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17 September 2013 - Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern visits Hettich

Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern visits Hettich, 18th September 2013

We were honoured to welcome the head of Patek Philippe, Thierry Stern to visit our new store in September. Thierry Stern is the fourth generation to hold the role of president of the world-class Swiss watchmaking firm, which has been in the hands of the Stern family since 1932 and, like his predecessors, makes it a tradition to visit every store.

Hettich's relationship with Patek Philippe began in 1966, and has flourished ever since, becoming one of the longest relationships recorded between Patek Philippe and a trusted retailer. During Thierry Stern's visit we were able to show him our Hettich archive press cuttings book which contains original Patek Philippe advertisements from the 60s and a Jersey Evening Post article from May 1972 documenting a visit from Thierry's grandfather, Henri Stern (President of Patek Philippe, 1958-1977). Photographs show Mr Stern at a launch party for Patek Philippe's new collection along with Hettich's Tony Chinn and Hettich customers at L'Horizon Hotel. Jeffrey Chinn remembers meeting Mr and Mrs Stern during a visit to Jersey, when they gave the Chinn family a gilt spoon to commemorate the birth of Jeffrey's younger brother.

Taking over from his father Philippe as president in 2009, Thierry Stern is the fourth generation of the family to hold the role at Patek Philippe, which celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2014. He makes it a policy to visit every store: 'We are a family business' said Mr Stern, 'and it is very important to me that we know each other'.

Patek Philippe watches are among the most intricate and exclusive timepieces in the world, with some watches taking as long as 20 years to be developed from concept to reality. The family-owned company, which is Geneva's oldest independent watch manufacturer, creates all its own movements in-house, skillfully producing watches of an exceptionally high quality.

And as you'd expect from a world-class watchmaker, the visit of Thierry Stern was precisely timed down to the very last second. With just under two hours in the island, the president of Patek Philippe was welcomed to Hettich, given a guided tour of the new store, meeting customers and local media before enjoying a Jersey seafood lunch. His thoughts? 'A flying visit, but a most enjoyable one.'