How can I not talk about it?

I find it hard to ignore the news in my weekend editorial, just days after an unexpected launch, so much so that the company's own dealers were caught unprepared. Oh yes, because it is true that we are talking about a limited edition destined for a single dealer, namely Tiffany, but it is not taken for granted that the public will immediately understand this. Hence, the official dealers have been inundated with phone calls from would-be buyers.

Realistically, however, it will only be 170 top clients of Tiffany & Co. who will be able to buy the watch at list price (what will happen on the second-wrist market is another story). Yet there are cries of scandal. Partly because of the colour of the dial, which for many is not a good match for Patek Philippe, and partly because not being able to own it doesn't sit well with many others. And to say that it is not the only such exclusive watch on the market, but definitely the only one so desired.

Another criticism levelled at Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe, is that he wanted to carry out a commercial operation aimed at maximum profit. To this I respond with the observation that any entrepreneur aims for maximum profit. However, 170 watches worth around $52,000 certainly do not constitute a high percentage of Patek Philippe's turnover. While the media spin-off is unprecedented for the small world of watchmaking, which with operations like this intends to make itself known to a new, younger public with fewer preconceptions. It will be said that rather than preconceptions here we are talking about culture. I think that if you ever approach a new audience, you will never have the opportunity to instil that culture that new enthusiasts lack.

Finally, the risk of a bad operation is that it may alienate traditional customers, that hard core on which a brand's prestige is based.
I don't think that will happen to Patek Philippe. Not, at least, because of 170 Nautilus with a 'Tiffany blue' dial. 

Dody Giussani