Founded in 1839, the Patek Philippe brand has been a staple name in the luxury watch and timepiece market for over 180 years – combining innovation with design excellence, aesthetic flair, and all the style that buyers and collectors have admired and come to covet over the years.
Today, Patek Philippe is one of those brands that are synonymous with high-value auctions, waitlists, and the finest accessories on the market – but how did it earn this rank? Let’s take a closer look at the history behind Patek Philippe and how the German watch brand became what it is today.
Who is Patek Philippe?
Patek Philippe is a Genevan watchmaker that was founded by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe – both experts in the field of watchmaking when they met. Since then, Patek Philippe has been considered one of the leading luxury watch brands in the world, garnering huge interest with every new release and every time a watch is added to the auction or resale market.
Where did Patek Philippe begin?
The origin of the Patek Philippe brand lies in Geneva in Switzerland, in the 1830s. Both the founders brought their interests in watchmaking to the fold, culminating in their creation of a brand and collection of products which benefited from creative freedom, innovation, and the very highest quality.
Who are Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe?
Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe are the original founders and owners of the brand, uniting to combine their skills and interests and to create a brand of watches which defied the ideas and existing concepts of the time.
Their individual skill and expertise were further concreted by the publication of a book by Philippe soon after the launch of the brand, in which he detailed his knowledge of the keyless pocket watch. This, combined with Patek’s commitment to travelling and marketing their watches on a global scale, allowed the two to become household names – both separately and together as one brand.
How has Patek Philippe changed over the years?
With innovation at the heart of every new design and release, it follows that the watches produced by Patek Philippe have adjusted according to changing trends since its inception in the 1830s. From pocket watches to wristwatches, adorned with intricate details and modern features, as the brand has changed leadership and been party to ever-changing fashions and trends, so the brand has adjusted its image and the way it both produces and markets its watches.
What types of products does Patek Philippe produce?
Patek Philippe is a known manufacturer of watches, with timepieces which include both vintage timepieces and modern wristwatches for all occasions – including travel, formal occasions, and everyday wear.
In addition, Patek Philippe now manufactures and sells a range of jewellery for both men and women, combining simple and timeless designs with the highest quality materials and the brand’s refined, intricate approach to craftsmanship.
What are Patek Philippe’s most famous pieces?
Before we look at and unveil the most popular and famous pieces from the modern Patek Philippe collection, we thought it was important to highlight one business move which secured Patek Philippe as a leading design brand in the luxury market – and it occurred all the way back in 1876. In this year, the brand secured its position as a designer watchmaker, by being named as the principal supplier of watches to New York’s Tiffany & Co store – tapping into the market that the founders had been trying to break into for decades.
From there, the brand only continued to dominate the market, with some of the most famous pieces including:
- Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A Blue Dial – initially launched as a sports watch, this model was announced as being discontinued in 2021, instantly enhancing its value ten-fold.
- Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication – said to be the most complicated watch ever created, this watch is made from 18K gold, boasts over 900 parts, and was auctioned in 2014 for over $24 million US dollars.
- Any and every Patek Philippe Aquanaut watch created – available in different colours and finishes, these watches make it on our list because of their popularity and the overwhelming demand for them from everyday buyers and investors.
What makes Patek Philippe so unique in the luxury watch market?
Aside from the huge demand which outweighs the supply of every Patek Philippe watch and model that is released, one of the biggest factors which allow the brand to stand out is the attention to detail across every component of every watch.
The innovation and expertise of the founders have been passed through to the modern-day manufacturing process, ensuring that each watch produced creates a unique legacy which falls under the tagline of a Patek Philippe watch being something that you pass on to the next generation.
Which celebrities wear Patek Philippe watches?
When it comes to luxury designer watches and accessories, we often find that the most in-demand models and brands are those which are preferred by celebrities as well as investment buyers.
Just some of the celebrities who have been seen sporting Patek Philippe watches include:
- Ed Sheeran
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Tom Holland
- Victoria Beckham
Is Patek Philippe watches a good investment?
As you can tell from the above celebrity list, a Patek Philippe watch is a viable investment for both male and female wearers, as well as those who want to purchase a timepiece as an investment. As is so often the case with luxury watches and accessories, the demand for these pieces far outweighs the available supply – giving the brand the kind of coveted status that makes every preloved, authenticated watch a surefire win on the investment market.
To ensure you get the best return on your investment, it is important that you receive a formal valuation of your piece via an appraisal. Armed with this, and your Patek Philippe watch, your purchase is a viable investment that will only increase in value as time passes and the availability of specific and past models wanes to make way for new releases.