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#495 Philippe Stern $3.83B

Random fact: Its Supercomplication watch sold for $24 million in 2014.

Overview

Stern is the owner and honorary president of Patek Philippe, a luxury Swiss watchmaker. The Geneva-based business manufactures some of the world's most expensive watches and had revenue of 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.32 billion) in 2016. The Stern family has owned and operated the company since 1932.

As of May 24, 2017:
Last change -$12.3M (-0.3%)
YTD change +$1.30B (+51.5%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset Patek Philippe
Citizenship Switzerland
Age 0
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Philippe Stern's net worth of $3.83B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The Stern family fortune is derived from Patek Philippe, a Geneva, Switzerland-based watchmaker. The company is Switzerland's oldest family-owned watch business and manufactures some of the world's most expensive timepieces. 

The business had revenue of 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.32 billion) in 2016, according to MainFirst Bank Managing Director John Guy. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of three comparable publicly traded peer companies: Cie Financiere Richemont, The Swatch Group and Tiffany & Co.

The Stern family has controlled Patek Philippe since 1932. Philippe Stern's son, Thierry, succeeded him as president of the company in 2009. The elder Stern is credited with the fortune because he is the family's patriarch.

Viviane Borges, a spokeswoman for Patek Philippe in the U.K., declined to comment on Stern's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Married, 3 children

Philippe Stern was born in 1938 in Geneva, Switzerland. His grandfather, Charles Stern, acquired watch manufacturer Patek Philippe with his brother, Jean, in 1932. The first member of his family to attend university, Philippe studied economics in Geneva before joining the family business in 1966. He was appointed managing director 11 years later and succeeded his father, Henri Stern, as president in 1993.

The closely held company was founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek and Francois Czapek, under the name Patek, Czapek & Cie., and was renamed Patek Philippe & Cie. 12 years later. The Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva-based company was acquired by brothers Jean and Charles Stern in 1932. Henri Stern, Charles' son, became president of the group in 1958 and handed the role to his son, Philippe, five decades later.

Philippe Stern introduced the pocket watch Calibre 89 on Patek Philippe's 150th anniversary in 1989. It had 33 complications -- features displaying more than just hours and minutes -- according to Patek Philippe's website, and was declared as the world's most "complicated" watch. Until then, the Supercomplication pocket watch made for banker Henry Graves was the world's most "complicated" timepiece, with 24 complications. It was sold at a Sotheby's auction for a record $24.4 million in November 2014.

Philippe Stern opened the Philippe Patek Museum in Geneva in 2001 to host a collection of new and antique watches, including the oldest timepiece ever made. 

Stern is married and has three children. His son Thierry, who took over as company president in 2009, created the group's own quality label, the Patek Philippe Seal.

Milestones
  • 1839 Watchmaker Patek, Czapek & Cie. is founded.
  • 1932 Brothers Jean and Charles Stern invest in Patek Philippe.
  • 1933 The Supercomplication pocket watch is created.
  • 1994 Son Thierry joins the family company.
  • 2001 Opens Patek Philippe museum in Geneva.
  • 2009 Thierry Stern appointed president of Patek Philippe.
  • 2009 Creates own quality label, the Patek Philippe Seal.
  • 2014 Patek Philippe celebrates 175th anniversary.