“It was reported that the [5711 Patek Nautilus] replacement watch will only be available at Patek Philippe’s tiny number of directly owned boutiques in London, Geneva and Paris,” watchpro.com reports (somehow avoiding using the word “we”). “A spokesperson for the brand has said that authorized dealers will get their opportunity with the new model this year.” watchpro.com based their original “boutique only” story on the new Patek 6711 on this exchange with Patek’s Prez in The New York Times . . .
Which stores will be the first to receive that replacement?
It will be our own salons located in Geneva, Paris and London. It is not the perfect solution, and it will be a nightmare for them. That is my suggestion right now, but we will listen to our store managers.
Watchpro must have missed the word “first.” Anyway, it didn’t take long for Mr. Stern to “listen to his store managers” regarding distribution of the new Patek 6711. We still don’t know how Patek Philippe’s Authorized Dealers will allocate the new Patek 6711. Or the special edition “final run” 5711.
One thing’s for sure: if Patek thought killing the 5711 would stop Nautilus mania and “normalize” customer relations they got it exactly backwards. Here’s Mr. Stern’s What Me Worry? Take on the past, present and future Nautilus bunfight.
What will become of all the people on the decade-long waiting lists?
We know, and our retailers know, that we will never be able to supply enough watches for all the people on the lists, because we don’t have them. It is as simple as that. That is why we never allow retailers to take a deposit.
Some retailers only get two Nautiluses a year, but they have 100 names on their waiting list. It is their own responsibility to explain it to the customer, but it’s not easy when you have someone who insists on getting on the list. You cannot only blame Patek Philippe for not delivering enough watches.
Sure you can! Taking a cue from our man Adams re: Rolex wait lists, if Patek had allowed its authorized dealers to markup Nautilus 5711 prices they could have balanced supply with demand in a fair and transparent way. Done. Lesson not learned, with the new Patek 6711 looming on the horological horizon.
“It’s been terrible,” a Patek dealer (not shown) told TTAW. “We’ve fielded calls from dozens of customers who’ve been waiting years for a 5711 . . . One customer told me if he doesn’t get the final edition – or at least priority access to a [new Patek] 6711 – he’ll never buy another Patek as long as he lives.”
Is there such a thing as bad publicity? Will Patek Philippe’s imperious betrayal of aspiring 5711 buyers and the inevitable acrimony surrounding its final run and replacement leave the brand in a stronger position? That hardly seems likely, but it’s not impossible.