Never has an “Add to Bag” button brought about such excitement.
Patek Philippe, a Swiss watchmaker that prides itself on selling timepieces in person, has segued into the online shopping space. That’s right, you can buy your next Patek wristwatch without ever leaving home.
To counter the impact of the global coronavirus on sales to its retail partners, the watchmaker has granted authorized dealers, such as London Jewelers and Hamilton Jewelers, the rare opportunity to sell its coveted pieces online.
In an official statement provided from the company’s Geneva headquarters, Patek Philippe said the decision was made specifically to assist its retailers during the pandemic.
“During this extremely difficult time, an exceptional decision has been taken to allow authorized retailers to sell Patek Philippe watches online that they have in stock, while their showrooms are closed,” Patek Philippe told Professional Watches. “This is only for a temporary period to help Patek Philippe authorized retailers that are closed due to the Covid-19 situation.”
Like many watch manufactures, including Audemars Piguet, MB&F and Hublot, Patek Philippe’s manufacturing facility is closed until further notice as of March 27, but Patek Philippe has never sold its watches online through its own vertical or through its retail partners. Clients had to buy timepieces through brick-and-mortar boutiques or private inquiries to the brand.
So what’s available at a click now? We’ve managed to find 44 separate models at London Jewelers—the highlights being a rose gold Complications Ref. 7017R ($91,516) and a blue Complications World Time Chronograph Ref. 5930G ($75,299). Plus, a further 17 models at Hamilton Jewelers, including a rose gold Twenty-Four which is priced at $45,361. The best part: All timepieces can be shipped priority if you’re just dying to flex to your friends on Zoom.
Considering most of us will be in quarantine for weeks and possibly months to come, we may see other boutique brands adopting more digital-friendly practices. Virtual retail therapy has never been more necessary.