More about Patek Philippe Watches
Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva, along with his fellow Polish migrant Franciszek Czapek, producing their first pocket watches around 1840 with a silver case and a rose gold hinge. The two Polish men decided to separate their partnership in 1844, and Antoni Patek went on to join forces with French watch maker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism, in 1845. The result of this collaboration was Patek Philippe & Co founded in 1851. Later that same year, recognizing the importance of establishing an international brand, Patek traveled to America and established a partnership with Tiffany & Co., New York; a relationship that is still maintained more than 160 years later. From 1854-1858, Patek traveled extensively in order to establish the watch company internationally and build networks of partnership that ended up vaulting Patek Philippe to worldwide acclaim for their watches. Patek Philippe as a company pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches. Like many Swiss watch makers the company produces mostly mechanical movements of the automatic and manually wound variety, but the company has also produced quartz watches in the past, and a series of digital wrist watch. Patek Philippe is renown for manufacturing its watch components. During the travels of Patek, Jean Adrien Philippe perfected the slipping spring making it possible to simultaneously wind two barrel springs in a watch and became instrumental in the future development of self-winding wristwatch mechanisms in a watch. In 1867 Patek Philippe released one of the first watches that could be worn on the wrist, revolutionizing the watch making industry, and the idea of what a watch could be, the first Patek Philippe Swiss wrist watch was sold to Countess Koscewicz of Hungary featuring a rectangular case housing a baguette movement and set on a bracelet of yellow gold. Between 1900 and 1927, James Ward Packard, an automobile engineer, commissioned Patek Philippe to create numerous complicated watches including a double-faced pocket watch with ten complications, in 1927. Henry Graves, an American Banker, also commissioned a number of Patek Philippe watches over several years, including “The Graves” supercomplication pocket watch. The watch featured 24 complications; this piece remained the world’s most complicated watch until the launching of the Calibre 89 in 1989. In 1902 Patek Philippe patented the first ever double Chronograph pocket watch. In 1927, Patek Philippe presented the first wrist watch in the world with perpetual calendar but regular production of perpetual calendars on watches from Patek Philippe did not begin until 1941. Patek Philippe produced the first model of the Calatrava watch collection in 1932 inspired by the minimalist principles of the Bauhaus movement, a German school of art and architecture which adheres to the principle that form must follow function. The timeless and the understated Calatrava watch is reflective of those design principals. From 1934-1940 Patek Philippe debuted chronograph functions to all of their wrist watches. Patek Philippe introduced a chronograph function in 1941 to the dial of wrist watches along side the perpetual calendar feature of the watch. This addition made watches from Patek Philippe one of the most complex on the watch market at the time. In 1945, Patek Philippe debuted a watch featuring a Tourbillion function, and in 1962, the first watch model with automatic rewind and perpetual calendar features were brought out by Patek Philippe. Patek Philippe’s first self-winding watch model was launched in 1953 with a water-resistant case, featuring an automatic caliber movement in the watch which the company would go on to patent later that year. After a year of research and development, the caliber Beta 21 movement was presented at the Basel European Watch and Jewelry Fair by Patek Philippe in 1970. In 1968, the first model of the Golden Ellipse watch collection, with a blue sunburst dial, was introduced. With the release of the Golden Ellipse watch, Patek Philippe brought together audacity of form with divinely balanced proportions of the golden ratio in the watch. Patek Philippe produced its first photoelectric cell clock with quartz movement in 1974 and Patek Philippe followed this watch release with the launch of the first Nautilus model in 1976 defying the expectation of the luxury sports watch of the time that were expected to be as thin as possible and made of gold with the introduction of large steel watches with a brawny ship's porthole design in the watch. Patek Philippe created the first skeletonized, extra-thin wrist watch made from 18k gold in 1989. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Patek Philippe created one of the most complicated portable timepieces ever made: the Calibre 89 watch. The watch remains unequaled to this day. In 1993, inspired by the art deco movement of the early twentieth century, Patek Philippe debuted the Gondolo watch collection with sleek, stylized, and streamlined Tonneau, cushion-shaped, or rectangular casings. These watches combine form and function in line with the art deco aesthetic. In 1996 Patek Philippe patented a new annual calendar complication indicating the date for months of 30 and 31 days and needing only one correction per year – from February 28 or 29 to March 1. The Aquanaut watch was released by Patek Philippe in 1997 as men’s casual sports watch in steel with a "Tropical" composite strap, later introducing a ladies watch model to the watch collection. In 1999, the first Patek Philippe ladies’ bracelet watch is introduced with diamond-set steel and created for the modern, active woman. In 2001 Patek Philippe launched its first double-faced, two dial wrist watch comprising of 12 complications. Patek Philippe brought to the market its first self-winding chronograph movement in 2006 featuring a monocounter, entirely developed and produced in the Patek Philippe workshops and introduced for the release of the Annual Calendar chronograph watch which was set in platinum. 2011 saw the introduction of first triple complication wrist watch by Patek Philippe with a chronograph function for the watch. The watch combines a self-winding minute-repeater with a chronograph, and instantaneous perpetual calendar with aperture displays and moon phases.
Patek Philippe has always pushed the boundaries of what watch making could and should be, with bold and daring collections of watches that challenge the conventions and blaze new trails in watch making as an art form as well the science of horology.