“You never really own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” With Patek Philippe swiftly becoming a household name in luxury, these famous words from its Generation campaign ring truer than ever before. Everyone loves this beautiful brand but as there are so many different facets to it, do we really know why?
Here’s the good news: This month you can figure it out for yourself. At the upcoming Patek Philippe Watch Art Grand Exhibition at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, indulge to your heart’s desire.
And while we await this one-of-a-kind event of epic proportions, instead of twiddling your thumbs, how about a quick refresher? We went to the one in London, please trust us when we say there’s going to be a lot to take in.
So rather than be overwhelmed by the avalanche of exhibits, scroll through this list of cool facts about Patek Philippe. You’ll be glad you did.
1. Formerly knowns as Patek, Czapek & Cie, the company was initially co-founded by a Polish and a Czech watchmaker
French watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe joined the firm shortly after.
2. Its present owners, the Stern family, owned the company that supplies its dials
Patek Philippe has always been a family owned company.
3. All platinum models have a single diamond subtly set on the case at six o’clock
4. Patek Philippe made the world’s first minute repeater
It was a platinum model with a chainlink bracelet intended for a Mrs DO Wickham from America.
5. Patek Philippe created the first perpetual calendar wristwatch in 1925
6. Patek Philippe doesn’t make simple date indications
Every watch with a date display is either an annual calendar or above, with the exception of 2019 Ref. 5212A which is a weekly calendar.
7. Patek Philippe invented the annual calendar movement in 1996
8. The famous Nautilus was designed in 1976 by the same guy who did the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Gerald Genta
This model in steel with a blue dial is the most sought-after Patek Philippe today.
9. Not everybody can buy a Patek Philippe grand complication
These are known as application watches. The company reserves the right to decide to whom a grand complication goes. Patek Philippe does this to prevent the pieces from ending up in the grey market.
10. Queen Victoria purchased a Patek Philippe in 1851
It was a chatelaine watch in yellow gold, decorated with powder blue enamel.
11. Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 is the world’s most expensive steel wristwatch
This watch was sold in 2017 at a Phillips Auction for CHF11 million.
12. Einstein bought a Patek Philippe in 1915 when he completed his theory of relativity
13. Calibre 240 was made in 1977 during the Quartz Revolution
14. Patek Philippe was the first to introduce a silicon escapement in 2005
A part of the Advanced Research collection, that watch Ref 5250 was the first of many more innovations to come.
15. The iconic Calatrava is a descendent of the Ref. 96, the quintessential Patek Philippe watch
16. Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern personally vets every single minute repeater that leaves the manufacture
17. Patek Philippe has made three special dome clocks dedicated to Singapore’s 2015 SG50 celebrations
These watches were auctioned for charity and raised $5 million for special needs, community and cultural causes in Singapore.