Marc Hom Steps Out of Time with Patek Philippe
We measure time because it is how we understand the world. It passes and we age, people shift around us, seasons come and go. We use time as the metric to understand where we are, who we are, and where to draw meaning. Time is how we count ourselves against the press of history. We step into time like it is a river rooted from far away, and when we step out it will continue flowing into the horizon. But while we are here we measure it, every moment, so we can taste it while it lasts. It is the vastness of time that Patek Philippe taps into with each successive campaign that for decades has a shared heart. But for this cycle they asked Marc Hom to photograph the images that would feel outside of time.
Patek Philippe has used the same tag line for years. It reads:
“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”
“That is an incredible line,” says Marc. “That’s great to get that continuity.” Marc recognizes that his involved in this campaign is him stepping into a narrative that began before him and will continue after the work he does for them. But as an artist he’s still present in the collaboration. Within the apparatus of what Patek Philippe does, Marc had some ideas. “You’re trying to move things a little bit in terms of making things slightly more modern feeling and getting a little bit more movement to the images,” says Marc. “That was kind of my biggest goal with it. I think we did move it compared to other previous campaigns.” Each image features a visualization of that trade from generation to generation, with an adult and their child. Between those two people we see one version of measuring time, while the watch measures in seconds, minutes, and hours.
It wasn’t just the subjects who created the context, but the classics aesthetics as well. “They’ve been doing it black and white forever,” says Marc. “It’s incredible that I got to work with Leagas Delaney who’s been doing the campaign for 20 years and it has a huge amount of heritage… The black and white imagery makes it look a little bit more timeless.” The photos will be used in the advertisements for Patek Philippe for years because the watch company works outside of the typical doldrum of fashion seasons. Instead they create something that lasts a little longer - not quite generations, like the watches, but something that will outlive the rest of the advertisements you see around them.