On a sunny day, I was walking around Place Vendôme from shop to shop. I remember the one in the back left corner of the Place when you come from the Opera Garnier. Very sober, the store window does not stand out more from the others, and in any cases Louis Vuitton’s flagship attracts all light.
However, its storefront caught my attention. Written in capital letters, the inscription PATEK PHILIPPE was throning.
After an inspection of myself to check my clothing, I gathered my courage and went forward. I rang, the security guard looked at me, comes to me and, like magic, the door opens.
It was one small step for them, but a giant leap for me. I’ve been welcomed with a nice “Good morning sir”. Without knowing what to do and asking myself what I was doing there, I’ve been taken care of by someone from the store.
“Good morning sir, what can I do for you?”
“I’d like to know if it’s possible to see the famous 5711”
“I’m sorry sir, we don’t have any of that reference in here, I can’t present it to you.”
So, the rumor was true, it’s nearly impossible to find any 5711 in any Patek Phillippe’s store. A bit disappointed but nonetheless happy of that experience, I left the store for the Jardin des Tuileries where I’ve read in the sun some of the documents the people from the store gave me earlier to refine my knowledge of the brand.
Few years later the news is out…the 5711 is dead. Long live the 5711!
Patek Philippe has that privilege not many watchmaking brands have anymore, the independence. Not imprisoned by a financial group, Patek can quite do whatever it wants.
I have to admit that the end of that model won’t change anything for me and won’t keep me from sleeping either. However, it has conquered more than one enthusiast’s heart.
It would appear that the 5711 isn’t the favorite model of Thierry Stern, the brand’s CEO: “We produce approximatively 140 different Patek’s models and the Reference 5711 basic in steel is just one of them. We have many other references more complicated and probably more beautiful” he said to the New York Tiles in 2019. The brand’s star seemed to take too much light, putting away from spotlights other models showing all the brand’s know-how.
In business terms, the end of the 5711 can be harmful for Patek Philippe. The endless waiting lists ensured a recurrent financial flow. However, ensuring the balance of a brand on a single model isn’t recommended. A change of trend or a disinterest in the brand would cause the “collapse” of it.
The change of course doesn’t please everyone. Some people do not understand while others reject any change. Limiting ourselves to what we are already doing keep us from going forward, from creating. If our world is constantly evolving, it’s important to have landmarks to guide us. However, we mustn’t attach ourselves to it no matter what, by fear of the unknown. Landmarks gives us a direction, a trend to follow even if we’re free to try, create and innovate of the journey.
That’s what happening with the 5711! It becomes a landmark for Patek Philippe. The sport chic universe and its mood are landmarks in which the brand goes to create, innovate.
If we know what we’re losing today, we don’t know what Patek will presents in the future. Maybe the 5711 will be replace by a more beautiful model, with a story even more interesting and a more seducing design. Let us enjoy that in-between moment to create a mood that will lead Patek to create, that being something they’ve never done yet.
Future belongs to people who takes risks, and if you miss the 5711, its nearly 30 versions are still here. However, I encourage you to travel in the 140 other references that the brand offers us.
I invite you to share with us through the comments area your thought and opinion about the end of that reference, as well as what you would like to see in the future by Patek Philippe.