Patek Philippe has gained quite the loyal following as one of the world’s premiere time brands, and little else can shake a watch lover to the core more than one of their highly coveted pieces. Those with a vested interest in haute horology, Pateks in particular, absolutely need to pick up a copy of Patek Philippe in America: Marketing the World’s Foremost Watch.
The 356-page book, by veteran Sotheby’s Watch Department and Patek Philippe USA figure John Reardon, takes a look at how the independent and single family-owned business came to emerge in American culture as the ultimate status symbol. The book is oversized, richly-illustrated, and highlights many of the most important watches, technical innovations, and U.S. retailers of the 19th and 20th centuries – that, and it would like absolutely stellar on your desk or coffee table.
Patek Philippe in America takes readers through the brand’s enthralling history, as well as for a look into American culture’s relationship with luxury goods. Patek Philippe’s well-known tagline is explored as the brand’s mantra and force behind its status as superior in the time brand sector: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation.” Reardon explores this sense of relationship dedicated Patek owners feel with their pieces, evidencing the incredible mark this brand has left in our culture.
Reardon explores the brand through time, and continues through the 20th century with features on the pieces worn by some of history’s greatest names – Duke Ellington, Seabiscuit trainer Tom Smith, Joe Di Maggio, President Truman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Walt Disney, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, General Douglas MacArthur, Grace Kelly, and more.
Reardon also explores the period from the late 1960s through the 80s, an especially controversial and interesting period for the celebrated brand. As electronic and quartz watches began to popularize, one story in particular – involving Rolex – speaks volumes of the incredible respect these burgeoning watchmakers held for Patek, but we won’t ruin the suspense for you. (But believe us, this is a piece of horological history that you’ll definitely want to know.)
The book is comprehensive, engaging, and an in-depth look at one of the world’s most revered time brands. Whether you already are an established collector of fine pieces or just harbor an interest in time’s finer things, the history behind Patek Philippe is most certainly one worth knowing. According to Forbes, Patek Philippe in America is published in a limited first run of 1,500 copies and may be purchased for $395 from the book’s website.