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History

1839: Antoine Patek, a Polish businessman, and François Czapek, a Czech watchmaker, established Patek, Czapek & Cie in Geneva.
1851: Jean-Adrien Philippe became a partner in the company he had joined in 1844. Following the departure of François Czapek, it was renamed Patek Philippe & Cie.
1932: Dialmakers Charles and Jean Stern bought the company, which became Patek Philippe SA. It still belongs to the Stern family.

Patek Philippe belongs to the very small circle of historical Fine Watch brands. Established in 1839, since 1932 it has been in the hands of the Stern family. From its earliest days, Patek Philippe showed a remarkable capacity for innovation and excelled in the artisanship required to create a beautiful watch. This dual expertise was backed by sharp business acumen. Patek Philippe quickly became a favourite among a wealthy international clientele who commissioned bespoke watches from the Manufacture. One of these discerning patrons, the American financier Henry Graves, took delivery in 1934 of a pocket watch with 24 complications, a record for that era.

Placing quality uppermost, for many years Patek Philippe had its watches certified by the Poinçon de Genève. In 2009 it instead created its own standard of quality, the Patek Philippe Seal, which applies to every stage from the manufacturing to the sale of the watch. Since the mid-2000s, Patek Philippe has dominated the auction market. The Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva holds one of the richest private collections of timepieces in the world.

Based in Geneva but with production sites spread throughout the Arc Jurassien, Patek Philippe is renowned for its command of complications, in particular striking watches. While perpetuating traditional watchmaking skills, it also embraces new technologies, such as silicon. Accordingly, in 2011 Patek Philippe endowed a research chair in micro- and nanotechnologies at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.



Key dates

Patek Philippe: Antoine Norbert de Patek (1812-1877)

1839 to 1851

In 1839, Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek founded Patek, Czapek & C° in Geneva. At the 1844 Universal Exhibition in Paris, Antoine Norbert de Patek met Jean Adrien Philippe, inventor in 1842 of a pocket watch with stem winding and hand-setting, and offered him the post of technical director as soon as Czapek's contract ran out. In 1845, Patek Czapek & C° was dissolved, and Antoine Norbert de Patek, Jean Adrien Philippe and Vincent Gostowski founded, in Geneva, Patek & C°. In 1851, the three men changed the company's name to Patek Philippe & C°.

1868

Creation of a key-wound watch with brass bracelet.

1887

The Calatrava Cross became the company's registered logo.

1902

The Gondolo Chronometer name was registered.

1914 to 1930

1914-1930 Creation of grande complication and très grande complication watches, certain of which, with astronomical complications, were sold to James Ward Packard. These included the first two most complicated pieces by Patek Philippe: one, made in 1916, with 16 complications and another, made in 1927, with 10 complications.

1915

Creation of the first ladies' wristwatch with five-minute repeater.

1925

Creation of the first ladies' wristwatch with perpetual calendar (inspired by a pendant watch).

1933

Henry Graves Jr. purchased what was then the most complicated watch ever made by Patek Philippe. It was sold again in 1999 for $11 million.

1936

Creation of an astronomical wristwatch with perpetual calendar and retrograde date.

1940

Special order for a wristwatch with a pulsometric chronograph and world time.

1959

Creation of watches with second time zone.

Creation of the Calatrava model.

Creation of the Ellipse d'or model.

The Calibre 89, the world's most complicated pocket watch (33 complications), was unveiled to commemorate the company's 150th anniversary.

1996

Launch of the self-winding wristwatch with annual date.

2000

Launch of the Star Caliber 2000 (21 complications) to coincide with the third millennium.

2003

Unveiling of the 10 Day Tourbillon with COSC certification.

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