Less Luxe for Women From Patek Phillipe

NEW YORK Luxury watchmaker Patek Phillipe is responding to worldwide economic conditions in its latest print campaign, which features the entry point to its Twenty-4 line—a steel timepiece ticketed at $6,850.

“Because of the downturn in the economy, we wanted to be a little more realistic about how people will be spending money this year,” said Tania Edwards, vice president of marketing for Patek Phillipe.

In last year’s campaign, also by Leagas Delaney in London, the company featured a rose gold version of the same watch that costs more than $18,000. The new work depicts a young woman at various points in her day, e.g., fastening an earring or answering a cell phone. The campaign continues with the tagline, “Who will you be in the next 24 hours?” conceived in 1999, Edwards said.

Women who buy these watches are typically 35 to 45 years old with a household income of $150,000 to more than $2 million, said Edwards. The ads, however, picture 27-year-old model Veronica Varekova because the company wants to raise awareness among younger consumers, Edwards said.

“It’s more of an aspiration for younger women,” Edwards said. “Although we’re very well known as a maker of men’s watches, we’re not a very well known watch among women.”

The ads are breaking in the April issues of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Gourmet. Lowe Worldwide in New York managed the $2 million U.S. media buy.