Patek Philippe has officially announced that at the end of August, 2009, Thierry Stern took over the presidency of Patek Philippe SA Geneva and was appointed President of the Board of Directors, taking over from his father Philippe Stern. With this move, Patek Philippe confirms its mission as a family run business that is now in the hands of the fourth generation.
Born in 1970, Thierry Stern grew up in the world of watchmaking. As of 1990, he embarked on a hands-on training path which took him on regular intervals from production workshops to business management, with time spent working with subsidiaries and retailers in both Germany then the USA. From 1997 to 1998, Thierry was in charge of the Benelux market. In 1998, he was appointed head of the Creation department and quickly took part in group strategic decisions by taking over the position of Vice-President.
A Family Business Carried Over From Father to Son
Founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek who was joined by Jean-Adrien Philippe in 1845, the Patek Philippe watchmaking company has been in the hands of the same family since 1932. Indeed the Stern brothers Charles and Jean acquired the firm that year. In 1958, Henri Stern took over the management and presidency of Patek Philippe from his father Charles. Before assuming that position, Henri spent more than 20 years in New York where he founded the Henri Stern Watch Agency, which became the unique distributor of Patek Philippe watches on the U.S. market.
Philippe Stern, son of Henri, began his career in the family firm in 1964. As the third generation to run the family business, he was appointed Managing Director in 1977. In 1993 he took over the presidency. Philippe Stern marked the history of Patek Philippe by contributing to its development and leading position in fine watchmaking. In 1989, he created the famous Caliber 89 for the firm’s 150th anniversary, then the Star Caliber 2000 to mark the new millennium. He launched the leading-edge production workshops in Plan-les-Ouates which opened in 1996, then the Patek Philippe Museum in 2001. He innovated again in 2009 by launching the Patek Philippe Seal, a new exclusive quality standard to ensure the perennial value of Patek Philippe timepieces.
Patek Philippe is run by its Management Committee currently composed of the following members: Thierry Stern, President, Philippe Stern, Honorary President, and Claude Peny, CEO.