Site Review | Professional Jeweler

February 1, 1998
Patek Philippe

While its counterparts rushed to reach consumers on the Web, the illustrious watch company only recently launched its first site – proof that the best things come to those who wait.

Using sleek, sparse design and intricate but subtle frames, Patek Philippe introduces not only a quick and easy catalog of its products but also thorough educational information. The catalog uses frames to browse through fast-loading images of the company's watch collections, with the option to view each in more detail. A clickable timeline, combining scientific history linked to more information on other sites with Patek Philippe's own history, joins information about the company's patents and complications. Summaries of articles in the art magazine published for Patek Philippe owners join an archive of consumer press coverage of the watches. The pages are almost cryptic in the way they use single, striking images and phrases as links to the site's departments.

Technically speaking: The site's designers picked some of the most exciting capabilities of Web design and incorporated them to make an impressive and efficient site. With a 28.8kbps modem and Netscape Navigator™ 2.0, the pages loaded immediately, despite the fact that the first page uses an animated GIF and subsequent pages use a lot of images. Browsers that don't support frames may not read the page.

Navigation tips: Don't overlook the little red bullets! They serve as the links to other pages within the site.

- by Stacey King