After a 2003 financial year marked by adverse sales (SARS epidemic and war in Iraq in particular), Patek Philippe is looking forward to two-digit growth in turnover in 2004. “We are optimistic, but a terrorist attack or geopolitical risks can never be excluded, which prompts us to be slightly cautious,” said group President Philippe Stern during an interview with L’Agefi.

According to the financial daily, the Genevan watch manufacturer realises an annual turnover of approximately 500 million francs, selling around 30,000 watches. The company has a total workforce of 1,200 employees, with around 950 of this number based in Geneva.

Despite a 15% increase in dollar prices to offset the fall of the US currency, group sales have not suffered. On the contrary, they have continued to progress, said Stern.

Asked about the Patek Philippe strategy, Philippe Stern said that the group would continue on its present path, following a policy of independence and quality. To ensure the company’s future, he plans to reduce his input gradually, allowing his son to take on more and more management responsibility. The latter currently occupies the post of Vice-President. No firm departure date has yet been given however. There was no urgency, said Philippe Stern.

Gerard Nijenbrinks

Gerard Nijenbrinks

Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He runs an on-line watch shop from The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he was six years old (true!) and triggered by a friend, he bought his first 'real' watch in the late eighties; an Omega Speedmaster Professional with glass back. This was the first watch of a nice, even today ever growing, collection.
Gerard Nijenbrinks