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Not long ago, family-owned businesses run by grandsons and great-grandsons of the founder or owner were standard in the Swiss watch industry. In the 1960s, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Piaget, Heuer, and Breitling, to name a few, were owned and run by the founding families. “When I was a kid, we used to see many family patek philippe replica businesses,” Philippe Stern says. “Suddenly they all disappeared, more or less at the same time, between 1975 to 1985.”

That was the period of Switzerland’s quartz crisis, when electronic quartz technology, patek philippe nautilus 5712 white gold advanced by Japanese producers Seiko, Citizen and Casio, virtually eliminated mechanical watches from the market. “Family businesses got weaker and weaker,” Stern says. “They didn’t have the will or the money to evolve. Big groups came into the picture. Today the family business is really unusual.”

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