The art of watchmaking has historically been a distinctly European pursuit. Many young artisans across the continent see watchmaking as a viable vocation to study. Sadly, the same does not hold true for students in America, where technical knowledge and expertise of luxury watchmaking is a much rarer skill set.
Thankfully, Patek Philippe is working to bridge the gap between continents with the debut of the Patek Philippe Horology Programme of New York. Only the second such program of its kind outside of Patek’s Geneva workshop, the horology programme hopes to teach young American watchmakers how to build, service and repair Patek Philippe watches in the heart of NYC, one of the largest luxury markets in the world.
Patek Philippe hopes to train a new generation of American watchmakers to respond to the increasing number of Patek clients in need of expert servicing.
Currently, at the watch service center at the Henri Stern Watch Agency — A Patek Philippe subsidiary — around 10,000 watches are repaired each year by only 19 watchmakers. With an increasing number of American consumers purchasing luxury timepieces, new watchmakers are sorely needed for current and future repairs.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to develop trained watchmakers here in the US,” said Larry Pettinelli, President of HSWA. “It addresses the fundamental difficulty the entire watchmaking industry has finding highly trained, qualified technicians to preserve complex mechanical timepieces.”