Swiss Watchmaker: Patek Philippe

August 31, 2009 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


The old company saying at watchmaker Patek Philippe is that “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” And most “owners” of a Patek Philippe wristwatch would agree. The family-run watch company based in Geneva is truly in a class of its own. Established in 1839, the company has fashioned such highly sought after watch collections as Calatrava, Ellipse, Nautilus, Gondolo, Aquanaut, and Twenty~4.

Known worldwide for its complicated watches and its timeless elegant designs, Patek Philippe has been producing timepieces cherished by monarchs, popes, political leaders, and rulers since the reign of Queen Victoria. It all started in 1851, when Victoria acquired a key-wound Patek Philippe watch created in a pendant style during the Great Exhibition of London. Soon Patek Philippe was regularly supplying its watches to her Majesty and her consort, including one exclusive timepiece that was suspended from a diamond and enamel brooch to be worn pinned to the Queen’s clothing.

Victoria’s fascination with Patek Philippe quickly attracted the attention of all the royal courts of Europe. The Swiss company began creating timepieces for such notables as Pope Pius IX, Christian IX and Louise (the king and queen of Denmark), Victor-Emanuel III (king of Italy and Duke of Savoy), and Hussein Kamal (prince of Egypt in the period of 1914-1917).

For its 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek Philippe created one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever made, the Calibre 89. This amazing timepiece holds 33 complications, including the date of Easter, a thermometer, time of sunrise, equation of time, sidereal time, and many other indicators. 1,728 unique parts allow for sidereal time, a 2,800 star chart, and much more.

Today, vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches regularly command the highest prices at watch auctions around the globe, some selling for well over US $1 million. If you are lucky enough to be in the possession of a Patek Philippe watch take care of it very well for the next generation of your family. And should you ever decide to sell one be sure to go to an experieced watch buyer who understand the full worth of these mechanical works of art.