President and Owner

For GMT Publishing has created The Millennium Watch Book for the 20th anniversary of GMT Magazine, available for pre-order now. Read here an exclusive excerpt from the book.

On the occasion of GMT Magazine’s 20th anniversary (and WorldTempus’s upcoming 20th anniversary in 2021), we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. The Millennium Watch Book is available exclusively now for pre-order at a discounted rate on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with delivery aimed just in time for the holiday season.

In the coming weeks, WorldTempus will be exclusively sharing excerpts from the book, to give you a taste.

Only a few days left to get an additional 10% discount on the Millennium Watch Book. To obtain your code, fill in the information requested in the dedicated area to the left of the article.

Here’s is an exclusive excerpt from our section “Who’s who”, where we name the 80 industry players, from CEOs to Creative Directors to retailers and independent watchmakers, who have indelibly shaped the last two decades of watches, written by those in the industry who perhaps know them best. For more information, visit www.the-watch-book.com

Thierry Stern President, Patek Philippe

“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”. The catchphrase gave the turn of the millennium a whole additional layer of significance. Thierry Stern, who had been heading up Patek Philippe’s creative department since 1998, was keen to ensure the brand’s continuity – and celebrate the symbolic milestone in a unique fashion. The result was the birth of the Star Caliber 2000, crystallising grande complication expertise – and a desire to make movements more reliable for their owners in actual use. The feat was taken to the next level with the Sky Moon Tourbillon in 2013, and then again with the Grandmaster Chime in 2014, reflecting the redoubled efforts of R&D since the turn of the millennium, when Thierry Stern launched several strategic initiatives, including the brand’s Advanced Research Laboratory in 2005. “A good watchmaker must be innovative”, he insists. The cutting-edge department was ideally positioned to explore new materials and previously unknown processes – and then put them to use. At the same time, between 2005 and 2014, Stern travelled the world to fine-tune the sales network and meet retailers, gradually reducing their numbers from 800 to 400. One commercial success followed another. In 2006, he added his own personal touch to the thirtieth anniversary celebrations for the Nautilus, held in a seventies cult venue in Geneva. The daring wager paid off. In 2009, he announced a new chronograph caliber; everyone was expecting a men’s watch, but he unveiled the Ladies First chronograph to test complications for women – the idea immediately took off. Over and above sales considerations, Thierry Stern’s love of the product itself is clear from the special place he reserves for fine craftsmanship. He also gave a huge impetus to Only Watch, a good cause to which he contributed unique pieces from 2005 to 2019, with auction prices increasing tenfold over that period. In 2014, everyone who was anyone turned up at the manufacture for the ten days of celebrations he organised for the brand’s 175th anniversary. The emotion was palpable, with three generations of Sterns participating. And in 2020, Thierry Stern’s quiet strength resulted in the completion of the enormous task of fitting out a 100,000 sqm manufacture: proof (if any were needed) that Patek is sailing confidently on towards new horizons.


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