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Patek Philippe

Swiss  •  b. 1839

Biography

Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

Insights

  • Phillips set the then-world auction record for a wristwatch when the Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 chronograph in stainless steel, often considered the "holy grail" among Patek collectors due to its rarity and elusiveness, sold for CHF11,002,000 in November 2016. This record was surpassed by Paul Newman's "Paul Newman" Rolex Daytona in October 2017.

  • Made for the American banker Henry Graves in 1933, the Graves Supercomplication holds the world record price for a timepiece, selling for approximately $24 million in 2014.

  • Stainless steel is by far the rarest case material that Patek Philippe chose to use during the mid-twentieth century for their complicated watches, considering the extremely high value of their movements. For many, steel complicated Patek Philippe watches are the ultimate in distinction to collect.

  • Patek Philippe's world class museum in the heart of Geneva houses timepieces dating from as early as the sixteenth century through the present day, showcasing the evolution of watchmaking as well as some of the most important watches of its past: www.patekmuseum.com.

"Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance."

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