Patek Philippe is today a household name in the luxury watchmaking industry. This magnificent watchmaker is recognised for its innovative timepieces that represent unrivalled craftsmanship. However, Patek Philippe watches are typically rare. Collectors may have to wait years to get their hands on some specific models.
While the watches are limited in numbers, their demand is higher than any other. Many collectors are often willing to pay a premium to get ahold of one. Patek Philippe is one of the most luxurious watchmakers in the world. Every Patek Philippe watch exhibits the best craftsmanship and sheer attention to detail, backed by a rich heritage of perfection.
Let’s explore some cool and fascinating facts about Patek Philippe that will clearly manifest the history behind the brand’s enormous success.
Top 10 Facts about Patek Philippe
1. Patek Philippe watches were supplied to Queen Victoria
Patek Philippe delivered its watches to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 1851. Queen Victoria owned a Patek Philippe watch that was suspended from an enamel brooch and diamond. However, the watchmaker offered a key-wound timepiece at the Great Exhibition of London in November 1851.
2. Patek Philippe made the most complex mechanical timepiece in 1989
Patek Philippe designed one of the most complicated automatic timepieces in 1989 to celebrate the brand’s 150th anniversary. However, the watch featured nearly 39 complications. The functionalities included the sunrise time, date of Easter, sidereal time, the time equation and many more.
3. Patek Philippe launched the silicon escapement wheel in 2005
Patek Philippe turned up with the silicon escapement wheel in 2005. Moreover, the watchmaker equipped the silicon escapement wheel for the first time in Reference 5250. This Patek Philippe’ Advanced Research’ Annual Calendar watch was available in a limited number of only 100.
4. Patek Philippe takes nine months to produce its most basic watch
This leading Swiss watchmaker takes nine months to design and produce its most basic timepieces in the catalogue. However, the brand takes a longer time, sometimes over two years, to make its most complicated models.
5. The brand president, Thierry Stern, tests all repeaters
You will believe it or not, but the truth is that Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern test every repeater before it leaves the factory. It merely manifests the dedication and meticulous attention to detail that the brand promises to achieve perfection.
6. People need to apply to buy the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300G
Patek Philippe released the Grandmaster Chime Reference 6300G in 2016. The watch has 20 complications. However, the five chiming functionalities include alarm, date and minute repeaters and Grande and Petite Sonnerie. Now:
The interesting fact is that people need to apply for purchasing the timepiece. The Stern family (owner of Patek Philippe) carefully selects the individuals who have applied.
However, with this process, the watchmaker wants to make sure that the watch goes only to the collectors who actually can value and appreciate it. And this entire process may take up to two years.
7. The Henry Graves Supercomplication was made for a banker in 1933
Patek Philippe designed and developed the Henry Graves Supercomplication for the banker Henry Graves Jr. This was a super complicated pocket watch featuring 24 functions. It is said that Henry Graves asked the watchmaker to design this timepiece for his friendly and personal watch competition on the most advanced watches with James Ward Packard.
However, after Henry Graves died, the timepiece sold at auction for a staggering US$11 million in 1999. The Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani of the Qatari Royal family purchased the timepiece. The Henry Graves Supercomplication became the costliest watch ever sold at that time.
Interestingly, the timepiece was again up for auction at Sotheby’s in 2014. And this time, it sold for a record-breaking price of US$24 million.
8. Every Patek Philippe watch is hand-finished and hand-polished
Expert artisans at Patek Philippe finish every part of a watch by hand. And only a watchmaker can appreciate this quality. The watchmaker strives for perfection; they can’t compromise in quality.
9. The Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002P became the costliest wristwatch in 2008
The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Reference 5002P became the most expensive wristwatch sold for HK$11.75 million at Hong Kong Sotheby’s. However, the watch was made of platinum and featured a tourbillon.
10. Patek produced the Calibre 89 pocket watch to celebrate its 150th anniversary
Patek Philippe introduced the Calibre 89 pocket watch to commemorate the brand’s 150th anniversary. However, the watch featured 33 complications.