Easily one of the most venerable watch brands in the world, Patek Philippe was founded in Geneva in 1839. It was acquired by the Stern family in 1932 and remains an independent family-owned company to this day. It is known as the benchmark standard for high complications and is renowned for its pioneering in new technology, its master of the rare handcrafts, and more. Patek Philippe’s beloved collections include the classic Calatrava, the sporty Aquanaut and Nautilus lines, the feminine Twenty-4, and the incredible complications and grand complications.
Patek Philippe is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world, with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since its founding. Patek Philippe’s origins date back to 1839 and two watchmakers, Antoine Norbert de Patek and Jean Adrian Philippe. The company name became Patek Philippe in 1851, and it is under this name that Patek Philippe created the first Swiss wristwatch ever made in 1868. Thanks to their exceptional know-how, Patek Philippe has had many firsts leading to an impressive repertoire of more than 100 patents.
In 2009, Patek Philippe launched its proprietary quality label for mechanical watches. This Patek Philippe Seal attests to the utmost quality of its timepieces, far above and beyond official standards. The Patek Philippe Seal applies to the entire watch and is the only seal of quality that assures the watch’s lifetime maintenance, regardless of the date of completion. Detailed regulations and an independent supervisory body govern the seal. The Patek Philippe Seal embodies all the company’s values and quality standards.
Philippe Stern’s legendary passion for exceptional timepieces allowed him to gather in Geneva an extraordinary and unique collection of nearly 2000 watches, musical automata, and miniature enamels from the 16th century to today, alongside an extensive library of over 8000 works entirely dedicated to horology. This unique museum was opened to the public in Geneva in November 2001.
Patek Philippe holds the world record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction with its Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in steel, which sold for 31,000,00 Swiss Francs at the Only Watch charity auction in Geneva, Switzerland on November 9th, 2019.
They also hold the title of the second most expensive watch sold at auction with the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, which sold for 23,237,000 Swiss Francs at a Sotheby’s auction on November 12th, 2014.
The Stern family has owned Patek Philippe since 1932, when Charles Stern and Jean Stern acquired the company. The company is managed by a board of directors composed of Honorary President Philippe Stern, President Thierry Stern, and CEO Claude Peny. During his years as President, Philippe Stern marked the company’s history with significant building projects to reinforce its industrial infrastructure and autonomy, with the creation of the Patek Philippe Museum, and with the launch of extraordinary timepieces as the Calibre 89. Thierry Stern was appointed President in 2009 and continues to ensure that Patek Philippe remains at the leading edge of watchmaking technology, thus contributing to the continual improvement of the long-term quality and reliability of its timepieces.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G was released in 2016 and features 20 complications: five chiming functions — Grande and Petite Sonnerie, minute and date repeaters, and alarm.
To have a chance to purchase one, you need to send in your application to Patek Philippe. The Stern family will then review the applications to see who qualifies. Patek wants to ensure that the watches go only to collectors who “genuinely appreciate and value them.” From start to finish, this process can take up to 2 years.