Saturday, October 10, 2015

Patek Philippe inaugurates horology programme of New York to cement the Geneva based watch company’s strong commitment to customer service

The Patek Philippe Horology Programme of New York, the second program of its kind located outside the watchmaker’s Geneva workshops, has just been officially inaugurated. The establishment of this watchmaking training center in New York confirms Patek Philippe's unwavering commitment to customer service and to servicing the U.S. market.

The skills required to service, repair and restore Patek Philippe watches are much the same as those required to make one. With the opening of the second Patek Philippe Horology Programme outside Geneva, in the heart of New York City, the company further extends its commitment to lifelong servicing and restoration for all its timepieces, forever preserving their legendary reliability.

Providing high quality customer service in global markets requires local qualified watchmakers who are trained to the Patek Philippe values and quality seal standards. The Henri Stern Watch Agency (HSWA) is the historical Patek Philippe subsidiary in the US. Its watch service center in New York is one of the most important in terms of volume of service requests and therefore of needs for qualified professionals. Around 10,000 watches are repaired each year by only 19 watchmakers. With increasing awareness and acquisitions of fine watches amongst American customers, the need for future repairs is growing steadily, placing even more importance on filling watchmaking positions.

After 22 years at 1 Rockefeller Plaza, HSWA moved to 45 Rockefeller Plaza in February 2013 to state of the art upgraded facilities with cutting edge technology to provide the same quality servicing as in Geneva. Now with the opening of the Patek Philippe Horology Programme of New York, the building blocks for sustaining increasing demand for customer service in the future is being addressed.

The opening of the Patek Philippe Horology Programme of New York is yet another step in the company's intention to raise the quality of training and increase the pool of professional watchmakers. The opening of the Patek Philippe Institute Shanghai in 2013 was a great success in fulfilling this purpose in the Far East. In 2015, The New York Horology Programme will be utilizing the same successful curriculum as in Shanghai.

In the US the younger generation is not as aware of watchmaking as a potential career choice, as is traditionally the case in Europe. There are few candidates coming out of the handful of watchmaking schools in the US and of these candidates, even fewer are able to be considered for the Patek Philippe workshop. The selection and specialized training the program will contribute will help to resolve this problem.

The Patek Philippe Horology Programme of New York aims to become the most comprehensive in-house training center. Apprentices who will follow the complete two -year training program are selected from a large pool of candidates and will be offered a long -term position once they have successfully completed the curriculum. Almost 300 applications have been received for the 6 positions offered for the fall program. The very first session began in September 2015.The two-year program aims to train apprentices in advanced theory and practice of fine watchmaking, more particularly machining and manual skills, to fully master Patek Philippe quartz and mechanical movements. At the end of their training, graduates will be able to successfully repair all Level 2 watches. They must be able to independently identify, analyze and solve problems in quartz, manual and automatic movements.

At Patek Philippe, the international customer service network runs as a non-profit center with investment from the company. In the global network of 55 Authorized Service Centers, each one is handpicked and accredited based on achieving and maintaining a level of service that adheres to strict quality criteria. A fundamental goal of Patek Philippe is taking care of customers as individuals, with unique needs, whilst maintaining consistency in providing thehighest level of support – as can be expected from a watch company founded in 1839, and managed by the same family since 1932.

In addition to Patek Philippe’s exceptional technology, know-how, and talents of the Geneva watchmaker, three of the most powerful driving forces pushing the brand forward are the Patek Philippe Seal, the Authorized Service Centers and the Patek Philippe training centers which together will preserve the longevity and integrity of each and every Patek Philippe timepiece.

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