Patek Philippe began in 1839 in Geneva, when Antoine Norbet de Patek and François Czapek founded “Patek Czapek & Co". Some years later, in 1844, Antoine Norbert de Patek asked Jean Adrien Philippe to become the new technical director after meeting him in Paris.
One year later, Antoine Norbert de Patek, Jean Philippe Adrien and Vincent Gostowski founded “Patek & Co” in Geneva. In 1851 this became “Patek Philippe & Co”.
It was in 1851, during the Great Exhibition in London, that Queen Victoria came to admire the world’s first keyless watches. Later, the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary wore the first Swiss wristwatch made by the new company.
In 1887, Patek Philippe registered its brand symbol; a red grid cross, which is also the emblem of the Spanish Calatrava Knights Order. After the registration of the name “Gondolo Chronometer” in 1902, the first ladies’ wristwatch with a “five-minute repeater” was developed in 1916, and the first ladies’ wristwatch with a perpetual calendar in 1925.
Thus, began a creative period of “Grande complication” and “Très Grande Complication” watches, some of which were purchased by James Ward Packard, founder of the homonymous automobile company. But it was another famous watch collector of that time, the banker Henry Graves Jr. , who was to buy the “Supercomplication” pocket watch, the most complicated watch ever created by Patek Philippe.
This incredible piece of watchmaking was sold in 1999 at a price of 11 million dollars.
Since 1941, the company has continued the production of the Patek Philippe “Perpetual calendar” as well as patenting other creations, such as an astronomic wristwatch (1936), the first watch with self-winding mechanisms (1956) and the first time-zone sensitive watch (1959).
The history of the watches created by Patek Philippe continued with the Patek Philippe “Ellipse” in 1968, “Calatrava” in 1974 and “Nautilus” in 1976.
In 1989, for the 150th anniversary of the company, Patek Philippe created the Calibre 89, which, with its 33 complications, was the world’s most complicated pocket watch.
The year 1993 marked the launch of the first model of the “Gondolo Collection”. In 1996, the watch with an annual calendar mechanism was patented and, in 1999, the ladies’ watch “Twenty-4” collection was launched.
To celebrate the new millennium, Patek Philippe presented the “Star Caliber 2000”, a double-sided pocket watch with 21 complications. In 2002, the Patek Philippe “Sky Moon Tourbillon” followed, the most complicated wristwatch ever created. One year later, Patek Philippe launched the “10 Day Tourbillon”, supplied with COSC certification.
“Respect for the past and fascination for the future” seems to be the key to the “beinfacture” typical of Patek Philippe. A statement of quality and prestige that distinguishes the last independent watch manufacturer in Geneva.
It is worth browsing the company’s official website to appreciate the level of professionalism under which the company operates. The website also provides a narrative about the company’s philosophy and history, as well as offering a watch maintenance and certification service.
In the section Communication you can download screensavers and wallpapers signed by Patek Philippe, view the Advertising campaign Generations and receive all the current news concerning the company.
Within the website there is also a glossary, containing all of the technical terms used in the watchmaking industry. It is also possible to purchase online, a series of books about the Patek Philippe world.
Finally for enthusiasts, there is the Patek Philippe Museum, the temple of the watchmaking manufacturer.
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