Larry Pettinelli will take over as president of the Henri Stern Watch Agency, the U.S. division and distributor of Patek Philippe, one of the best-known Swiss luxury watch brands in the U.S. market. He has been with the company for 18 years. Hank Edelman, who has been president since 1991, will become chairman of the board of directors and continue to work in its New York office on a limited weekly schedule. The change is effective Feb. 1.
Edelman has been with Patek Philippe since 1961, when he started working as a messenger during college breaks. He has been at the helm as the company has grown and solidified Patek Philippe’s acceptance in the U.S. fine watch market.
As president, Pettinelli will be responsible for the daily operations of the U.S. company, including sales, distribution, marketing and customer service. The office employs 45 persons.
“Larry is ideally suited to lead the Henri Stern Watch Agency in the coming years,” said Philippe Stern, president and owner of the Geneva-based Patek Philippe S.A., the parent firm. “He has worked closely with Hank for the 18 years, understands our philosophy and will continue to promote our brand with loyalty, dignity and fairness.”
For his part, Pettinelli promised to “continue our focus on educating the American consumer about the value inherent in every Patek Philippe timepiece. We intend no dramatic change in direction and will continue our close partnership with our authorized retail partners.”
Pettinelli has been company vice president since 2000. Prior to that, he had been an investment banker before joining the Henri Stern Watch Agency as a sales associate in 1988.
Patek Philippe is sold at about 130 authorized retail stores in the United States.