Among the preeminent heritage watch brands in the world today, the story of French Watchmaker Patek Philippe is one grounded in superior craftsmanship, heritage, and class.
Founded in 1845, “Patek Philippe” has been ubiquitous in the world of wristwatches and fine jewelry. Originally established by Antoni Patek and another partner, Patek brought Adrien Philippe into the company and formed the eponymously-named partnership in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1851, Patek got their first newsworthy order from Queen Victoria, who ordered a keyless pendant watch. Patek would continue to innovate within the world of watchmaking, such as with their patented “double chronograph” method, invented in 1902. The company was acquired from the estates of the now-deceased Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe by Charles and Jean Stern, whose families have retained ownership since the original purchase in 1933.
With their Patek Philippe watches famously commissioned in 1851 by Queen Victoria, the brand began to expand their reach. Albert Einstein ordered a gold pocket watch in 1915– the same year he discovered the Theory of Relativity. Other notable collectors include John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, Pope Pius IX, and Leo Tolstoy. Patek Philippe is notable not only for their popularity, but for the superlative value of their watches. For instance, 7 of the 10 most expensive timepieces ever auctioned were Patek Philippe models! On November 11, 2014, the “Henry Graves Supercomplication” was sold at a Geneva Auction for a then record-breaking US$23.98 Million USD! Not to be outdone, a “Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime” broke this record in 2019, with a final price of $31 Million USD.
With omnipresent branding, sterling prestige, and superlative value, Patek Philippe has reached the highest echelon of luxury in their field. Through their iconic models (such as the “Nautilus” and “Calatrava” wristwatches), their 400+ locations worldwide, and their storied history (the Patek Philippe Museum opened in Geneva in 2001), Patek Philippe to this day continues to make a name for themselves in the world of luxury and craftsmanship.