Patek Philippe manufacturer has absolute creative freedom to create perfect designs and assemblies, as confirmed by numerous experts, calling Patek Philippe the best product in the world, following the intentions and visions of the founders– Antoine Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe.
However, Patek and Philippe’s manufactory has its own background behind becoming a world time manufacture
According to some sources, Russia, which brutally suppressed the uprising in its province of Poland in 1830, is directly related to the birth of the greatest house.
19-year-old Lieutenant Anthony Patek, a native of the tiny town of Piaski Lutherski near Lublin, distinguished himself in battles so that he preferred to flee and settled in Geneva.
Patek traded in everything to survive, but the biggest profit came from expensive pocket watches.
Thinking that this was fate, Patek began buying mechanisms from different craftsmen and then ordered from the best Geneva blacksmiths, jewelers, engravers, and enamel artists of excellent quality cases and dials.
Just like a one man army, he did the final assembly of the watch himself.
According to other sources, Comte de Patek was a Polish officer who emigrated to Switzerland, where he began to engage in engraving and drawing, and later – in watchmaking.
Early Days of the Company
One way or another, Anthony gained fame in the high society of France and Switzerland as a supplier of the best watches.
Having married in 1839, he chose to call himself Antoine Norbert de Patek, and in the same year, he founded the Patek, Czapek & Co. watch company with another fugitive Polish jeweler of Czech origin František (François) Czapek.
Since 1839, Patek Philippe has perpetuated the tradition of Geneva watchmaking. At the beginning of its successful career, Patek, Czapek & Co had a minimal budget and minimal equipment.
Though sounds odd, he company produced watch cases without its own mechanisms with a circulation of about 200 pieces per year. The six-year partnership between Patek and Czapek ended in 1845 due to a conflict.
In 1844, at the National Exhibition of Industrial Products in Paris, Patek met Jean-Adrien Philippe.
Winding Without a Key!
Jean-Adrien Philippe was famous for his invention of a remontar – a mechanism for winding without the aid of a key (a multifunctional crown with which it was possible to wind the watch and adjust the indications of the hands).
Finally, hat is what we have in all mechanical wristwatches to this day. Until then, the clock was controlled by keys.
Patek offered Philippe friendship and cooperation. Czapek was jealous of this. In 1845, Patek, Czapek & Co split into two new Patek & Cie and Czapek & Cie. In January 1851, Patek & Cie became Patek Philippe & Co.
The glory of Patek & Cie reached the most powerful imperial courts in the world: in 1850 the future Empress Catherine II bought the Patek watch, and in 1851 Queen Victoria of Britain and her husband Prince Albert bought two models for themselves.
Patek died on March 1, 1877 at the age of 65, leaving to his heirs two commandments that helped a small company eventually turn into the greatest house:
- Always make watches at the highest possible level;
- Constantly seek, find and apply new structural and theoretical ideas.
In 1932, (according to other sources, in 1933) the brothers Stern headed the manufactory, and to this day the legacy of Patek and Philip is in their hands.
In 1958, Henri Stern became the sole owner and remained so for the next 20 years, during which Patek Philippe’s position in the market for the great watchmaking art strengthened significantly.
These days, the company is headed by presidents Philippe and Thierry Stern – father and son, honorary leaders of this watchmaking industry in the third and fourth generations.
During the years of his presidency, Stern Sr. was noted in history for significant fundamental projects that strengthened the production structure and consolidated all the accumulated knowledge and experience.
In addition, Philippe founded the Patek Philippe Museum and launched the exceptional Caliber 89 watch series.
The main symbol of Patek Philippe since the late 1980s, under Philippe’s leadership, has become the Calatrava Cross, a symbol of the Spanish knightly order of the 12th century.
This is the name of the main series of the manufactory – Ref. 96 Calatrava.
Appointed as President in 2009, Stern Jr. continued to provide the highest quality guarantees and to support watchmaking technology.
Also in 2009, Patek Philippe launched their own label, a kind of corporate quality mark for mechanical watches – the Patek Philippe Seal (watches that have successfully passed all tests are marked with two letters PP).
This mark testifies to the high quality of production and the timeless precision of the movement.
An independent supervisory authority regulates the rules and marks the assignment of this process. And Stern’s managers and owners act here as custodians of the label.
Today Patek Philippe consists of the main manufactories located in Plan-les-Ouates. Here administrative functions are carried out, scientific research, development of new technologies, and design are carried out.
Altogether, the Stern family business also includes six partner companies outside the Canton of Geneva. Calame, Poli-Art and SHG in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Cadrans Fluckiger n Saint-Imier, Allaine n Alla and Betakron (final finishing, decoration) in Jura.
Patek’s Watch Salon
There are exclusive watch salons in Geneva, Paris, and London. Philippe Stern’s passion for exceptional watchmaking technology has allowed him to assemble in Geneva a unique collection. Compromising about 2,000 watches, from the 16th-century models to the latest series. The museum was opened to the public in November 2001.
Today, the company has six regular collections: alatrava, Aquanaut, Nautilus, Ellipse d’Or, Gondolo, and Twenty-4. And limited lines of jewelry, art, complex, and super-complex watches, there are about 200 options.
With exceptional know-how, Patek Philippe maintains a balance of classic and innovation.
Tradition, quality, craftsmanship and aesthetics are just a few of the fundamental values of the watchmaker.
The brand has always strived for the ideal, creating watches of unsurpassed reliability. The uniqueness of which has been passed on from generation to generation for a long time.
To achieve this result, the company has invested in the production of new materials and advanced technologies. In accordance with the strictest industry standards and quality control which earned then well reviews by MWR Team.
The company has registered 70 patents, which had a huge impact on the development of watchmaking and art.
They own most of the world’s most complex watches and all auction world records, good for a world-time manufacture.
Specializing in the production of technically sophisticated timepieces of the highest quality, Patek Philippe today employs over 700 people. Among them,180 are first-class watchmakers.
Surprisingly, the production volumes reach 30,000 hours per year.
The company produces 18 basic movements, over 40 modified movements and about 7000 different watch parts.
Having received its first patent in 1845, Patek Philippe has marked all its products with the Geneva Seal of Quality. This is the highest award in watchmaking.