Watching Bloomberg TV's "Surveillance" this morning, they did an interesting little segment on the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe. The company President, Larry Pettinelli was on, as were two watches (that were barely shown). Got to say, the talking heads obviously were not WIS and didn't "get it", though that's really no surprise. Larry handled their ignorance well IMO, I am thinking he still felt it was good exposure for the brand, and I'd guess that is correct.

They spoke about how the company is looking to market themselves to a new younger demographic (target age 28 to 35) and about what the attraction of the brand in a sea of others is (Larry mentioned the inner workings as always having been a draw of the brand).

Their 175th Anniversary Grandmaster Chime model was spoken of, with a price tag of $2.8 million, it is their most complicated watch ever. I think they said only 15 (?) were available, and said they had 50 potential buyers. Takes 2 years to make, has 20 complications and 6 patents, something like 270 parts to the case alone (the movement has 1366 individual pieces).

It is their first reversible faced watch, one side focusing on the time while the other focuses on the perpetual calendar (both date and time information are available on either side). There is a 10 minute video I ran across on the web specifically on this watch, it is fascinating as it shows much detail of both machine work and hand work of the making of one of these iconic pieces. Work on the case, movement and dial are all shown. Broker actually posted it earlier in another thread, but I missed it. If you did too, I highly suggest you give it a look, it is really, really well done (I was riveted).

The range goes from $13K to the $2.8 million already mentioned, with an average price of $47K. One of the Bloomberg crew tried to make a point that buyers needed to look at these as an "investment", and Larry rightly corrected him, saying that while they'd done well at auctions (again, more press which is good), that they didn't suggest looking at them as an investment, but more of an heirloom. Made to be worn for 50 years and passed on. When another Bloom-head asked who the potential Customers for the Grandmaster Chime were, he asked "Heads of State"? Larry again calmly corrected him saying the typical potential customer was someone in to the technical side (again going to the complications and inner workings).

All in all, to me the Bloomberg folks blew it (one white gloved pressman, the "investment" guy, failed to figure out how a clasp worked while trying to put the watch on), and didn't even get decent shots of the watches brought for the segment. And their premises and misconceptions were mostly wrong. Yet Larry handled them well, was gracious even as an interviewer kept interrupting his answers with the next question.

I'd say Mr. Pettinelli was definitely the right person to send on this mission to Bloomberg TV. While the press may have gotten it wrong, he managed to still heighten awareness of the brand (caused me to come do a little Google research at least). I guess it may be true, any (or at least most) press is good press. Even when it's poorly done!