פטק פיליפ Patek Philippe & Co
Patek Philippe & Co. (PP) is a Swiss watch manufacture located in Geneva and the Vallée de Joux.
Combined chronograph and calendar/moonphase wristwatch
Calendar and moonphase pocket-watch
Watch from 1940s, Ref. 1543
Circa 1999 men's quartz Calatrava in yellow gold, with second hand and date
Amongst manufacturers, PP has a long history. Polish watchmaker Antoni Norbert Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva, along with his fellow Polish migrant Franciszek Czapek. They separated in 1844, and in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism. In 1851, Patek Philippe & Co was founded.
In 1868, Patek Philippe made their first wristwatch. They have also pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.
The company, like other Swiss manufactures, produces mostly mechanical movements of the automatic and manual wind variety, but has produced quartz watches in the past and even a digital wrist watch, the Ref. 3414. PP is notable for manufacturing its own watch components.
Patek Philippe timepieces have recorded high closing prices in auctions worldwide. A large part of the demand for auction pieces is driven by Patek Philippe themselves, as they are often purchasing in the auction market to add to the collection of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
The company is currently owned by the Stern family, led by Philippe Stern and his son.
Calendar and moonphase wristwatch
Patek Philippe produced an ultra-complicated (with 24 functions) pocket-watch for Henry Graves, Jr., who entered into a friendly horological competition with James Ward Packard, which resulted in the production of the watch sold to Mr. Graves in 1933. After his death, the watch was auctioned at Sotheby's in December 1999 for USD$11,000,000, at that time the most expensive timepiece ever sold. On April 10, 2008, 2003 "Ref. 5002P Sky Moon Tourbillon" platinum Patek Philippe tourbillon wristwatch made the world record as the most expensive modern wristwatch sold at Hongkong Sotheby's for HK$11.75 million ($1.49 million). It erased the previous record of Vacheron Constantin Tour de l'Ile sold at Antiquorum for $1.4 million in Geneva in 2005.
Watches owned by royalty
Patek Philippe watches have enjoyed great demand among discerning collectors and watch connoisseurs of a high social status and wealth. Since Queen Victoria’s reign, monarchs, popes, political leaders, and rulers have purchased timepieces manufactured by the brand either for their personal use or as a precious gift to be presented to an important guest, or in recognition of someone's remarkable bravery and loyalty.
In 1851, Patek Philippe started supplying its watches to Queen Victoria and her consort. Timepieces of the Genevan manufacturer immediately attracted attention of all the royal courts of Europe. Queen Victoria acquired a key-wound Patek Philippe watch created in a pendant style in November 1851 during the Great Exhibition of London. Queen Victoria owned one more exclusive Patek Philippe timepiece to be worn pinned to clothing. The watch suspended from a diamond and enamel brooch.
The list of Patek Philippe notable past clientele also highlights 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).
In 1989, Patek created one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever made, the Calibre 89, created for the 150th anniversary of the company. It 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 sidereal time a 2,800 star chart, and more. The Calibre 89 is also able to add a day to February for leap years while leaving out the extra day for every 100 year interval.
In 2005 the company introduced the revolutionary Silicon escapement wheel to the industry.