Patek Philippe

1695356756 Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe is one of the most prestigious names in Swiss watchmaking.

After nearly two centuries crafting some of the world’s finest movements and timepieces, the company has attracted quite a following among the elite.

From popes to presidents, royalty, academics, and artists, Patek Philippe watches reign supreme.

The same is true of auction houses, with the brand dominating the list of most-expensive timepieces ever sold, taking 7 of the top 10 spaces (the other three went to Rolex) and nearly 80% of the top 58.

Patek Philippe has one of the most watches which are selling above MSRP. You can read more at the blog post below.

The Best Luxury Watches For Resell

Patek Philippe History

Responsible for the first moniker of the brand, Antoni Norbert Patek was a Polish soldier who fought in the Polish-Russian War of 1830-1831.

After the uprising failed, he was one of the many forced to emigrate from Poland; first to France, then to Switzerland.

He attempted many careers, including trading liquors, painting, and work as a type-setter, then eventually got into crafting timepieces using procured parts.

In 1839, he joined forces with Franciszek Czapek, another Pole who had fought in the war, left home, and gotten into watchmaking.

It’s this union which Patek Philippe uses to determine a date of establishment, though at the time, Frenchman Jean Adrien Philippe was doing his own thing.

Patek and Philippe didn’t meet until the 1844 World’s Fair, where Philippe was earning a Gold Medal for his new invention; the first keyless watch.

Patek, Czapek & Co. was dissolved a year later. Czapek went on to form Czapek & Cie and, naturally, Patek Philippe was born at the same time.

By 1851, Queen Victoria of Britain was a fan of the pair’s timepieces, intrigued by the keyless wonder, and by 1846 Tiffany & Co. began sourcing its timepieces from them.

Patek Philippe continued to innovate, developing the keyless system, releasing a pocket watch with a tourbillion, and inventing the “slipping spring” mainspring.

From there, the company designed its first wristwatch, complete with a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, split-seconds hand, and chronograph. It’s about this time that Albert Einstein picked up his own Patek Philippe too.

Despite these advancements, or perhaps because they increased the value of their timepieces so much, the company fell on hard times during the great depression.

At that time, it was being operated by the Philippe family, who chose to sell it to one of their suppliers and partners; the Stern family. It remains with them today.

The Sterns ushered in a new era for Patek Philippe, continuing to innovate, win awards, and reinforce the brand as a mark of luxury around the globe.

What Makes Patek Philippe Watches Distinct

It takes a special type of watchmaker to develop the reputation and command the prices that Patek Philippe has.

In-House Craftsmanship

Most watchmakers source their parts, including movements, from other companies.

When it comes to Swiss watchmakers, it’s usually ETA. A few the luxury brands have the ability craft their own movements and parts, but even then, they often reserve them for their top-tier models.

This is the first way Patek Philippe differs from the pack. Literally all individual parts of the movements and cases, from their simplest models through grand complications, and crafted, finished, and assembled in-house.

Moreover, the company has its own research and development department, so each design, from the very first sketch, is an in-house work from the brand.

Legacy and Tradition

While most watchmakers are owned by large companies, Patek Philippe has the distinction of being the oldest family-owned, independent Genevan watch manufacture.

Because of this, it has never lost sight of its heritage or strayed from its roots.

The company sets and funds its own course, and has no external influences, meaning it’s absolutely free to do whatever it wishes.

It chooses to maintain its heart.


There’s a reason why so many Patek Philippe watches made the list of most-expensive timepieces.

The company’s dedication to quality and long-term brand reputation means its pieces are better to start with. Even when pieces don’t increase in value, they tend to hold it well which is great news when you want to get cash for your watch.

At any given point, the company has about 200 different models in production.

While that might sound like a lot, these are done in small batches, so they tend to trickle into the market. The rarity of their pieces ensures the market isn’t diluted, adding to the value.


The brand takes an understated approach to design. This ensures that each piece is, for lack of better phrasing, timeless.

Whether you’re wearing a piece crafted in the 1880s, 1980s, or today, it will have the same classic appeal.

There’s no denying buying a Patek Philippe watch is an investment. The entry point presently sits at just under $20,000 for a new timepiece, but nearly a quarter of their models begin at more than $110,000.


The Aquanaut is traditionally regarded as the brand’s entry-level piece. It’s a sport watch with water resistance up to 120 meters. Distinguishing features include an octagonal dial, black rubber strap, and matte-black dial with a globe pattern embossed.


The Nautilus is remarkably similar to the Aquanaut. Also a sport watch sharing the same distinctive shape, the Nautilus features a horizontal stripe dial and comes with leather and metal bracelets. While it’s as durable as the Aquanaut, the look is arguably more befitting of daily wear than sport use.

Patek Philippe


A Calatrava has a round dial as well as thinner profile and is more elegant. These pieces feature artesian designs, such as diamond bezels and articulate motifs on some dials.

Complications and Grand Complications

Moving into more serious models, Grand Complications feature more intricate functions, such as perpetual calendars and minute repeaters. These typically have round cases, but you’ll also see the barrel shape. Unlike the first three, which have offerings around $20,000, Complications tend to start at around $35,000 and Grand Complications around $80,000.

World Time

While World Time pieces are distinguished by the complication, rather than the collection, they’ve become something the brand is known for because they are so remarkable and routinely fetch high prices at auction.

Within the Complications line, World Time models start at around $50,000, though the Grand Complications line offers World Time too.

Find Your Favorite Patek PhilippeTimepieces on Value Your Watch

Many watch marketplaces charge their sellers a commission fee based on the final sales price or listing fee based upon the cost of the timepiece.

Bear in mind, this means it will easily cost the seller hundreds if not thousands of dollars to sell his timepiece when it’s a prestigious brand like Patek Philippe.

This unfortunately leads to inflated pricing to help cover the costs. At Value Your Watch, we make it easier on sellers and have flat membership rates, so they can pass their savings onto you.

We also offer measures of transparency, so you can purchase with confidence that the timepiece you’re investing in is authentic and is coming from a watch enthusiast just like you. Explore our Patek Philippe watches for sale, search all brands, or list your timepiece now.


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