Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe remains, to this day, one of the few historic high-end watch brands. From its beginnings and then subsequently from 1932, under the management of the Stern family, the manufacturing has always proven its faithfulness to the greatest standards of high craftsmanship, sustained by an acute sense of business and direction towards unconditional independence, while incorporating innovative research.
In fact, in the high-end watchmaking world, almost all watch brands, throughout the course of their history, have often had to «give in» to the acquisition of a large group (LVMH, Kering, Richemont for example). A choice that if on the one hand has allowed the acquisition of new economic forces and the preservation of its heritage through the ups and downs of global socio-economic situations, on the other it has affected that sense of individualism and freedom that remains an unequivocally important quality of the Maison of Geneva.
Patek Philippe has quickly become one the favourite Swiss brands of international elite customers who have always loved commissioning their own tailor-made timepieces to the craftsmen. In 1934, for example, notoriety rose after the creation of a pocket watch with as many as 24 complications, requested by the very demanding American financier Henry Graves. At the, time it was a real record!
Quality and excellence in the face of everything and without concessions. This is one of the mantras that echoes in the brand’s headquarters in Geneva and in all the production sites distributed in the Canton Giura. It is so defining that if for years, the Poinçon de Genève had certified the Maison’s timepieces, since 2009, Patek Philippe has created its own Punzone, a quality standard that rigorously sanctions all phases of production until the sale of each watch. The incredible mastery of complications and the extreme loyalty to the ancient craft traditions and the manual skills of manufacturing are combined with innovative study and research, while embracing new technologies, such as the use of silicon that for some years now is part of the watchmaking components.
But what makes a Patek Philippe watch so special? The discrete elegance of each model brings the wearer’s personal self-confidence to surface while disdaining unnecessary show-offs.
In other words, the best high-quality watchmaking, tradition and expertise combined with a «timeless» design, are enough to make your timepiece a real forever. Patek Philippe collectors are well aware of this feature, while appreciating the Manufacture’s selective production, so detailed that it takes about 9 months to make the most basic references, while it takes about two years to create those more complicated.
The beauty of Patek Philippe watches is treasured in every caliber, reaching its maximum expression even through all those small details that reveal the unmistakable human touch of the master watchmaker. The result is a peculiar harmony of aesthetics and design that connoisseurs can perceive at first glance. Throughout the world, the demand for products designed by this Geneva-based company continues to grow, increasing the exclusivity of the brand and its creations: rarity, uniqueness and excellence thus contribute to making the Patek Philippe watch not just a must-have on the wrist, but also an excellent investment for the future. Proof of this is the great success that vintage pieces reach at the great players’ auctions, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, keeping the most passionate collectors often on their toes.
From the «Calatrava» (whose first reference, number 96, appeared on the market in 1932), to the «Elisse» (presented in 1962 and returned this year as a new edition), to the great success of the steel «Nautilus» in 1976 (Patek Philippe’s first sporty watch), the «Gondolo” in 1993, the «Aquanaut» collection in 1997, coming all the way to today’s launch of Ref. 5531R «Repetition Minutes Now Universal», Patek Philippe remains the undisputed Olympian goddess of the magical universe of high-end Swiss watchmaking.