Patek Philippe is one of the highest regarded watchmakers in the world. With a brand dating back to 1839, they have built a reputation based on quality, craftsmanship and prestige.
Purchasing a Patek Phillipe watch can typically cost anything from a few thousand pounds up to closer to £100,000. In fact, seven of the top ten most expensive watches ever sold at auction have been Patek Phillipes, selling for up to $32million.
But why are Patek Philippe watches expensive? Is the high price tag a fair representation of the product, or are you only paying for the name?
Why are Patek Philippe Watches Expensive?
To the average person on the street, the price tag for a Patek Philippe watch may seem eye watering, but there are a number of reasons that make the brand stand out amongst a packed crowd of luxury watchmakers.
Here are just a few reasons why Patek Philippe watches have such a high price tag and why you shouldn’t be put off.
Craftsmanship & Quality
If you’re going to pay top dollar you expect to have a top timepiece adorning your wrist. Patek Philippe, perhaps more than any other brand in the world, represents an unmatched level of elegance and sophistication.
Attention to detail and unmatched quality are at the core of every Patek Philippe watch. The brand prides itself on staying with the times, continuously innovating without ever compromising on the time honoured quality or the intricate detail and hand finished style they have employed since its creation.
In 2008 Patek Philippe introduced its own seal of quality, The Patek Phillipe Seal, ending a 123 year affiliation with the industry standard Geneva Seal. The decision was made to establish modern, more rigid requirements to maintain a higher standard of excellence across the board.
Due to the unprecedented standard of quality within the company, each individual watch produced by Patek Philippe takes months, if not years to complete. The hundreds of parts in each watch are all handcrafted by master watchmakers. This allows them to carefully monitor everything
that goes into each timepiece and guarantee that every part in their watch from top to bottom is of the highest quality possible.
In the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash, Patek Philippe was purchased by the Stern Family, with the deal being completed in 1932. The Stern family had long been close with the brand, and had been suppliers of master crafted dials for years. The ethos and vision of the Stern family matched that of Patek Philippe, to preserve the heritage and unmatched quality of Swiss watchmaking.
The Stern Family still run Patek Philippe to this day, they haven’t been sold out to big money investors in The United States or China. The lifeblood and history of a family business creating breathtaking pieces of art from Genevan workshops remains to this day, no matter the success of the company.
Over the years some of the most famous faces in history have worn Patek Philippe watches; from rap royalty to actual royalty, nobel prize winners to The Beatles. Famous faces have always been attracted to the Patek Philippe brand for its exclusivity and its status as a symbol of power and wealth.
Queen Victoria bought a Patek Philippe for herself and Prince Albert at the Great Exhibition of 1851 at The Crystal Palace, and the Swiss watchmakers have been a firm favourite of British Royalty ever since.
Artistry & Design
The true beauty and artistry of a Patek Philippe watch lies in its design, the intricate movements and the perfect, minute details of each individual part.
The design of a Patek Philippe is unmatched. Every detail is perfect; from the polished hands to the engravings and stones attached to the outside.
The high-quality and intricacy of each individual part of the watch means that many of the more subtle aspects of the process need around 40-60 steps to complete.
The complexity of the process is not reserved for the inside of the watch. The brand’s paintwork and engraving are also done by hand, making sure that each brush stroke is perfect and each letter engraved is in the exact right spot.
Value & Scarcity
It is believed that less than one million watches have passed through the walls of Patek Philippe from conception to completion since the company’s founding in 1939. Another of the largest, most prestigious Swiss watchmakers in the world, Rolex are reported to produce between 800,000 and 1,000,000 watches every year.
This scarcity, stemming from the intricate and long watchmaking process, mean that Patek Philippe watches have developed an aura of exclusivity.
Simple economics states that the more exclusive and scarce an item is, the more the item’s value increases. Human nature has always been predicated on aspiring to have something others do not. Wars have been fought over it and people have dedicated their lives to this way of thinking.
The resale value of Patek Philip trumps all other watches. From vintage Pateks to modern ones, you can know that Patek Philippe watches are your best bet at having a master crafted watch that won’t depreciate in value. Historically, some Patek’s have nearly doubled in value at auction immediately after purchase. A Patek Philippe purchased for hundreds in the ‘50’s will fetch tens of thousands today.
As a prospective owner, it can be reassuring to know that your timepiece won’t lose most of its value the second you purchase it. The brand uses the slogan ‘you can never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely preserve it for the next generation. This is down to the watches longevity in both quality and value.
Second Hand Patek Philippe Watches at Blowers Jewellers
In the end, the question of why are Patek Philippe watches expensive, and are they right for you comes down to multiple factors.
Patek Philippe’s understated elegance and intricacy mean that everybody who owns one knows that they have the crème de la crème in craftsmanship, heritage, value, and design on their wrist.
If you are considering purchasing a Patek Philippe watch, as the centrepiece of your collection, or as an investment, Blowers Jewellers provide a service you can trust.
Decades of experience in luxury watches and jewellery make us perfectly equipped to help you find the perfect watch for you – no matter what you’re looking for we can help.