Patek Philippe Watches
Patek Philippe is one of the world’s oldest and most-revered luxury watch companies. Over two centuries, they have pioneered countless pieces of technology, with the vast majority of their inventions going on to fuel the advancement of modern-day watchmaking. The brand is famed for industry-leading designs, its rich history and impeccable craftsmanship.
The History of Patek Philippe
Formed in 1851, Patek Philippe came about thanks to the union of watchmakers Antoine Norbert de Patek and Jean Adrien Philippe, each of whom were already well-established in the industry. Patek was fresh from a failed partnership with François Czapek, a union that created several exceptional timepieces. Philippe, on the other hand, was becoming known as a driving force for innovation within the industry, having received a bronze medal for his keyless winding and hand setting system at the Industrial Exposition in Paris. In 1845, the duo produced their first pocket watch together using Philippe’s pioneering systems. This was followed by the “Duke of Regla” Westminster chime pocket watch in 1910, the very first complicated ladies’ timepiece with a five-minute repeater in 1916, the first split-seconds chronograph in 1923 and the firm’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch two years later.
During their first few years, Patek Philippe were exclusively serving high-class clientele. However, Patek knew that the brand needed to think bigger and expand its operations abroad. He therefore travelled to the United States in 1851 to begin working with luxury brand Tiffany & Co – a partnership that still exists today. In 1853, Patek Philippe took part in the Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations in New York City, where they won a silver medal. This feat was repeated at the World’s Fair in the same city just two years later. Thanks to Patek’s efforts, the brand made a lasting impression on the American audience, the same highly-regarded reputation that still exists today. While Patek was focusing on the business, Philippe remained committed to innovation. In 1861, he finalised and patented his keyless stem-winding and setting mechanism. Two years later, he produced the company’s first pocket watch with a tourbillon, followed by the brand’s very first wristwatch in 1868.
Surviving Tough Times
By the 1920s, however, the firm was struggling to stay afloat. It was saved by American banker Henry Graves Jr, who was a longtime fan of the brand. He became a patron of the company and amassed a collection of some of their most complex timepieces, one of which was the Patek Philippe Supercomplication – considered to be a “holy grail” of wristwatches. The timepiece took eight years to design and manufacture, making it the most complicated timepiece ever made. It later became referred to as the Henry Graves Supercomplication.
The company, and indeed the world’s markets as a whole, then took a huge hit in the Great Depression, with Patek Philippe urgently seeking outside investment. This came in the form of the Stern brothers, Jean and Charles Henri in 1932. That same year, the company launched the Calatrava Reference 96 – a timepiece that is so revered it is still part of the Patek Philippe collection to this day. In 1968, the company introduced the Golden Ellipse collection, followed by the first Nautilus model in 1976. For their 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek Philippe unveiled the most complicated watch ever made, the Calibre 89.
Modern Day Patek Philippe Watches
The 21st Century has seen the launch of many Patek Philippe watches, such as the 10-day Tourbillon Reference 5101P and the Annual Calendar Reference 5250. The latter boasted the first escape wheel for a Swiss lever escapement made from new silicon-based material. In 2011, the brand also saw the introduction of the Oscillomax ensemble, which incorporated the Pulsomax escapement, GyromaxSi balance and Spiromax balance spring.
More recently, Patek Philippe has focused a lot on ladies’ watches. In 2009, the brand introduced the Ladies First Chronograph (alongside the introduction of the CH 29-535 PS movement), while 2011 saw the launch of the Ladies First Minute Repeater Reference 7000R. Two further models were brought to market in 2018, which were the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time and the Twenty-4.
Second Hand Patek Philippe Watches from Blowers Jewellers
At Blowers Jewellers, we are just as passionate about luxury timepieces and other jewellery items as you are. We are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the item of their dreams – whether they be Patek Philippe watches or something entirely different. Our team understands that purchasing jewellery is an extremely personal experience, which is why we will get to know your tastes and requirements before using our unrivalled expertise to recommend what we believe is the best option for you.
We stock a wide variety of pre-owned Patek Philippe watches, all of which are available for viewing at our specialist boutique in Hull and by our appointment at our office in London’s Mayfair. Each piece has been hand-picked by our team of experts and comes with a warranty from twelve months for five years.
If you are instead looking to part with your timepiece, we can either buy it outright or provide you with a generous part-exchange option. In either case, simply provide us with a few details about your Patek Philippe watch and we will reply with a valuation of what we believe is the best possible price within just 48 hours.
Throughout our history, Blowers Jewellers has cultivated a reputation for the quality of our service and expertise. We are dedicated to providing independent and specialist advice whenever needed, so you can be confident that everything is being taken care of.
For more information about how Blowers Jewellers can help you, contact a member of our team today or visit us in person. We will do everything we can to assist.