Patek Philippe watches are among the most desirable and expensive in the world, and in a bid to maintain their exclusivity they are not sold online.
However, as the pandemic has forced a huge range of businesses and non-essential shops to close for the foreseeable future, a change to Patek Philippe tradition was required.
Now, for the first time, horological retailers like Watches of Switzerland, and smaller outlets including Berry’s Jewellers, London Jewelers and Laings, have begun selling Pateks online.
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Today, a huge range of Patek Philippe watches is available for free next-day delivery from Watches of Switzerland. The UK website currently shows 48 options, with prices ranging from a little under £10,000 for the Twenty-4 4910/10A, all the way up to £85,070 for the Gondolo 7099R-001.
We admit that having such an expensive watch delivered by a courier holding a cardboard box is a long way from the in-store champagne celebrations well-heeled watch buyers are used to. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you simply must have that Patek Philippe Grand Complications, then why not?
We dread to think what the insurance complications are with sending an eighty grand watch in the post, but if opening Patek up to online buyers keeps jewellers, watch retailers and the manufacturer afloat during these challenging times, then we’re all for it.
Other brands that generally avoid online sales, like Rolex, are yet to join Patek, but we wouldn’t be surprised if that position changes soon.
As for whether online sales of Patek watches will continue once life gets back to normal, or disappear back into the grasp of tradition, we’ll have to wait and see.