Patek Philippe – is it to be sold?

Psssst – Rolex considering buying Patek Philippe?

So, we know that this story pops up every now and then, but we wouldn’t be doing our job as pawnbrokers who specialise in Rolex if we didn’t pause to consider what this could mean for both brands.

The news has emerged from Switzerland, fresh from a keenly positioned banking analyst, that the Patek Philippe brand is up for sale. While there are no verified facts at present – and it has to be said that we’re all getting quite good at reading between the lines when it comes to current affairs – it seems that they only other thread of chatter that is gaining any traction is the fact that the best buyer for Patek Philippe would indeed be Rolex.

It would seem that Berenberg investment bank analyst had been able to capture industry talk in and around the watch watchers of Geneva that the Patek Philippe brand could be up for sale.  Heavily caveated at every turn by the fact that this may be rumour, it is still interesting to consider how that would impact Patek Philippe’s operations. Run by president Thierry Stern, Patek Philippe is the biggest family-owned independent watchmaker in the world, which means that it operates under its own agenda without having to explain performance or strategy to shareholders.

With 2017 data from Swiss investment bank, Vontobel, putting sales at CHF 1.35 billion, with an output of around 70,000 watches per year, Patek Phillipe can count 3.6% of the global market (in terms of turnover).

Interestingly, Rolex is owned by a family trust and also fiercely seek to protect their independence and business operations from prying eyes. With watch sales worth CHF 5.2 billion in 2017, it could be a possibility. With Bloomberg setting a potential Patek Philippe price of €7 billion to €9 billion ($8 billion to $10 billion), it falls within Rolex’s financial ball park.

Let’s watch carefully…