Patek Philippe are watchmakers.

Some would argue they make the world’s best watches.

But they are more than a manufacturer.

Recently they discontinued their most popular model because they ‘knew the popularity was a bubble, and that by feeding its growth, the company would just be contributing to the damage caused by an eventual burst.’

With the demand for their watches increasing, why not do what Rolex and others do and just make more?

Here’s what Thierry Stern, President of the company says:

‘At Patek Philippe, when we make a watch, however hard we work, we can only go at one speed. One that ensures we adhere to the high standards for which we are respected. We understand that some people express frustration at this. They want us to go faster. But at our family-owned watch company, fast is the enemy. Because to accelerate the time it takes to make a watch we would have to cut corners and lower our quality. And then the watch might be a very good timepiece. But it would not be a Patek Philippe and would not merit the Patek Philippe Seal.’

I love that line, fast is the enemy.

In a world where the demand is for quicker, isn’t it reassuring to know that some preserve slower?

It would be great to hear your views, please leave them below.

Be Brilliant!


  1. July 20th 2023 by Alan Rafferty

    When working in IT I was often asked if I could speed up development of a system. My reply was one of two.

    1 No. It would take longer to train up new people on the system than we would get out of them in speeding up development.

    2. Yes, but development costs will rise significantly and because of added project complexity system quality is likely to suffer.

  2. July 20th 2023 by Isabel Lockhart

    I align with this. I won’t take on more work than I can give 100% to. I pride myself in creating unique ceremonies so that means starting with a fresh sheet of paper, every time. I could speed up the process by using a template and just changing the names or copying and pasting from other people’s ceremonies or using AI. But where would my integrity be? Non existent m

  3. July 20th 2023 by John Peters

    If they produce fewer watches but demand remains the same then the price increases. I think he forgot to mention this.

  4. July 20th 2023 by Marilyn Payne

    I was recently on holiday in Tenerife. People were queuing at the bar, when table service waa available. Just being that bit more patient got us served anyway. I think we need to relax and follow the way of other cultures. Chill out!

  5. July 20th 2023 by Susanne Böhner

    I love this! Thanks for sharing! Fast is the enemy. I am a ‘Patek Philippe’! 😉

    I was the company however I would have flipped it. Not discontinuing the most popular item, but starting a whole marketing campaign ‘Fast Is The Enemy’ – where customers can preorder the watch, just have to queue! 😄

  6. July 20th 2023 by Judith (Judy) Brulo

    Totally agree. Going slow saves time in the long run.

  7. July 20th 2023 by Noel Wincote

    I sympathise with the watchmaker, I repair the digital watches, which is not easy to do (everything is small) but Patek Philippe makes mechanical watches which are much more difficult and time-consuming and making a mistake is time wasted so taking it slow here is good.

  8. July 20th 2023 by David Charles Palmer

    There’s an old saying. There’s fast, inexpensive, and high quality. But you can’t have all three at the same time.

  9. July 20th 2023 by Matthew Chandaengerwa

    Slow is always safe but it takes on a brilliant meaning when its pinned on quality. Well done to Phatek Phillipe.

  10. July 20th 2023 by David Barron

    Hi Michael, thanks for posting this.
    Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing to the best of our abilities and that cannot be rushed. Quality takes time.I
    ’m often surprised where the time goes especially when I’m engrossed in doing something that I’m enjoying, My team and I cut hair we are capable of doing a great job but, it can never be rushed, it has to be planned out as each head and hair type is different and then the balance has to be precise to suit each individual’s features. We might be conversing with our clients while having to be 100% focused at the same time. Consequently offering a great quality experience and expertise comes at a price. So just like Patel Philllippe… it doesn’t come cheap.

  11. July 21st 2023 by David Paul Spizuoco

    Thierry Stern’s words are wise and obviously come from learned experience. The aim of his company is, as near as possible, perfection and that cannot be achieved on a conveyor belt. Todays world appears to demand speed insterad of quality, demanded by a generation who have yet to experience a bygone time when time allowed us to step back and analyse where we might have gone wrong before hopefully correcting the error. Similar to Mr Stern’s product, we once had a luxury… it was called common sense. It appears to have been swallowed up in time!

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