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Tech Professor Collects Fine Watches – Sept. 29

Houghton, MichiganSeptember 29, 2015 – Six is a perfect number, as any mathematician knows. So it’s fitting that Fabrizio Zanello’s latest—and finest—Patek Philippe timepiece rounds out his collection to an even half dozen. For in the world of watches, Patek is as perfect as it gets.

Zanello, an associate professor of mathematical sciences at Michigan Technological University, has been collecting fine watches since 2005. They range from the everyday Rolex Submariner he wears to work to his latest acquisition: a 90,000-euro, limited-edition piece from Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary collection. You are not likely to find that on his wrist, however. Along with his other ultra-luxury watches, it spends most of its time in a safe, locked up in an undisclosed location.

You can’t just buy a timeless timepiece like this off the rack. “Patek is the only company that doesn’t have to convince you to buy their product,” he says. “You have to convince them they should sell to you.”

Zanello has received his department’s research award three times. And he sees his own passion and curiosity for math reflected in the innovation and craftsmanship underlying his watches.

“When you do research, you try to push the boundaries, and this is what horology does,” he says. “Every time Patek makes a new watch, there is this reach for something better, something that pushes the science of time measurement forward. And that’s what I do; I reach for the excellence, the beauty, the perfection that is at the center of pure mathematics.”

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