Patek Philippe has managed to hold on to a superior reputation within the Swiss watch industry. Since the company was founded over 177 years ago. They are renowned for creating complications, diver’s watches and dress watches of the very highest quality. In 2008 the brand declared that they would no longer send their in-house developed movements off for inspection by the Geneva Seal Bureau, and would instead affix its very own Patek Philippe Seal to its movements. The “PP” emblem is now adorned to the surface of all the company’s movements made after this date.
A glimpse into Patek Philippe the brand
Patek Philippe has no equal when it comes to creating complications like their exquisite perpetual calendars, split-second chronographs and minute repeaters. Every wristwatch is crafted from a superior blend of high-grade materials and equipped with a hand-crafted and hand-assembled movement. The manufacture of each beautiful Patek Philippe watch since 1832 has been carried out under the Stern family name, which is now into its fourth generation.
Patek Philippe watches are so desirable and so valuable because of their rarity. Even their simplest of models can take up to 9 months to manufacture – other complications like the Sky Moon Tourbillon, for example, can take around 2 years to complete. The manufacturing process of a Patek Philippe watch simply can’t be short-cut. Here’s a list of 5 of the most popular Patek Philippe collections.
The first Patek Philippe Calatrava watch was created in 1932. Its purist round dial design is simple and uncluttered, making it one of the most indulgent yet classic dress watches of its time. Many of the ladies’ versions feature diamonds embedded around rose gold, yellow gold or white gold bezels. Slim shard-like hour markers are accompanied by a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock in some models, whilst others feature a practical date window at 3 o’clock. Patek Philippe complete these models on authentic leather straps in a myriad of colours including traditional brown and black to a vivid purple or blue colour, as well as grey and black satin straps.
The Ellipse watch was launched in 1968. Its unusual case shape, which lies somewhere in between a circle and a rectangle, is presented in 18ct gold and was inspired by an ancient Greek principle that has been used in art and architecture for centuries. The models feature a simple two-handed dial design, a polished leather strap and indexes that either match the finish of a rose gold or platinum case.
The rounded octagonal bezel of a Nautilus watch is enhanced by a porthole-inspired case crafted from rose gold, white gold or stainless steel. Some of the models are showered in hundreds of scintillating diamonds, others, with their blue, smoky grey and silver-coloured dials, are highly valued for their practical and functional designs. Nautilus watches often appreciate and have become one of the most collectable Patek Philippe watches of all time.
Patek Philippe took inspiration from the Nautilus watch when creating the Aquanaut models. With improved water resistance, however, and a more rounded case profile, these watches became another collectable in high demand. The iconic “Tropical” strap which promises saltwater-resistant, UV radiation-resistant and wear-resistant properties, can be worn deep underwater or with a suit whilst still exuding sophistication on the wrist.
The Grand Complications
There are currently around 32 horological complications belonging to this Patek Philippe watch collection. Twice within the last two years, the company has created the most complicated portable timepiece. The perpetual calendars are displayed on rich blue, cream, silvery-white and ivory lacquered dials. Their ultra-thin movements provide features like; the day, the date and the month as well as a moon phase display and a leap year indicator.