About Patek Philippe Watches
When it comes to fine timepieces, many will agree that Patek Philippe is at the top. Founded in 1839 as Patek, Czapek & Cie by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek, the early days of the company achieved numerous milestones that laid the foundation for the future trajectory of the brand. In 1845, the founders filed for a patent for a keyless winding and system, and a few short years later, Queen Victoria purchased one of their keyless pocket watches at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London. In 1868, the company (already renamed as Patek, Philippe & Cie) creates the very first Swiss wristwatch, custom-made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. Over the following six decades, Patek Philippe was responsible for a flurry of watchmaking patents such as the precision regulator (1881), the pocket watch perpetual calendar mechanism (1889), and the double chronograph (1902). The 1920s was a landmark decade for Patek Philippe as the company undertook the challenge of making complicated men’s wristwatches, illustrated by its first split-seconds chronograph wristwatch and first perpetual calendar wristwatch
In 1932, the Stern family invested in Patek, Philippe & Cie and today, Patek Philippe remains in the hands of the same family. Under the leadership of the Sterns, Patek Philippe released models that would eventually become watch icons. 1932 was also the year of the first Patek Philippe Calatrava, which has become the Swiss watchmaker’s flagship dress watch. Then in 1941, Patek began producing Perpetual Calendar wristwatches, which continues to be the company’s signature complication. Other notable models, such as the complex Patek Philippe World Time and the elegant Golden Ellipse soon followed—both of which are still part of the current brand catalog.
In 1976, Patek Philippe unveiled the Nautilus sports watch—a timepiece that was unlike any other watch the company had ever made before. Featuring a large porthole-shaped case, impressive water resistance, and full stainless steel construction, the Nautilus was positioned as the must-have ultra-luxe sports watch for the jet set. Today, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is one of the watch world’s greatest hits with an enviable cult following.
The 1990s was yet another important decade for Patek Philippe with releases like the Annual Calendar, which is a multi-function calendar watch that only requires one hands-on adjustment per year. There was also the launch of the Aquanaut, the younger and more streamlined version of the Nautilus, featuring for the first time in Patek’s history, a “tropic” rubber style strap. Patek Philippe also presented the new Twenty-4 lineup in 1999, a collection of luxurious casual chic watches dedicated to the modern woman.
Among all the watch collections that Patek Philippe has created over the years, it’s important to also note that the company continues to flex its mechanical mastery by continuously developing some of the world’s most complex timepieces. Following in the footsteps of the “Graves” super complication pocket watch from the 1930s (24 complications), Patek crafted the Calibre 89 (33 complications), Sky Moon Tourbillon (13 complications and two dials), and the Grandmaster Chime (20 complications), just to name a few.
From classic dress timepieces like the Calatrava and sports watches like the Nautilus to mechanical masteries like the Annual Calendar, Perpetual Calendar, and Minute Repeater, Patek Philippe continues to produce some of the finest and most sought-after Swiss timepieces ever made.