Patek Philippe, that most rarefied of fine watchmakers, the pinnacle of horological exclusivity, is now available online. We don’t mean in the usual pre-owned places, but new from the likes of Watches of Switzerland, Pragnell and other Patek Philippe authorized dealers.
Until now Patek was one of the few brands that these were banned from selling online, so as not to diminish the brand in any way and let the watchmaker keep more control. It’s a big deal to see that grip lessened, even if just a little bit.
The reason why is pretty obvious. Patek Philippe boutiques aren’t exactly buzzing right now and their dealers have the digital infrastructure that the brand themselves don’t. There are probably greater priorities for collectors right now than their next watch (we only say probably) but it may well be a saving grace for Patek.
Whether this is simply a way to stop Coronavirus taking them under or will continue in the future remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain though: it won’t make the waiting list for a Nautilus any shorter.