15.09.2021 - Patek Philippe

Famous Patek Philippe Quotes and Advertising


Patek Philippe is considered by many experts to be amongst the most prestigious watch manufacturers in the world, having pioneered features such as the perpetual calendar, the chronograph and the minute repeater. The sheer sophistication of Patek Philippe watches is not to be underestimated. The brand’s heritage is steeped in horological milestones making them one of the world’s most renowned and respected watch brands in the world. That being said, Patek Philippe didn’t just acquire this kind of recognition overnight. It came from years of hard work and an outstanding advertising campaign. Known as one of the most famous advertising campaigns in the world, we take a look at some all time classic Patek Philippe quotes and adverts. 

What is the Patek Philippe Motto?

The most famous of all the Patek Philippe quotes has inadvertently become the brand’s lifelong motto. The famous Patek Philippe slogan reads “You never really own a Patek Philippe. You simply look after it for the next generation.” This particular Patek Philippe quote acknowledges the exclusive price tag that comes with owning a Patek Philippe watch whilst also pulling on the heartstrings of potential customers. Let’s take a look at why this Patek Philippe advertising campaign was so successful.

Why are Patek Philippe’s adverts so famous?

Introduced in 1996, the Patek Philippe quote “You never really own a Patek Philippe. You simply look after it for the next generation”, has been synonymous with the brand for over 25 years. So why has this particular slogan lasted so long? 

According to an article published by the Atlantic, which asked advertising professionals from around the world “What is the Best Advertising Campaign of All Time”, this particular advertisement has been so successful because it adds an emotional connection to the brand that customers aspire to be a part of. The original series of advertisements was created by Leagas Delaney, a London advertising agency, whose team developed the idea of placing the emphasis of the ad on the owner of a Patek Philippe and what they would get emotionally from the purchase rather than focussing on what problem the watch would solve for the user.

Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at Kellogg School of Management answered: “How do you sell a $25,000 watch when people can buy an accurate one for $10?” Patek Philippe’s ads, featuring fathers and sons and the line, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe”, suggests to audiences that owning a Patek watch isn’t a device for telling the time, but is in fact an heirloom that transfers value across generations.

This implies that customers feel that Patek Philippe watches are so well made and hold such sentimental value that you will want to keep them in your family for years to come, making the luxury price tag all part of what makes owning a Patek Philippe watch special. Though a Patek Philippe watch is most definitely a luxury purchase it is one that not only holds monetary value but also holds sentiment and nostalgia.

Though the advertisement undoubtedly received mixed reviews at the time ranging from cheesy to emotionally powerful, the main message of the campaign was to target and influence new potential Patek Philippe customers. The true impact of the Patek Philippe advertisement was summed up particularly well by a 2011 article titled “Luxury Branding the Future Leaders of the World” in The Last Psychiatrist. In that article, the author states that the advertisement was not targeted to the top 1% of consumers, but rather, the target demographic is the aspirational 14%.

Not everyone can afford to own a Patek Philippe watch, but the advertisement made customers feel that owning such a timepiece was just in reach and would not only give them an exclusive status but also give their family something to treasure. The lesson here is that advertising can make an expensive product seem luxurious and essential all at the same time.

What Do Patek Philippe Advertisements Look Like Now?

As one of the most successful advertisements in the world, the brand has continued to utilise the Patek Philippe quote. While the slogan has remained the same, the imagery has evolved to capture a more modern setup.

While the original campaign focussed on a traditional father-son relationship the most recent campaigns that were launched in 2019 were intended to express the evolution in the attitude of modern men towards parenthood. The modern Patek Philippe man who the campaign is aimed at is likely to spend more time with their children and be more open with their emotions than previous generations may have been comfortable with. With the age bracket ranging from 35 – 45, the generation is also somewhat younger than before in terms of focus.

Previous Patek Philippe advertisements have portrayed several different scenarios including travel, learning and shared discoveries. The new campaign has been developed by famous English photographer Samuel Bradley and focuses on the father-son relationship within a more private, intimate and relaxed context.

Designed to have a more emotional focus the male model is photographed with his children. The advertisement shows plural children because for the first time and depending on the market, the motif presents one or two children, making it possible to place a stronger emphasis on the coming generation. This highlights Patek Philippe’s family ethos of emotion and togetherness. Whether you own a Patek Philippe watch or aspire to own one, we can all agree that the brands advertising campaign has successfully captured the hearts of existing and potential consumers.

Get a Patek Philippe Quote

Whether you own a Patek Philippe watch and are looking to sell to get a return on your investment, are looking to upgrade to your preferred model or simply need a valuation for insurance purposes we are here to help. Our streamlined valuation process is quick and easy to navigate and our quotes are highly competitive. To begin the process, complete our Sell Your Watch quote form.