A little dig at PP...

On the Timezone PP forum, when it was announced that both the 5070 and the 5970 were discountinued, to my surpise the WHOLE thread was just about what good news it was from an investment perspective, and everybody trying to figure out how many models must have been produced, etc… There isn’t one person saying how sorry he is that one of his favourite model has been discountinued…

Browsing throught the posts, I also learned, to my great astonishment, that if someone wants to buy a 5959 from Patek, he first has to fill in a questionnaire, and only if he is deemed worthy will he be able to buy a watch… Now what kind of bulls**t is this??  From the thread it is my understanding that to be worthy of a 5959, one has to have a good PP collection, going from the more simple Calavatra to the more complicated Perpetual calendar chrono (and yes, if you have a few of those it helps…). I can understand PP wanting to strengthen its “Exclusive Luxury” positioning, or even avoid “investor type” buyers buying the watch only to make a quick buck (although they created these “monsters”), but IMO this is ridiculous!

If VC had asked me to fill in a form to be able to buy the 47212, I am honestly not sure if I would have filled it in. hmmmm… Well, I might be lying… I would have filled it in, but I would have been well pissed off. And applying PP’s selection criteria, I would have been refused the right to buy the watch, even though I have been saving and dreaming about it for 5 years…

I am not a Patek Philippe hater – I bought one for my wife – but these are some of the reasons why I love VC so much more.

Apart, of course, from the fact that in general VC's watches are much more beautifulA little dig at PP...

Re: A little dig at PP...
01/25/2008 - 14:29

I have spent many years collecting Patek and after all this time I am gravitating towards Vacheron. There are many reasons, but the primary one being Patek is not fun any more while Vacheron is. You mentioned the difficulty getting a 5959, well its the same for most of their desireable watches. You go into the AD's shop and there are very few watches to choose from and if you want to put an order in you have to wait for years and in some cases never get one. Thats putting exclusivity to high imo.

I am into watches to enjoy them and along the way meet interesting and very enjoyable people. I also like history so I get to learn as much as I can about the company and their product past and future. Not to mention I really enjoy looking at them and marvel at there complexity.

I think Patek has some great watches and for their sake I hope they figure a way to get the speculators out of their market. In the mean time I am enjoying Vacheron and look forward to see what technical marvels they will have at this years SIHH.

You get the collectors that you deserve....
01/25/2008 - 14:58

First I have to admit that while not liking any of Patek's entry level and mid range watches I truly like their perpetual calendar chronos and the high complications (don't like the Sky Moon tourbillon though).

I also have seen the different PP forums on the net, and its not only the one on TZ where almost 95% of the discussions are around collectability and investment.

The problem is that PP has created such a hype around these hard to get models that people are ready to pay premiums on the list price and then cross their fingers that prices keep going up so they don't get stuck with the hot potatoe!

In the latest patek Philippe magazine there is an interview of Philippe Stern explaining how he chooses those "worthy" of the high end pieces and how this is done to reward the faithful collectors. If this is the case why are these watches which are supposedly so difficult to obtain so easy to find with any grey marketer from across the street? Why do these high complications keep popping up at auction still in their sealed plastic wrapper?

Patek doesn't want to create speculation? Why do they stop production of the Nautilus 3712 after one year to replace it with a watch 1mm larger? Don't tell me they decided all of a sudden to relaunch a brand new Nautilus range half way through the year? PP say one thing and do the other, if there is so much speculation on the brand its because someone is fueling it...

Its a shame, Patek is a fantastic brand with fantastic products, they have been consistent througout time in their product range and in terms of marketing and communications they could teach VC a thing or two but this whole price/investment discussions around the brand take away its soul and make it a commodity like another...shame...

Well said
01/25/2008 - 15:13


Amen. Well said guys!! (nt)
01/25/2008 - 15:52


If you guys were able to read the Asian Wall Street
01/25/2008 - 16:32

issue on Antiquorum auction you will be disappointed that the president of PP is the one out bidding the watches. People buy PP not because of their design, not for the love of PP but for investment purposes only. If this is the case then PP should be kept in safe boxes not on the wrist. Not only that. They charge exorbitant prices for servicing.

VC has a better design and people in this forum are more fantastic and more intelligent. If you go to the PP forum they are only talking of investment nothing more.

More power to all of us!

I agree.
01/25/2008 - 17:12

I can't say I hate PP, but it's just the attitude of its collectors who mostly buy PP for investment & PRESTIGE. The AD whom I happen to know personally told me to buy PP and discard all other brands because it's the best investment out there. I'd rather buy stocks!

Hi Veilotron,
01/25/2008 - 16:52

I'm really surprised reading your post !

The selling brand has nothing to do with my personal money

or what watches I have.

It's awful and totally embarrasing

It's another thing with a company,

as I own a company to 100%,

I know what I'm talking about,

there is of course a custom to search through the solidity,

and financial structure, from the seller.

And that's of course all right.

My private life, I decide myself what to do with,

and you know what I do anyhow,

I do not buy PP's and never will  


Re: A little dig at PP...
01/25/2008 - 17:24


Great comments.

I own 2 PP's, both Gondolos which I like to wear and like their designs. The movements I believe is the same in both and very good.

But for me PP falls into the same group with Rolex in some ways... overhyped and overpriced!

I don't know if the Sterns are upset that their watches have become just another commodity for speculators but they should be.


Thanks Joseph !
01/25/2008 - 20:01

I have said it before but met quite hard opposition,

at another forum than this,

that PP is more and more becoming a new Rolex'

Now when you, as an owner says it,

it weights heavier

Not least in it's heavy marketing,

where PP even has the guts to steal,

the concept of "father to son",

right out of from VC's advertisement in 1950

I really think that says a lot,

and so do their action at some , and especially one,

auctionhouses, where I bought perhaps most,

relatively of my VC's !

It's a bit strange when the owner, now ex owner,

Patrizzi, write book after book about PP and Rolex.

And not one book about the oldest and most exclusive brand of them all,


That Rolex makes as many watches a year that VC made in 253 years,

dosen't stop people to "collect" them!

Think of having a collection of watches that are 100.000's of,

I just can't get it

Not that I believe it's a good working workhorse in luxury clothes,

above that all fakes, when you see teenagers with copies on their wrist,

I'm glad that the chance to see a fake VC on a teenager is zero

Collecting Rolex/PP versus Vacheron becomes like,

collecting Audi/Mercedes versus Ferrari

That said by a man who owns two Audi's but no Ferrari,

on the other hand I own no Rolex/PP, but quite a few VC's

A nice weekend to you Joseph,

got some snow?, here it's green grass !

and has so been the whole winter !


Re: Thanks Joseph !
01/25/2008 - 21:20

Well said, Doc!

a little snow on the ground, not much, but cold and windy. No global warming here, just local freezing.

Il fait assez bien froid de congeler mes fesses!  (Just kidding, Alex and Deniz LOL)

it is a game that works for PP after all, and they all want to play
01/26/2008 - 00:05

Very good comments from all...

First of all, the criteria for buying those highend pieces seems stupid in the first place. If someone has a large collection of PP, then isn't he a collector/speculator already? Isn't the person who has no PP and wants to own one of the highend pieces much more trustworthy (in the sense of not wanting the piece simply for speculation)?

Other brands are like that also, beyond Rolex: Omega, Royal Oak offshores (I know, not a brand).

It is something that works for PP, they come up with new desirable (read: for speculation) watches every year and make a killing out of selling those. I wonder what the mark ups are? 8, 10, 15 times the production price?

If I ever bought a PP, it would be vintage and not one of the stupidly overpriced ones (aren't they all though?), I would feel less like buying into this wonderful speculative game.

Unfortunately, all brands I believe want the same thing: as high a profit margin as you can get away with and selling every piece before it comes out of the manufacture.... Even VC I am sure is striving to achieve this status. Corporations only answer to shareholders, no-one else. Producing "in-house" pieces is one of the key in achieveing this, profit margins are much higher for new "in-house" pieces.

A big part of the success is also "limited edition" pieces and short runs (a few year max) for the other pieces.

Unfortunately, these are all trends we see in just about every single watch brand.

Having to write a letter to the brand...
01/26/2008 - 02:54
offends my sensibilities too. I might do it if I really wanted something, and even might relish the personal attention should the object come my way, but if it didn't I would feel bitter and resentful. Of course, when getting a watch from an independent maker one usually enjoys the writing.Bill