PATEK PHILIPPE VISIT: DAY 1

In mid September 2015, I was asked to visit the Patek Philippe headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. For the next several blog entries, I’ll be chronicling my trip.

September 12, 2015

As I sit in the airport waiting for the first leg of my trip to Geneva, Switzerland, I cannot begin to feel how lucky and blessed I am to be honored with such an experience. Patek Philippe has offered to bring me to their headquarters in Geneva for a once in a lifetime training. Being a watch nerd, I am beyond excited to undertake such a journey.

It is not without some pause, however, that I leave my home. My wife and four month old daughter drove me to the airport. And as we said our goodbyes, I was brought to tears. We will often take walks as a family daily, and this morning we got one last good walk in before my trip, and I requested to hold Brooke for the last little bit of the walk. After I smooched my baby over and over, my wife and I embraced and held each other tightly, in silence, just sharing a moment of love. I am sure new parents out there can understand how challenging it can be to leave loved ones, especially when they are so new. And while this journey across the pond is something I have been looking forward to for months now, I am already looking forward to seeing my family when I get home.

The itinerary for the days at Patek Philippe was emailed last week, and I immediately went over it line by line. We will see presentations on the design and R&D, travel to the factory to see manufacturing of specific parts of the movements, hand polishing and finishing, movement assembly, essentially it seems we will get to experience the manufacture of a Patek Philippe time piece from commencement to shrink wrap seal. I will be traveling with 17 others from around the country who represent the Patek Philippe brand to its fullest. It is truly an honor bestowed upon me, and I am not sure I will ever be able to repay Patek Philippe and the Henri Stern Watch Agency for their generosity.

One of the beautiful perks of being invited to Geneva by Patek Philippe is flying business class. Patek truly understands what it means to be sophisticated, understated elegance. I try to fit in as much as possible. My first flight I enjoyed a salad with grilled chicken, ranch dressing, and a bowl of fruit. I recently have found the benefits of eating gluten free, so I could not enjoy the cookie. I got a bit of a nap in and enjoyed a movie. After I landed in Newark I had a few hours to kill before my next flight to Geneva. Exploring the airport a little, I mostly needed to charge up my gear. I nestled in to a comfortable spot next to a charging station, and relaxed. After a few hours, it was my turn to board again, in Group 1, nbd.

I ended up boarding number 8 on the plane, again trying to fit in like I belong. I found my seat, 7H, and was greeted to a rear facing throne that can only be out done by first class. I have my own television with a variety of movies and TV shows, my seat will recline flat, and I just received my menu. Apparently there are so many options when flying internationally in business class that they print a menu, who knew. I look forward to seeing how everything tastes aside from looking delicious on the menu. Hopefully the full recline seat will offer me a great way to sleep so that I can adjust to the 7 hour time change efficiently.

Dinner was fantastic. The appetizer was chilled prosciutto with melon and garnishes. For dinner I chose the beef tenderloin with gnocchi and asparagus. Dessert was of course an ice cream sundae, and the 10 year old in me was screaming for excitement while the business class exterior politely said please and thank you. During dinner I enjoyed watching a movie, and after dessert I attempted to sleep, but quite unsuccessfully. The seven and a half hour flight went surprisingly quick, and before I knew it we were deplaning.