A luxury watch costs thousands, millions even for the rarest and unique pieces. With so many well established brands producing timepieces of stunning beauty and precision, good marketing is vital in helping a brand to stand out. Patek Philippe’s advertising campaign cleverly brings together tradition, heritage and longevity - also part of the manufacturer’s 10 values.
In fact, their Generations campaign, launched in 1996, is proving to be as timeless as their timepieces. With a slogan to match:
‘You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation.’
This iconic phrase has stayed intact in its near 25 years despite the campaign being regularly updated to keep up with trends and social changes. It brilliantly conveys the fine workmanship of their products and reflects their long-term value. The ads focus on sentimental family moments, showing the timepiece is a heirloom, an item passed on to the next generation.
Yet more pointers to a company which remains family-owned.
Leagas Delaney, a London advertising agency, conceived and developed the advertising campaign. They changed the emphasis from the watch itself to the emotional benefits of actually buying a Patek Philippe. The original ads portrayed the close relationship between fathers and sons and the fact the watch is bought for the long haul, i.e., generations.
The campaign used black and white imagery to capture these shared intimate moments in real-life scenarios. The models and settings exude wealth, class, joy and modern-living, aspirations for many potential buyers of these special timepieces.
The ads were adjusted over time, adding scenarios featuring mothers and daughters. In the 2019 campaign, the male model used was captured with his own children - the first time more than one child was featured with their parent.
The Next Chapter of the Generations Campaign
Renowned photographers and cineasts have worked on the Generations campaign ads, including Samuel Bradley, Peter Lindbergh and Peggy Sirota. Their imagery has helped to reinforce the brand’s motto of:
‘Begin your own tradition.’
The emotional advertising concept has attracted both admiration and criticism over the years. But, in 2007, the campaign won the Swiss Watch Advertising Campaign of the Year Award. Its longevity, success and iconic status again mirror perfectly the Swiss brand’s watches.
As the last family-owned Genevan watchmaker, passing on legacies, traditions and valuables to the next generation seems to come naturally. The Generations campaign is yet another of their innovations that, like their timepieces, appears to be the beginning of a lasting tradition.
We currently have a fine selection of Patek Philippe watches available (stock subject to change):