Two generations of horological excellence come together to open Patek Philippe’s second stand-alone location in the U.S
Patek Philippe collection highlights. Photos courtesy of Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe’s iconic slogan, “You never really own a Patek Philippe. You simply look after it for the next generation,” is a notion that embodies the entire world of the renowned watchmaker. Known as the premier brand for watchmaking excellence, Patek Philippe’s private family ownership is a major contributor to what has made it so revered today.
Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern stepped up to helm the family business as the fourth-generation Stern, following his father, Philippe Stern, and has since continued to run it with precision, excellence and a strong respect for family. With two sons showing keen interest in the business, it’s safe to say that Patek will remain in the family for many years to come.
Aligning with this strong emphasis on family and a passion for watches is the Govberg family of Govberg Jewelers, based out of Philadelphia. As an authorized dealer of Patek Philippe since 1987, the Govbergs, led by third-generation Danny Govberg and fourth-generation Brian Govberg, have cultivated a strong and prosperous relationship with the Stern family. One of their greatest goals has been to partner together in a stand-alone Patek Philippe boutique. Aft er many years of research and conversations on how to execute this properly, this partnership has come to fruition through the Govbergs’ Nineteen Sixteen Company and Miami’s new stand-alone Patek Philippe boutique in the Miami Design District.
“This is not something we do quite often and it’s extremely noteworthy because it’s only our second boutique in the United States,” Stern comments. “It’s something we’ve been talking about for many years with Danny and Brian, but there were many factors involved outside of finding the right retailer. It is not an easy decision because it has to keep with the brand identity and also have enough inventory to send watches, especially now with the limited production we have. And of course, finding the location was key. All. of these factors aligned, they found this location, which is a very historical location in Miami in the former Buena Vista Post Office building. We felt we finally had everything we needed to do something beautiful.”
Danny Govberg, Thierry Stern, Brian Govberg and Lisa Jones at the boutique ribbon cutting. Photo by Jerome Reyes
Launching this stand-alone retail experience in the U.S. is important for Patek Philippe, as it serves as the number-one market for the brand. And of course in Miami, the demand is extraordinarily high.
“We knew Miami was the place to go. We have a surge of people who are, or are trying to become, collectors and Miami is a city that is booming,” says Stern.
“Miami is such a vibrant city, and there’s a major intersection of art, culture, technology and finance,” Brian Govberg adds. “As far as the city goes, it’s a special place and I’ve been coming here my whole life. So for us, this is such a tremendous opportunity, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”
While the project was in the works before the pandemic hit and Miami felt its major boom, the opening coming at a time when the city is thriving like never before makes it all the more exciting.
Projections outside the Miami boutique. Photo by Jerome Reyes
The boutique will serve as more than a retail destination—it also boasts an outdoor barlounge area and will host events throughout the year. Additionally, the boutique will operate as appointment-only, providing a special one-on-one shopping experience for established and new customers to come to explore the brand and get to know one another.
“THE MOST SPECIAL ELEMENT OF THE FATHER-SON DYNAMIC IS PASSING THE TORCH TO ALLOW THE SON TO TAKE MORE CONTROL OVER THE PROJECTS.”–THIERRY STERN
“It’s all coming together very well. It’s a big responsibility for us, meaning we have to be able to supply the watches but also put the full brand behind it. With the events, meeting clients and being in a vibrant neighborhood, it’s a wonderful opportunity and we know Brian will ensure its best. It’s a new generation, and it’s very important for us to have the families here together,” Stern says. “I started working with Danny, and I’m very happy to see that our kids will follow in our footsteps. Brian had the chance to learn from his dad, and now he can show him what he has learned through all of these years. Every new member of the family has to give their own DNA and input, and that’s what makes it beautiful. I enjoy witnessing this progression just as much as the watches. We always have to evolve, and the family business needs to do the same.”
He continues, “The most special element of the father-son dynamic is passing the torch to allow the son to take more control over the projects. It shows that he is ready to do something on his own. I remember when my dad said to me, ‘OK, now you’re ready. It’s your turn.’ It showed a sense of trust—it was a little bit scary but also exciting. And Brian is ready to show us that with this boutique.”
For Miami and the U.S. as a whole, this is a monumental moment for watch connoisseurs to experience.
“When I think about Patek Philippe, it’s not only about making the finest watches in the world,” Stern notes. “It’s also the ability to bring joy to people who have the same passion for one objective. This is a gift to be able to bring these people together, and I hope they’ll exchange memories with each other, which is the beauty of watchmaking.” 4000 NE Second Ave., Miami, patek.com, nineteensixteen.com