Thierry Stern Vintage Wall Clocks

How does most accurate Swiss watch mechanics fit into a city where no one has a second to lose? Patek Philippe tries it out – with an exhibition in the middle of New York.

The Doorman is part of New York’s streets like the yellow taxis and the stalls with the legendary miserable hotdogs.The men with the cap always make sure that the inhabitants of the most anonymous skyscraper do not feel lonely – and do not keep an unwanted visit.

The man with the brown curls and big sunglasses , which is on this day before the Cipriani building in Midtown, does not count the second part to his tasks.He walks up and down the 300-meter-long queue, which has formed in front of his door, shaking hands, smiling, and thus maintaining the mood of the waiters, in spite of all the cars, press-airpacks and passing passers-by.

Many in the queue ask the man even to take a photo: Thierry Stern, who with Patek Philippe one of the most valuable manufacturers of mechanical wristwatches, than to experience Doorman, no one would have thought possible.Stern, however, who always thought that his company was a family business , finds this quite normal.After all, he came here with his exhibition here, since he can also take care of his guests.

The decision to invite to Dubai, Munich and London is not without irony.The core of New York’s self-understanding is to be the place in the world that has the least time of all.There is a constant roar and curse on the streets, nowhere do neighborhoods with their shops and restaurants disappear as quickly as here, who today is the big shot, can already be on the ground tomorrow.

New Yorkers also yearn for tradition

This is also true of the personal: in the pre-mobile era, the council was asked to fill the pockets with quarter-dollar coins, so as not to waste a second on the telephone column for the sake of God’s sake, the lunch break still consists often of a wolfish snarl at the snack bar and has wall clocks,Keep the time out of others, or steal them from you, there is not enough for everyone, that is the unofficial motto of the city. Here at you can get more different models and styles.

It would have been possible to believe, therefore, that the exhibition, full of timepieces, whose production takes months and years, fits as well as caviar on a hamburger.But whoever thinks this way misunderstands the complexity of New York, the way this city celebrates its contrasts and contradictions.Where there is no time, watches become all the more interesting – especially if they tick mechanically, thus giving them the aura of true tradition.This is something New Yorkers are longing for at their pace, although they usually only admit it when they have a few drinks behind them.If one takes into account that star belongs to the very few people who actually make hardly any mistakes, the snake in front of the door no longer amazed.

For the company, the United States is already a big market, in addition personal relations of the family to New York. Thierry Stern’s grandfather Henri lived from 1937 on 20 years in the city on the Hudson River and founded 1946 a branch. He often told the offspring about it. So Thierry stands in the exhaust gas , and when it gets tropical hot and every T-shirt sticks to the body, he makes water for the waiters outside.

Inside, the visitors are given so much attention in around 400 exhibits that even the notoriously cynical New Yorkers have the words “amazing” and “awesome” honestly to the lips.The vaulted ceilings of the building are higher than in most of the church ships, they are supported by columns in antique style, at the upper end of which putti look into the area.The East Coast’s money-pin is the venue for its weddings and anniversaries. In addition to the sandals and sneakers, there are gentlemen around the 60 in brass-buttoned blazers and cream-colored chinos – the American elite bourgeoisie, to whom even a man like Helmut Schmidt did not want to look down.Patek is here called “Päddegg”, the vocabulary meets French English full of Ö-Lute (“Sö watsch is komplicätöd.”).Many people from Geneva headquarters have crossed the Atlantic.

The table clock for John F. Kennedy was the star

And what they exhibit for clocks: two floors can be visited for eleven days, 200 men were working 24 hours a day for ten days a day.With the opening, the entire collection behind the tank glass is plain, simple “Calatravas”, distinct “Nautilus”, references with minute repetition, so near and far at the same time.Pieces from the Geneva Museum, besides timepieces, pose attention that has been specially designed for the exhibition.Artisans perform their work – and as if that were not enough, the first floor is really complicated.

The company is well-known for the fact that you can not make any competitor with any technical finesses such as soundworks, tourbillons or eternal calendars – the “Grandmaster Chime”, presented in 2014 for the 175th company anniversary, is considered the most complicated watch in the world.In New York, there is an insight into every work, it can even be virtualized into the train with the help of a corresponding spectacle .It’s a crazy trip, one can see more clearly how tremendous the demands are on those who construct something so filigree.

In the American audience, however, no model is best for the arm.Willy Brandt gave her as a Governing Mayor John F. Kennedy during his visit to Berlin in 1963, shortly thereafter a paranoian with connections to Russia shot the president in Dallas.In the box-shaped brass case of the clock are three dials, the large in the middle shows the Washington time, to the left of Moscow is to the right Berlin.Many people crush a tear in front of the showcase, because even if it was not a matter of politics, Kennedy and all he represented was the president of the New Yorkers.The current president, on the other hand, comes from New York, but hardly anyone likes that.

Thierry Stern says that his favorite piece is one of the unique pieces that one will auction.There are table clocks with painted baseball players , or a scene from the Goldrausch, also the Mondlandung is represented.For Stern’s favorite, a pocket watch that shows an Indian on the back, they have made 360 ​​tiny wooden pieces into a puzzle:”It would have been a wrong hand to ruin everything,” Stern explains.A sentence full of relief, for even the very best craftsmen are only human beings.

The showpiece of the “New York 2017 Special Edition”, the reference “5531R-010”, explains Philip Barat, a man with gray brush hair cut, at a stand with the complications.For five years, the head of development, with 80 people under his belt, worked on the model.The highlight is that it brings together a world-wide display for the first time with a glockenspiel, which always rings the exact time in the own time zone.Ten times is the part for 495,000 Swiss francs to be – five times the dials the Manhattan skyline by day, five times by night.When asked whether five years was not much time, Barat replies: “I found them short, Thierry found them long.”

The fact that Stern drives his people to maximum achievements with all kindness seems also in the interview with Larry Pettinelli, the USA boss of the brand.To impose a logistics as required by an exhibition of this dimension is a monster task.In addition to the mass of exhibits, there are always details that eagerly eat.The Kennedy watch, for example, was exposed to temperature fluctuations of at least two degrees on the transport from the Kennedy Foundation.So you had to build your own container, so no one had expected.Pettinelli does not want to quantify the extent to which the Geneva financially advanced in advance – even entry is free – in his blue measure single-breed.He says it’s about long-term effects.

The most important is the new generation

Firstly, the business is going well on both the west and east coast, but there is still a lot to be done in the middle of the continent.American Patek customers are particularly fascinated by the precision of watches, some of the best in the Silicon Valley .If, therefore, the accuracy of the Middle West were to be discussed further, the effort would be worth it.

However, Pettinelli is almost the most important of all. There is almost no watchmaker in the USA – simply because the profession did not promise a future for a long time.In order to offer on-site service, however, he needs young people.The New York branch has set up an appropriate training course.

Two years of intensive training are on the agenda, the exam takes place in Switzerland.400 applicants were enrolled for the next cycle and five were allowed to start their training.If they are on their way to the end, the company lures with an initial salary of 65,000 dollars, the health insurance pays it quite.

You might not be in a penthouse in Manhattan, but in any other part of the city you can live well.But even that is not enough for Pettinelli: he hopes that his manufactory can help to give the craft something self-evident.What would be better than an event like this?

But not all visitors from the USA have long since. Already on the first day, two hours before the opening, a lady was standing outside the door, which had come from Rome. She is no one who would have the money for a piece from the house just so easy, rather a real fan of watchmaking. The organizers were very happy. Because, of course, the exhibition in the city, where no one has time, is concerned with the message: Whether or not a crisis exists at the moment, we do not allow ourselves to take the momentum, we always exist everywhere. Anyone who is back in the middle of the midtown alarm after the tour, who thinks of all alone:​​to lure New York out of the reserve, someone should imitate.