A Guide To Patek Philippe Watches | Watch Centre

Patek Philippe Watch Guide

The Last Independent Family-Owned Genevan Watch Manufacturer – Patek Philippe


Patek Philippe watches have been perpetuating the tradition of Genevan watchmaking without interruption since 1839 – being the last independent family-owned watch manufacturer in Geneva, Patek Philippe enjoys its total freedom to completely create, design, produce and assemble exciting innovative timepieces which most experts agree to be the finest timepieces in the world – succeeding the vision of its founders Antoine Norbert de Patek (1839) and Adrien Philippe (1845). Maintaining its tradition of innovation; hailed by an impressive repertoire of over eighty patents.


Tradition, independence, quality, innovation and craftsmanship, value, rarity, service, legacy, emotion and aesthetics are the fundamental values of any Genevan watchmaker. Patek Philippe have always aimed for perfection by inventing timepieces of unrivalled reliability and quality, the exclusiveness and uniqueness making them rare, precious and sought after timepieces; the perfect family heirloom to pass from generation to generation. To succeed this high standard the company invests in innovation with leading edge technologies and new materials, while maintaining the industry’s strictest quality control standards, and preserving the tradition of ancestral watchmaking knowledge and techniques.


Since 1932 the Stern family has moulded and guided the company to success and to this day is managed by a board of directors composed of Honorary President Philippe Stern, President Thierry Stern, and CEO Claude Peny. Philippe Stern marked the history of the company; to reinforce its industrial structure and consolidate its independence, with significant building projects; the creation of the Patek Philippe Museum, and the birth of exceptional timepieces such as the Calibre 89; during his time as president.Thierry Stern, appointed president in 2009 aims to ensure that Patek Philippe remains at the leading edge of watchmaking research into material sciences and technology, of which contributing to the on-going improvement of the long-term reliability and quality of its timepieces.

Patek Philippe lauched its propriety quality label for mechanical watches in 2009. The Patek Philippe Seal attests to the utmost quality of its timepieces, exceeding official standards by integrating all competencies and features of relevance in lifelong maintenance, manufacturing and precision.

Regardless of the date of completion, the Patek Philippe Seal is the only seal of quality that applies to the whole watch and assures lifetime maintenance of the watch. Governed by an independent supervisory body and detailed regulations The Patek Philippe Seal embodies all the company’s quality standards and core values, and Messrs Stern act as its main guardians.


Geneva’s oldest independent family-owned watch manufacturer; Patek Philippe its independence enables it to follow which ever path it desires, creating its own destiny whilst pursuing its long term vision. The company benefits from total freedom to be creative and innovative. Its in-house movements are developed and manufactured according to its own exceptional quality criteria and only produces watches that reflect the core values, in every aspect, its quest for the only best timepieces. Patek Philippe’s heart and spirit is independence and is the guarantee of durability, continuity, reliability and trustworthiness.


Patek Philippe, through its achievements at the cutting edge of innovation, constantly pushes back the frontiers of the watchmaking art; representing tradition at its most dynamic. Confirming Patek Philippe’s pioneering role by filing over 80 patents, twenty of which are of major importance to the history of horology. The Patek Philippe Seal was therefore designed to evolve; accommodating all the technical progress and future developments that serve to advance long-term reliability, precision and mechanical functionality.


Patek Philippe have always conceived its timepieces and exclusive creations; over 200 models are now in regular production, fitted with a vast array of in-house movements, the timepieces are produced in small series of between ten and several hundred watches. From paper to production, they earn a special place in the hearts of worldwide enthusiasts. Each Patek Philippe ; a unique creation coveted by the connoisseur due to the rigorous standards applied at each step of the long development process, months of crafting and finishing goes into each precious piece.


Patek Philippe timepieces are simply works of art which their beauty reflects the mechanical perfection; outliving passing fashions without ever losing their modernity and appeal; the exceptional creations they are. Having established its own understated, timeless style, Patek Philippe have combined elegance, discretion, personality and an aristocratic touch to inspire models with strong, refined, simple lines that have become classics. Now as always, evolving with subtle modifications enable the watches to retain all the traditional characteristics and charm.


To hear a story of love, passion and tenderness; speak to the owner of a Patek Philippe, hear how highly they speak of their timepiece. A Patek Philippe is not just a timepiece; it is a personal possession full of precious memories, pride, not just a means of telling the time. Often related to a personal event – a professional success, a marriage, a birth of a child, the death of a loved one - the sentimental value can be overwhelming. You have earned that Patek Philippe; one of the most eloquent expressions of love or affection; offering a Patek Philippe as a gift.


Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe and its history is part of Geneva’s great watchmaking tradition; the story of a unique heritage, a combination of ingenuity, passion and experience that the company proudly safeguards and revitalizes in all its disciplines and skills. Faithful to the noble artisanal techniques, its craftsmen and watchmakers perpetuate, day after day, the beautiful, timeless gestures and the deftness of touch and the sharpness of the eye have always distinguished the fine art of watchmaking. With the most advanced technology these skills thrive in perfect harmony.

Quality and Fine Workmanship

To develop, manufacture and assemble the finest timepieces in the world was the one and only goal that Antoine Norbert de Patek and Adrien Philippe had. Today, more than ever “fine workmanship” and “quality” remain the first words brought to mind when describing a Patek Philippe; in every aspect, whether in terms of the external elements or the movement, the aesthetic aspects or the technical; the rate of accuracy or the performance of each function of the timepiece, President of Patek Philippe - Thierry Stern and his father, Honorary President - Philippe Stern – personally stand by all the commitments embodied in the Patek Philippe Seal, the most exclusive of quality hallmarks.


A Patek Philippe commands a high price; as the product of an extraordinary amount of time, care and knowledge; it will fully retain or even increase in value over the years. Any Patek Philippe is an investment piece, and investment for now and an investment for the future. At auction many of our timepieces have fetched record-setting sums achieving cult status. The great sentimental value that a Patek Philippe usually acquires in the eyes of its owner makes each one a treasured family heirloom not to mention the solid reputation amongst collectors, the status it gives you for even owning a Patek Philippe, as you do not buy a Patek Philippe; You earn a Patek Philippe.


Patek Philippe works with a handpicked distribution network to provide a service to uphold its reputation. In over 70 countries with almost 500 retailers are representing the company having been selected according to Patek Philippe’s stringent specifications. Patek Philippe believes that it has a duty to provide the highest standard of after-sales service possible, and has made this a key criterion and requirement of the Patek Philippe Seal. This ensures the owener of the timepiece that the watch will continue to receive the required care and attention to remain as reliable as ever, generation to generation.


To become the custodian of a scientific artistic tradition is to acquire a Patek Philippe; handed down with love and care and will continue to inspire the family to earn their very own. It is the ticket to a world of a family company where from father to son, mother to daughter, each generation dedicated to perpetuating this unique heritage, a prized family heirloom to remain within the family for generations. To earn your own Patek Philippe is also to welcome your own family into a tradition designed to last and accompany successive generations, signifying you beginning your very own tradition, creating a bridge between the past and the future.

May 1st 1839
Antoni Patek (Businessman) and François Czapek (Watchmaker); two Polish immigrants; joined forces to found "Patek, Czapek & Cie" in Geneva.

Patek met French watchmaker; Jean-Adrien Philippe; in Paris where he presented his pioneering stem winding and setting system by the crown.

Czapek decided to leave the company and to continue on his own, the company name then changed to "Patek & Cie".

Adrien Philippe officially became associated with the company, it was renamed "Patek Philippe& Cie", before changing again in 1901 to "Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A.".

Charles and Jean Stern, two brothers purchased the company; owners of a fine dial manufacturer in Geneva. Since then, "Patek Philippe S.A." remains a family owned firm.

Thierry Stern became president and his father Philippe Stern, Honorary president; officailly transferring the company presidency from the 3rd to the 4th generation.

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