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The 2017 collection officially launched on March 22nd with 24 new models. It officially has 206 models (compared to 210 models in 2016 and 246 models in 2015).
Mostly a year to celebrate 20 years of the Aquanaut and 40 years of the automatic calibre 240.
Few real new references, some new references to up-date a current model (size, dial, etc.) and many variations on existing references (dial, bezel or bracelet changes).
Art & Craft up-dated exclusive collection unveiling the usual lot of unique decorated pieces.
Ref. 6006 classic "Calatrava" replaces the 2mm smaller ref. 6000.
Ref. 5650 PPAR ("Advanced Research" limited edition, 500 pieces)
Ref. 5178 is now 3mm larger than the ref. 5078, same complication, same look but cathedral gongs. The ref. 5078 is now available in white gold, pink and platinum ones are discontinued.
Ref. 5316 replaces the ref. 5216 (which waa 0.7mm smaller) and is now without the sa-called cathedral gongs.
The ref. 5320G sweeps seconds perpetual calendar is a real new reference, well in the Patek Philippe tradition.
The new ref. 5372P, perpetual calendar with split chronographs, using the "haute horlogerie" calibre, with blue or pink dial.
New Aquanaut jewellery : 5062-450R
New ladies jewellery calatrava: 4899-900G.
The ref. 5131 world time is now available in platinum, with platinum bracelet and a North Pole map.
The cushion shape ref. 5940 perpetual calendar is now available in pink gold.
The ladies ref. 7130 and ref. 7140 are now available also in white gold.
The ref. 5170 "classic" chronograph is now available in platinum, with dark blue dial and baguette hour markers.
Ref. 5396R is now available with a dark blue dial with indexes or diamond baguette hour markers.
Ref. 5072 Aquanaut is now available in pink gold, the white gold was discontinued.
References not showing any longer in the 2017 catalogue :
ref. 5069; ref. 5073; ref. 5098; ref. 5120; ref. 5130; ref. 5213; ref. 5216; ref. 5307; ref. 6000; ref. 7071
Partially discontinued references, not showing any longer in the 2017 catalogue :
ref. 5078P and 5078R; ref. 5116G; ref. 5140P 013; 5170G; ref. 5180-1R; ref. 5270G; ref. 5298P 012; ref. 5396-1; ref. 5539G 001; ref. 5950R 010
Nautilus 40th Anniversary: two watches were launched in a limited series edition, ref. "5711-1P 40th" and ref. "5976-1G 40th".
Launch of the ref. 5723 Nautilus with baguette bezel.
The 2016 collection officially has 210 models (246 in 2015) according the Patek Philippe official website after Baselworld.
More new models than last despite an overall collection diet; Patek Philippe "classics" are kept.
The Art & Craft exclusive collection unveils the usual lot of unique decorated pieces.
Nautilus 40th Anniversary: two watches were launched in a limited series edition, ref. "5711-1P 40th" and ref. "5976-1G 40th".
In Basel, 2016, five major men's new references :
- ref. 5230R/G, World Time,
a ref. 2523 look
- ref. 5930G, World Time with Chrono, Automatic,
tribute to the 1415-1
- ref. 5327J/G/R, Perpetual Calendar,
replacing the 5140 and descendant of the ref. 3940
- the 5374P, Minute Repeater, Perpetual Calendar, Automatic, oversized, back to more classic and sober shape
- the 6300G, Grand Master Chime,
the most complicated wrist watch in the World,
the "stock and sober " version of the Anniversary ref. 5175
ref. 5230R and ref. 5230G - 38.5mm
ref.5930G - 39.5mm
ref. 5327J and ref. 5327R - 39mm
ref. 5327G - 39mm
ref. 5374P - 42mm
ref. 6300G Grand Master Chime - 47.4mm
and one ladies' new references :
- 7002-450G, haute joallerie Minute Repeater
the other news are mostly case or dial colour new choices :
- 5170R Roman numerals or black Breguet dial
- 5164R Travel-Time Chrono Aquanaut
- 5720-2G, Haute Joallerie Griffith version for the men's nautilus
- 5396G & 5396R, Breguet numerals to celebrate the Annual Calendar 20th year (ref. 5035 in 1996)
- 5140P, last version before the reference discontinuation
- 5160-500G, Breguet numerals and different back engraving
- 5088-100P, new decoration on this Champlevé enamel limited edition piece from the Art & Craft exclusive collection
- 5204R, now in pink gold
- 5950R, now in pink gold, with two different Breguet dials
- 5959R, now in pink gold with black Breguet dial
- 5496P 015, new dial with applied and highly relieved pink gold markers for the platinum case version
- 5539G 010, now with blue enamel dial, first time seen in the Patek Philippe catalogue (after the success of the Time-Only record sell of the 5016P with such a dial)
- 6002G 010, the Sky Moon with a black dial
- 5067A, "All White" version for the jewellery Aquanaut
- 4897-300G, new baguette cut bezel set
- 4968-400R new case setting and fully pavé dial "en cercles"
- 4895-400G "Sparkling Drape", a new shape on this magnificent ladies haute-joallerie piece based on the ref. 4895
- 4909-111G & 114G, Twenty4 haute-joallerie new choices
- 7200-200R, with diamonds set bezel
- 7122-200R&G, calatrava new version based on the ref. 7122
two cloisonnée clocks, a set pocket watches and a special ref.4975-1G were made especially for this exhibition together with very limited series of eighty ref.5153G, eighty ref.5159G, eight ref.5213G, eighty ref.7200J and eigtht ref.7000J, all of them with a personalized back with the Londont Grand Exhibition engraving.
At the occasion of this London exhibition Patek Philippe brought a very specia series of vintage references cased with new-old stock movements and personalized dials.
The quantities were not announced and could be one/two of each made.
3940G pink dial 3970R & 3970P both with black dial
5050J/R/G/P 5059J champagne / 5059R brown and 5059G blue
5070J black / 5070R brown / 5070G rose / 5070P blue 5970J black and 5970G pink
Three dome clocks especially made for the event and sold through a charity sale for more than $ 1.5M in total
three major men's new references:
- ref. 5905P, looks like a ref. 5205 with chronograph
- ref. 5370P, split chornograph, black enamel Breguet dial
- ref. 5524G, a "pilote" travel-time sport wrist-watch
The other news are mostly case or dial colour new choices among which a ref. 5131R with the Pacific region, a ref. 5170G with black breguet dial, a ref 5153R, a 5207-700P with guilloché black dial, a 5227G with black dial, a 5711-1R with brown dial, a ref. 6102R with black dial, two new ref. 5950 models, a ref. 5951-100 with engraved bezel, a ref. 5270R, a ref. 5073P with blue dial and a ref. 5073R with black dial, a ref. 5496R, etc.
Three brand new Ladies models: ref. 4947 and 4948, both Annual Calendar, and ref. 7118 Nautilus.
The 2015 collection officially has 241 models according the Patek Philippe official website, updated after the Basel Fair 2015 event.
Swiss Central Bank Sets Watch World on Edge
March 18th 2015 / by VICTORIA GOMELSKY
(International New York Times) -- GENEVA — In early February, Thierry Stern, president of the 175-year-old watchmaker Patek Philippe, sent a three-page letter to the brand’s global network of retailers that began on a sour note.
The year 2014, he wrote, “was for our industry a strange and difficult period to understand.”
He pointed to the ostensible strength of the Swiss watch industry, whose 2014 exports grew by 1.7 percent to a record-breaking 22.2 billion Swiss francs, or about $23 billion, only to cite two troubling facts about the growth.
“Good results in many markets are mainly due to Asian tourists, local clients are being more ‘discreet,”’ Mr. Stern noted. “Retailers’ inventories, pushed by a number of brands, have increased to unreasonable levels.”
Then he got to the crux of his letter. “Consequently, the whole industry started this new year with ‘mixed feelings’… until the totally unexpected announcement of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on 15 January not to defend the 1 EUR = 1,20 CHF exchange rate any longer!”
Mr. Stern was referring to the Swiss National Bank’s abrupt decision to remove the artificial cap that kept the franc pegged to the euro for three years. In response to the move, Patek decreased its prices by 7 percent in North and South America, 5 percent in Switzerland, 7 percent in Hong Kong and 3 percent in the rest of Asia and the Pacific Rim, while increasing its prices by 7 percent in the eurozone and 5 percent in Japan. (Britain was the only market where the prices remained unchanged.)
In a statement to the news media, Mr. Stern explained his decision by citing Patek Philippe’s Ref. 5960 Annual Calendar Chronograph in platinum, a perpetually in-demand wristwatch bearing a Swiss price of 78,200 francs.
In Hong Kong on Jan. 14, the watch carried a price of 795,100 Hong Kong dollars, the equivalent of 104,000 Swiss francs at the exchange rate that day.
One day later, the franc soared by as much as 30 percent, making the watch even more expensive in Hong Kong and elsewhere, further destabilizing an already wobbly market.
Mr. Stern’s letter to retailers stressed the importance of keeping prices consistent across markets. “There is no reason why a Patek Philippe watch should be much more expensive in a given market compared to others!” he wrote. “This would not be fair to our local clients; and even more importantly, such differences would fuel the gray market!”
Patek Philippe is hardly the only brand grappling with the challenges of pricing its watches in a world beset by political and economic instability. As retailers and watchmakers gather in Switzerland this week for the Baselworld luxury watch and jewelry show, how to set prices, when to adjust them, and how downstream margins and profitability affect the final tally are sure to dominate conversations.
“This jolt comes at a time when demand in China and Europe has been subdued,” said Milton Pedraza, chief executive of The Luxury Institute research firm in New York. “For the first time in a long time, luxury Swiss watchmakers understand that economics and demand are not in their favor.”
To put modern Swiss watch pricing in context, it is helpful to recall that, for the bulk of the 20th century, Swiss watchmakers excelled at mass-producing quality mechanical timepieces. The advent of battery-powered quartz technology in the late 1960s — and the resulting flood of Japanese-made digital watches — changed things irrevocably. No longer able to lay claim to the cheapest and most reliable timepieces, watchmakers in Switzerland slowly began to gravitate to the high end, refashioning their products as handcrafted icons of status and prestige.
With that positioning came a natural, gradual increase in prices, to cover not only the research and development costs associated with building ever-more complicated movements and hiring skilled laborers to produce them, but also the marketing and advertising costs required to play in the luxury big leagues.
David Sadigh, founder and chief executive of the Digital Luxury Group, a marketing agency based in Geneva, cited a host of additional factors that drove up the cost of producing Swiss watches in recent years, from the shortage of parts and movements provided by third parties to the rise in labor and material costs — especially gold, which peaked above $1,900 an ounce in 2011 before slipping over time to around $1,200 today.
One factor he did not mention was the wave of consolidation that has washed over the industry, placing many brands under the care of publicly owned luxury groups, whose first priority is, inevitably, to their shareholders.
“They constantly have to show growth in a business that’s not easy to grow,” said Ariel Adams, founder of ABlogtoWatch, a site for watch enthusiasts. “You have two options. You produce more watches or you charge more for the same watches. What’s easier?”
Which is not to say that the steady creep upward in pricing has been arbitrary or spurious. Many watchmakers responded to the scarcity of movements and parts offered by third-party suppliers such as the Swatch Group by investing heavily in their own manufacturing capabilities, thereby increasing the cost of their products.
At Breitling, for example, the brand’s chronometer-certified chronographs ranged in retail price from 5,000 to 7,000 francs until 2009, when the introduction of its first in-house caliber prompted a price adjustment that shifted the timepieces into 6,000 to 8,000 franc territory.
“Yes, the price range of Breitling moved a little higher but in parallel with our offer,” said the company’s vice president, Jean-Paul Girardin. “We went from 40 to more than 70 power reserve hours.”
Yet “the sky is not the limit. We cannot just go up and up and up,” Mr. Girardin added. “If you increase prices, you will have less sales, so you have to be cautious.”
Lowering prices is, in many ways, more challenging. Fearful of alienating clients — not to mention retailers, whose margins get squeezed — many brands have opted against it.
“When you lower prices, the only guy you make friends with is the guy who’s about to buy your watch,” said Mike Margolis, founder of Horology Works, a North American distributor. “But you make enemies with everybody who bought your watch, including your dealer network. The first thing they want to know is, ‘Are you refunding me for all the inventory I have in stock?”’
For Patek Philippe, the price decrease was positioned as a strategic move to prevent the distribution of its timepieces through unauthorized channels. Besides wreaking havoc on a brand’s global retail network, gray market sales threaten its reputation among collectors. The gamble appears to have worked.
“While Patek entered into the rarely charted waters of price decreases, the feared backlash has not happened,” said Rüdiger Albers, president of Wempe, a retailer in New York. “A potential influx of product from other markets due to a price disparity would have inflicted far greater damage.”
The brand indicated in its letter that it would revisit prices at the end of June.
The fear, of course, is that currencies will continue to fluctuate, and disparities will linger, given that brands are not able to change prices every day or every month.
At the Baselworld fair this week, all signs suggest that most brands will stick to their current pricing, save for slight adjustments in the eurozone. But how the currency volatility will impact the business in the long term is a topic of great concern.
“It’s causing stagnation because, when people are worried and they feel concerned about pricing, they don’t put money into R&D, marketing, new products,” Mr. Adams said, referring to research and development. “So what you see is companies focusing on their top 1 percent of customers who are less sensitive to price changes.”
While the notion that the world’s biggest spenders don’t care about price increases is enticing, there’s good reason to believe that affluent people are more conscious of what things should and do cost than the luxury brands realize.
“The wealthy are take-it-or-leave-it negotiators,” Mr. Pedraza said. “This is not a time to be cavalier in the Swiss watch industry, no matter who you serve.”
Copyright 2015 The New York Times Company
Feb. 2015, the Swiss Franc surprise
Bloomberg, Feb. 10th 2015 - After Patek Philippe Hong-Kong retail prices cut by 5%-22% and Hong Kong retailers facing pressure from Swiss Franc surge :
Demand for high-end luxury products might be much weaker than expected, analyst Spencer Leung writes in note.
UBS views the cut a “surprise” as market expects price increase on Swiss watches after Swiss National Bank dropped minimum exchange rate
More retail store closures in H.K. anticipated
Parallel importers will most likely adjust their pricing accordingly.
Conclusion: Patek and Rolex should announce their 2015 price policy by the Basel Fair (March 19 to 26th). In the meantime, the HK situation does not reflect the 2015 price list policy as the cuts announced concern the 2014 or previous collections, watches so far unsold.
Only a part of the Patek Philippe new models for 2014 showed up at the Basel Fair, March 27th - April 3rd.
two new references with consistent changes
the steel Nautilus complicated model, ref. 5990-1A, with chronograph and travel-time features
and the 5304R, a skeletonized minute repeater with perpetual calendar replacing the ref 5104PR
and two jellery variations
the ref. 5217P, a jewellery variation from the ref. 5216
and the ref. 5271P, a jewellery variation from the ref. 5270
The rest of the new watches presented were mostly case colour variations, dial variations and bracelet additions, as the two-tone Nautilus chronograph, ref. 5960-1A, for instance, which looks like a new reference, with a matching stainless steel bracelet and a surprising almost white dial.
Note the ref. 5078R now made in pink gold, the 5140P now available with a black dial and diamond indexes and the 5204P now available with a black dial.
the ref. 5950 and 5951 lifting
ref. 5950 is now available with a matching bracelet (5950-1) and new blue or a pink dials.
ref. 5951 is now also available with Breguet numerals on a black or on a silvered dial.
the new Sky Moon
since May, ref. 6002, the new Sky-Moon version is available in white gold.
A book on the Patek Philippe collection in the Museum
The last important book on Patek Philippe watches, made by the company, dated from 1982 for the pocket watches and 1998 for the re-edited wrist watches volume. The new Patek Philippe book (two volumes) is avalaible only at the Museum, the Geneva Salon or through the Patek web-site; a complete catalogue of the Patek Philippe watches collection in the Museum. It retails for around $ 1300.
175th anniversary limited editions.
In October 2014 were presented, for the 175th Anniversary, a collection of limited edition celebrating the last big-big event before 25 years.
The most important watch is the ref 5175, today the most complicated wrist-watch ever made by any company, six will be sold, one will remain at the PP Museum, all in pink gold.
The ref 5275, a jump hour striking piece, will be made in platinum only,175 pieces.
The ref. 5975, oversized multi-scale chronograph will be availabe in yellow gold (400 pieces), white gold (400 pieces ), pink gold (400 pieces) and in platinum (100 pieces).
The ref. 4675, a good size ladies's chronograph, will be made in pink gole (100 pieces) and in white gold (100 pieces).
The ref. 7175 World time will be made only in pink gold (450 pieces)
In addition, different variations of the ref 5131, ref 5059 and ref 991 (pocket watch) were made in very limited number of pieces with a specific commemorative case or dial decoration, around the Geneva theme, some of them are unique.
The Graves' supercomplication also celebrates the 175th anniversary selling with a World record for any watch, at $ 24 M (Sotheby's Geneva, Nov. 11th).
Two days earlier, Christie's sold for a total of $ 20 M the 100 watches of its 175th anniversary thematic sale.
Going back to the 2013-2014 season news
Like every year, most of the Patek Philippe new models for 2013 showed up at the Basel Fair, April 25- May 2.
The only real novelties were this year the new 8-days Gondolo, with power reserved, day and date calendar, ref. 5200, the new "Grande Calatrava" 39mm center seconds, date and automatic, ref 5227 and the new "ladies" 35mm Officier, time only automatic, ref. 7200.
In May the ref. 6002 Sky-Moon was launched in Geneva. The company's power-watch is a tribute to the know-how, from the ultra-complicated wrist-watch "Chronometer" movement to the case hand-engraving and the dial enamelled decoration.
The rest was mostly case colour variations, dial variations and case setting (diamonds or baguettes) variations, as the two-tone Nautilus chronograph, ref. 5980-1AR, for instance.
The ref. 5235 (the regulator dial annual calendar, launched in 2011) was still not delivered until the Fall 2013 because of a calendar windows line-up problem. It looks now that all ordered watches have been delivered.
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