Patek Philippe is widely regarded as the most prestigious luxury watchmaker in the industry. Begun in 1839 in Geneva as a pocket watch company, the Patek Philippe Company has a long and flourishing history of watch innovation, including being the first company to add the chronograph, the minute repeater, the perpetual calendar, and the split-seconds hand into the wristwatch. Royal Patek Philippe clients include Prince Albert, Christian IX, Hussein Kamel of Egypt, Princess Louise of Denmark, Queen Victoria and Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
From the very beginning, Patek Philippe timepieces have elicited spontaneous and enthusiastic acclaim among connoisseurs, all of them lovers of the art of horology.
The spirit of innovation which reigns at the company’s workshops has been instrumental for the longevity and reliability of its watches. In its current collection, Patek Philippe presents a wide range of models of which numerous are considered as cult objects.
The color of a Patek Philippe dial is a science. Patek has an expert chemist, only a few at his level in Switzerland. In one day he can have 4 variations of color in his baths depending on the time of day and humidity, so he has to constantly adjust. If there was a group of dials that came out a little different for a particular model, people would go crazy trying to buy one, for the rarity, so it is critical that all dials are exact.
International Head of Watches John Reardon on why devotees of Patek Philippe never settle for less than the best
Patek Philippe collectors aren’t like other watch collectors. They aren’t flashy; they don’t have to be. That’s because Patek Philippe’s understated elegance bespeaks confidence. Simply put, Patek owners know that they have the very best in craftsmanship, heritage and design sitting on their wrists — and once you’ve owned a Patek Philippe, nothing else will do.
It’s said that fewer than 1 million Patek Philippe watches have been made since 1839. That’s fewer than some very high-end Swiss manufacturers produce in a year. Patek production is so detailed that it takes nine months to make its most basic watches, and more than two years to produce some of the more complicated timepieces. Meanwhile, demand is growing around the world. Some Patek Philippe watches are so sought-after that buyers must submit to an application process to demonstrate that they are sufficiently high-calibre collectors.