Retrograde 5059J Perpetual Calendar 18K Yellow Gold FULL SET
Below is our current in stock inventory of Patek Philippe watches. If you have a Patek Philippe watch you are interested in selling or trading please contact us.
Annual Calendar 5146P Grey Dial Platinum FULL SET
Ref. No 5146P-001
Patek Philippe Calatrava Platinum Automatic Diamond Dial
Ref. No 3998P
Calatrava Manual Wind Enamel Dial 18K White Gold
Ref. No 5115G-001
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5088/100P Volutes & Arabesques Platinum
Ref. No 5088/100P
(40095) Patek Philippe 5059 J Retrograde Perpetual Calendar, 18k yellow gold on a strap with an 18k yellow gold folding deployant buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 315 S-QR movement, perpetual calendar with retrograde date display, day, date, month, moonphase, leap year, half hunter display caseback, diameter: 36mm, thickness: 12.2mm, sapphire crystal, water resistant. Like new with Patek Philippe winding box and papers date...
$39,900See More Pictures
(39820) Patek Philippe 5396R Annual Calendar, 5396R-011, 5396, 18k rose gold on a strap with an 18k rose gold deployant buckle, automatic movement, caliber: 324 S QA LU 24H, date, moonphase and 24-hour indication at 6 o'clock, day and month windows at 12 o'clock, centered sweep second hand, silver dial stamped by Tiffany & Co above 6 o'clock , 35-45 hours power reserve, diameter: 38mm, thickness: 11.5mm, sapphire crystal, display b...
$52,500See More Pictures
(38751) Patek Philippe 3514/4 Calatrava Automatic Circa 1970s, 18k yellow gold on an integrated 18k yellow gold bracelet with a Patek signed buckle (the bracelet will fit up to a 7 1/4 inch wrist), the yellow gold case is in excellent condition with a deep hallmark on the crown side of the case, automatic Patek Philippe Caliber 27-460M movement with Genève seal, sunburst champagne dial with applied hour markers, double signed by th...
$14,500See More Pictures
(38231) Patek Philippe 5146 J Annual Calendar Moonphase 5146/1J-001, 51461J001, 18k yellow gold on a 18k yellow gold bracelet with an 18k yellow gold deployant buckle, automatic movement, annual calendar, day, date, month, moon phase, power reserve indicator, centered sweep second hand, porcelain dial with applied numerals and hour markers, diameter: 39 mm, thickness: 11.2 mm, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant to 2.5 ...
$48,500See More Pictures
(40797) Patek Philippe 3940R Perpetual Calendar 3940R, 3940R, a very early 3940R from the late 1980s, 18K rose gold on a strap with an 18K rose gold tang buckle, automatic perpetual calendar (English) with, day, date, month, moonphase, 24-hour indicator, leap year indicator, silver dial with rose gold stick markers, sapphire crystal, water resistant, diameter: 36mm, thickness: 9mm. Like New with original Patek box and certificate d...
$76,500See More Pictures
(40883) Patek Philippe Chronograph 5070P, 5070 P, platinum case on a strap with a matching platinum deployant buckle, the platinum case is in outstanding original condition and does not appear to have been polished, manual wind Lemania caliber 27-70 movement, two register chronograph, beautiful sunburst blue dial with applied charcoal-colored Arabic numerals, base 1000 tachymeter scale, charcoal leaf hands with applied Arabic numer...
$235,000See More Pictures
(40729) Patek Philippe 3466 Calatrava, very rare and one of the only vintage stainless steel watches from Patek Philippe with an automatic movement, stainless steel case is in excellent condition showing minimal wear, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 27-460, original silver sunburst dial with applied hour markers is bold and clean, co-signed by retailer Huber within the sub seconds, acrylic crystal, solid screw down case back, Hube...
$36,900See More Pictures
(40726) Patek Philippe 3940 P Perpetual Calendar 3940P 3940P-011, a very early variation of the 3940P from the early 1990s, platinum on a strap with a platinum deployant buckle, automatic Patek Philippe cailber 240 Q movement, perpetual calendar (English) with day, date, month, moonphase, 24-hour indicator, leap year indicator, silver dial with applied hour index markers, dauphine hands, sapphire crystal, solid case back, water res...
$99,900See More Pictures
(40500) Patek Philippe Calatrava 2526 Automatic "First Series", the 2526 is the first self-winding watch made by Patek Philippe with its iconic and over designed 12-600AT caliber, 18k yellow gold case on the original yellow gold brick bracelet that is long and will easily fit a 7.5" wrist, the bracelet is stamped Patek Philippe 3 / 1954, the first series white porcelain-enamel dial is in outstanding original condition and free of a...
$86,500See More Pictures
(40869) Patek Philippe 5050 Retrograde Perpetual Calendar 5050P, 950 platinum case on a strap with a matching platinum tang buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 315-s-QR aut movement, silver dial with applied baton numerals, central sweep seconds hands, day, date, sapphire crystal, display back, diameter: 36mm, thickness: 10.6mm, Excellent condition with Patek Philippe Winding Box and extract from the archives dated 1999.
$89,500See More Pictures
(40868) Patek Philippe 5101R 10 Day Tourbillon, 5101R-001, 5101R, rose gold three step tonneau "art deco" case with rose gold tang buckle, manual wind Patek Philippe caliber 28-20 with hidden tourbillon, 10-day power reserve, COSC, silver dial with applied rose gold Arabic numerals, curved sapphire crystal, display back showing the tourbillon cage, size 30mm x 51mm, thickness 12.2mm. Like New with original box, COSC certificate, pr...
$209,500See More Pictures
(40470) Patek Philippe 5170G Chronograph, 5170G-001, 5170G001, 18k white gold on a strap with an 18k white gold deployant buckle, manual wind Patek Philippe caliber CH 29-535 PS, 65-hour power reserve, 30-minute chronograph, silver dial with pulsation scale and arabic numerals, sapphire crystal, display back, size: 39mm, thickness: 8.5mm, Like New with Patek Philippe box and papers dated August of 2014.
$69,900See More Pictures
(40377) Patek Philippe 5235/50R-001 Annual Calendar Regulator, 523550R001, 18K rose gold on an alligator strap with a rose gold tang buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 REG, 48-hour power reserve, annual calendar with day, date and month apertures, two tone charcoal grey dial with a vertical satin finish, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant, size: 40.5, thickness: 11mm. Like New with Patek Philippe box and p...
$56,900See More Pictures
(40375) Patek Philippe 5320G Perpetual Calendar Grande Complication, 5320G-001, 5320G001, 18k white gold case on an alligator strap with an 18k white gold Patek Philippe deployment buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 324SQ movement, perpetual calendar with day and month windows at 12 o'clock, moonphase and pointer date at 6 o'clock, small round windows for the leap year and day/night indicator, 48 hour power reserve, cream col...
$84,500See More Pictures
(40854) Patek Philippe 5236P-001 In Line Perpetual Calendar, New model for 2021 and based on a vintage pocket watch produced in the 1970's, .950 platinum case (with styling cues taken from the iconic reference 3448 perpetual calendar) on a strap with a matching .950 platinum folding deployant buckle, newly developed Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 PS QL movement consisting of 503 parts, 48-hour power reserve, automatic with micro rot...
$169,500See More Pictures
(40557) Patek Philippe 5235G Annual Calendar Regulator, 5235G-001, 5235G001, 18K white gold on an alligator strap with a white gold tang buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 REG, 48-hour power reserve, annual calendar with day, date and month apertures, two tone silver dial with a vertical satin finish, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant, size: 40.5, thickness: 11mm. Like New with Patek Philippe box and pap...
$48,500See More Pictures
(40346) Patek Philippe 6000 G Calatrava, 6000G-012, 6000G, 6000G012, 18K white gold on a strap with an 18K white gold deployant buckle, automatic Patek Philippe Caliber 240 PS movement, date around the dial, small seconds at 5 O'clock, blue dial with white arabic numerals, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant, diameter: 37mm, thickness: 9mm. Like New with box, booklets, and archive certificate dated 2015.
$29,900See More Pictures
(39898) Patek Philippe 3945/1 3945J FIRST SERIES, 18k yellow gold case on an integrated 18 yellow gold bracelet, the watch will currently fit approximately a 7 1/2" wrist. Automatic Patek Philippe caliber 240Q movement, white dial with day, date, month, leap year, moonphase, am/pm indicator, applied gold stick indexes and yellow gold dauphine shaped hands, first series dial with sunken subdails, diameter: 36mm, thickness: 9mm, Exce...
$49,900See More Pictures
(40139) Patek Philippe 5940 J Ultra Thin Cushion Shaped Perpetual Calendar, 5940J-001, 5940J001, 18k yellow gold on a strap with an 18k yellow gold tang buckle, Automatic Movement (Caliber 240 Q), Day, Date, Month, Year, moon phases, 24 hours indicator, silver dial with gold applied stick markers, sapphire crystal, display back, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 30 meters, 48 hours power reserve, size: 37mm x 44.6mm, thickness: ...
$51,500See More Pictures
(40177) Patek Philippe 5204R Split Second Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, 5204R-001, 5204R001, 18k rose gold case with an 18k rose gold deployant buckle, manual wind Patek Philippe caliber CHR 29‑535 PS Q, day, month, leap year, day/night indicators, date at 6 o'clock, silver opaline dial with applied rose gold luminous hour markers, split second function done through the crown, sapphire display back, size 40.2mm, thickness 14.3mm....
$243,500See More Pictures
(40115) Patek Philippe 5035 Annual Calendar 5035G, 18k white gold on a strap with an 18k white deployment buckle, automatic Patek caliber 315 movement, annual calendar with day, date & month, 24 hour indicator at 6 o'clock, centered sweep seconds hand, display back, sapphire crystal, water resistant, diameter: 37mm, thickness: 10.5mm, Like new with box and Papers dated October 2001.
$30,500See More Pictures
(40378) Patek Philippe 5905P Complications Blue Dial, 5905P-001, platinum case with a platinum tang buckle, automatic Patek Philippe caliber ch28-250 QA 24h movement, annual calendar displayed through the windows, flyback chronograph, blue sunburst dial with applied white gold indices, sapphire crystal, display back, size 42mm, thickness 13.8mm. Like New with Patek box and papers dated May of 2019.
$109,500See More Pictures
(40508) Patek Philippe 5159R Perpetual Calendar Retrograde, 5159R-001, 5159R001, 18k rose gold on a strap with an 18k rose gold deployant buckle, automatic movement, day, retrograde date, month, moon phase, leap year, centered sweep seconds hand, half hunter case, opaline white dial with center guilloche, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 25 meters, size: 38mm, thickness: 12.4mm. Like New with winding box and papers dated Decemb...
$69,900See More Pictures
(40370) Patek Philippe 6000G Calatrava 6000G-001 6000G001, 18K white gold on a strap with an 18K white gold deployant buckle, automatic movement, calendar date, small seconds at 5 o'clock, black dial with white Arabic numerals, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant, diameter: 37mm, thickness: 9mm. Like New with original box and papers from December of 2006.
$25,900See More Pictures
(40618) Patek Philippe 5146 P Annual Calendar, 5146P-001, 5146P, platinum on a strap with a platinum deployant buckle, automatic Patek caliber 324 S movement, annual calendar, day, date, month, moonphase, power reserve indicator, centered sweep seconds hand, grey dial with applied numerals, diamond on the case at 6 O'Clock, sapphire crystal, display back, water resistant to 2.5 atm, diameter: 39mm, thickness: 11.2mm. Like New with ...
$47,500See More Pictures
(40707) Patek Philippe 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, 5270G-013, this dial configuration has now been discontinued and is one of the rarest 5270 variants produced with distinguished tachometre scale, 18K white gold with an 18K white gold deployant buckle, manual wind Patek Philippe caliber CH 29-535, perpetual calendar, leap year indicator, day / night indicator, 65-hour power reserve, light dial with "chin" tachometre scale,...
$175,000See More Pictures
(39903) Patek Philippe 5002P 5002P-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon introduced in 2000, the 5002 is the first generation of the Sky Moon Tourbillon by Patek Philippe. At the time of its introduction it was the most complicated wrist watch ever made by Patek Philippe. The 5002P was replaced by the ornate and heavily decorated 6002 in 2014. All Sky Moon Tourbillons are incredibly important but the 5002 represents outstanding value given its ...
$2,890,000See More Pictures
(38712) Patek Philippe 3483 Vintage Calatrava, very rare stainless steel reference by Patek Philippe, the stainless steel case is in excellent condition and shows very minimal wear, manual wind Patek Philippe caliber 27 SC, original silver sunburst dial with white gold applied indexes has a nice and even patina, white gold hands, center sweep seconds, size 35mm, thickness 10mm, Excellent Condition with Patek Philippe Extract from t...
$27,500See More Pictures
(40404) Patek Philippe 5030P Gondolo Tonneau 5030P-001, 5030P001, .950 platinum tonneau case with a matching platinum deployant clasp, automatic Patek Philippe caliber 315 SC movement, black dial with diamond hour markers and leaf hands, date at 3 o'clock, sapphire crystal, solid case back, size 34mm, thickness 8mm. Like New with Patek box and papers dated August of 1997.
$32,900See More Pictures
(40194) Patek Philippe 5350R Advanced Research Annual Calendar, 5350R-001, limited edition to 300 pieces, 18k rose gold on a strap with an 18k rose gold deployant buckle, automatic movement (Calibre 324 S IRM QA LU), silicon escape wheel, Spiromax balance spring, annual calendar, day, date, month, moon phase, power reserve indicator, centered sweep second hand, grey dial with applied numerals and hour markers, diameter: 39 mm, thic...
$56,500See More Pictures
(40230) Patek Philippe 5015P Moon Phase Power Reserve, 5015, .950 platinum on a strap with a matching platinum tang buckle, automatic movement, moon phase, offset constant seconds & power reserve indicator, white porcelain dial, hinged back case with movement display, sapphire crystal, water-resistant, diameter: 36mm, thickness: 10mm. Like New with Patek Philippe box and extract from the archive dated February of 1995. The watch w...
$29,900See More Pictures
(38755) Patek Philippe 5139 Perpetual Calendar, 5139G-010, 5139G, 5139G010, 18k white gold case with a white gold deployment buckle, iconic hobnail bezel, automatic Patek Philippe perpetual calendar 240 Q caliber, day, date, month, moon phase and leap year indicator, black matte dial with white gold applied indexes, leaf style hands, white accents complement nicely against the dial, sapphire crystal, display back, size 38mm, thickn...
$46,900See More Pictures
(40206) Patek Philippe 5022 J Calatrava, 5022J, 5022G-013, 18k yellow gold on a strap with an 18k yellow gold buckle, manual wind Patek Philippe 215 caliber, small seconds at 6 O'Clock, off-white dial with black Arabic numerals, sapphire crystal, water resistant to 2.5 atm, size: 33.3mm, thickness: 6.75mm, Like New with Patek Philippe Box and papers dated 2001.
$13,900See More Pictures
As rare and finely constructed timepieces, Patek Philippe watches are excellent stores of value. Recently, the collecting public’s attention has been focused mainly on sports models like the Nautilus and Aquanaut, which in turn resulted in a meteoric increase in the prices for these models. In 2017, a stainless steel Nautilus ref. 5711/1A-001 was worth around $35,000. Now, after the model was discontinued in 2021, the 5711 is worth well over $100,000. Apart from the sports models, other more complicated references in the Patek Philippe catalog such as the 3970, 5970, 5270, and many others have also seen dramatic increases in the past few years.
Patek Philippe does not officially disclose the number of watches it produces each year but industry experts estimate that the company puts out roughly 60,000 watches annually.
Patek Philippe is currently owned by the Stern family of Switzerland who acquired the company in 1932 from members of the founding Philippe family. The current president is Thierry Stern and his father, Philippe Stern, acts as Honorary President. The Sterns are heavily involved in all aspects of Patek Philippe's business, including both marketing and production. Both Thierry and Philippe have been credited with some of Patek Philippe's most notable references, including the 3970 and 5970. It has been reported that Thierry Stern personally evaluates the quality, and particularly the sound, of every minute repeater that leaves the Patek Philippe manufacture.
The Patek Philippe seal is a symbol used by the company to guarantee quality. In use since 2009, the seal guarantees the quality of the entire watch, not just the movement, and covers the standard of finishing, aesthetics, and reliability. The Patek Philippe seal also guarantees the accuracy of the watch, with a tolerance of no more than -3/+2 seconds per day which is stricter than the COSC industry standard of -4/+6 seconds per day.
The Calatrava Cross is Patek Philippe's distinctive logo. The manufacture registered the image of the Calatrava Cross in 1887, and it has since been adopted as an unmistakable identifier of the Patek Philippe brand. The logo consists of a cross, with lilies adorning each of the 4 branches. The Calatrava Cross has its origins in a 12th century order of Spanish knights.
The legacy of Patek Philippe began by the word of mouth of European royalty, perhaps the most effective form of advertising of its day. These crown heads of state eagerly sanctioned the artistry of Antoine Patek, a one-time Polish soldier who recognized the superb public relations power of monarchs. Like the earliest clockmakers, Patek received his seminal marketing advantage via kings, queens, sultans, dukes, and countesses, including Prince Christian IX and Princess Louise of Denmark, and King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. This grand company makes the worlds’ finest, most sophisticated watches, and with all due respect to the other brilliant Swiss, Italian, French, and German watchmakers, this brand occupies the top of the pyramid with legendary quality, dedication to tradition, and commitment to horologic innovation. They manufacture their own parts and movements, and it usually takes at least a year to produce each and every watch.
Patek Philippe has created and owns more innovations and “bests” than anyone else in the industry, including the first bracelet wristwatch in 1868. They made the most expensive watch ever sold in 1932, and the most complicated watch ever made in 1989. One at a time, they make the most beautifully crafted, most accurate, and complicated wristwatches in the world. They have over 80 patents on the chronograph, the perpetual calendar, the minute repeater, the Gyromax balance spring, and many dozens more.
Antoine (Antoni) Norbert de Patek (1812-1877) was a Polish soldier and veteran of the 1830 revolution against Russian domination. In 1833 he sought political asylum in France and then Geneva, Switzerland because the Russians insisted that Poles who fought in the insurrection must leave the country; he was lucky to keep his life, unlike many other Poles who had served in the war against the Russian Czar. Patek was a Renaissance intellect with talents as a warrior, a true artist, and he had great abilities in business, as well as knowledge and interests in many other areas. He became a student of Swiss painter Alexandre Calame, the prominent, romantic realist landscapist who had gained fame in Berlin as an exponent of the Dusseldorf School.
One of Antoni Patek's earliest fascinations was with horology; his preoccupation with clocks and watches trumped his other formidable talents. Living in the watch capital of the world, Patek began buying watch components and movements, eventually building a trade in fine Swiss timepieces, selling them to wealthy and influential Polish clients. He was a naturally gifted salesman, and with his instinctive appreciation for the highest quality, his business grew quickly - fueled by his combined horologic passion and an understanding of the true meaning of artistry. At the age of 27, intent on the formidable task of creating his own company, Patek formed a partnership with a fellow Polish displaced ex-soldier and watchmaker, Francois (František) Czapek, who was a year younger, and was originally born a Bohemian Czech in Somanice. They registered their new manufactory on May 1, 1839, as Patek, Czapek & Cie. Patek continued to acquire Swiss pocket watch and clock movement blanks (ebauches), as well as the finest hand-made cases from other established Swiss watch companies, who were already leading the European world in horology. Czapek, the brilliant technician, combined and reinvented the finest pocket watch components in their small shop, and being a naturally gifted designer, he also began creating his own case architecture. Patek, the Polish outsider artist, and Czapek, with his superior engineering abilities, entered into direct competition with the other Swiss watchmakers including Breguet. They were absolutely fearless, with charming old-world manners and an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit that seemed to immediately pay off. After only a year - by July of 1840 - the workshop had six experienced Polish technicians who were producing 200 timepieces a year from individual orders, while the Patek name immediately spread among wealthy clients.
In 1843 Antoni Patek was granted Swiss citizenship, and the next year he was introduced to French watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe (1814-1894), a young horologist who had invented an astonishingly thin watch as well as a revolutionary keyless winding mechanism, two remarkable steps towards the era of the wristwatch. On April 18, 1845, the firm was dissolved when Patek and Czapek had begun to have problems; their chemistry as partners appeared to be far less than a good match. Patek immediately made young Philippe the head watchmaker, and they were joined by Vincent Gostkowski, whose communication skills and pragmatic talents for numbers filled in the void. In their new agreement, Patek ran the business, direction, and marketing, Gostkowski was the firm’s accountant and correspondent, and Philippe was in charge of the manufactory. In 1845 they produced their first pocket watch with a minute repeater. By 1850 the workshop was producing Philippe’s own movement designs on the newest machinery. By 1851 Gostkowsky had left the concern, and the twin partnership of Antoni Patek and Jean Philippe was registered in Geneva as a corporation named Patek Philippe & Cie, a duo for the ages. Their first pocket watches were marked with “PP” on the dial-face, and were wound by turning the crown, which was also Philippe’s invention.
The Horologist Philippe was in charge of production and development, while the superb salesman, Patek began traveling around the world to gather wealthy and influential customers. He understood how to market to the powerful, gifting Queen Victoria with one of the newest watches during the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in 1851. It was a gift that kept on giving when at the Universal Exhibition in London in 1857, both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased new Patek Philippe pocket watches, launching the stratospheric prestige of the brand. Soon Patek Philippe was available at Rodanet in Paris, at Eli Mayer in Leipzig, and in Madrid and Moscow. Among the smitten customers were Christian IX and Princess Louise of Denmark, the Egyptian sultan Hussein Kamel, and the Italian Duke Victor Emmanuel III. As world royalty heartily embraced Patek Philippe, the firm produced the very first Swiss wristwatch for The Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1868.
With a new international consciousness, the world was described for the first time by 24 time zones in 1870, and Louis Cottier, an independent Geneva watchmaker, invented a brilliant universal time indicator mechanism allowing pocket watches to tell the local time in several world capitals. This remarkable futuristic innovation was immediately utilized in several Patek Philippe universal time watches (Currently the ref. 5230). Not long after that, Patek Philippe became one of the first watchmakers to be represented in the United States, entering into an exclusive contract with Tiffany & Co. in New York.
When Antoni Patek died at the age of 65 in 1877, Jean Philippe inherited the firm as sole owner. In 1881 Philippe patented his precision regulator, and in 1889 he registered his perpetual calendar mechanism. In 1887 the company had registered their Spanish Calatrava Cross as the Patek Philippe brand symbol. Jean passed away in 1894, but by the turn of the century, affluent and fashionable people and world leaders, including Americans, were carrying Patek Philippes.
In 1901, Patek Philippe & Cie was sold and renamed to "Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A."
In 1902 they received their patent for the split seconds chronograph, and in 1909 they created a milestone – the “Duke of Regla” coat-of-arms pocket watch, with a minute repeater that played the Westminster chimes on a grande and petite sonnerie. In 1916, during World War I, Patek introduced the first ladies’ wristwatch containing a five-minute repeating mechanism. In 1922-23 they debuted the first split-seconds chronograph wristwatch, with a round case design that’s a precursor to the Calatrava line. By this time the wristwatch was becoming wildly popular, replacing the pocket and fob watch. The European watchmakers responded to their new international demand by innovating with novel complications. In 1925 Patek Philippe brought out the first perpetual calendar wristwatch – the caliber 97925. It automatically adjusted itself for the months with only 30 or 28 days, as well as for leap years. The first was sold to American watch connoisseur Thomas Emery in 1927. Patek introduced moon phase displays, the first bracelet chronographs with split-second mechanisms, and the astounding minute repeater watches. Also, in 1927, automobile magnate James Ward Packard received his Patek Philippe astronomical pocket watch, purportedly the most complicated watch in the world, including a celestial chart with the constellations in the sky above Packard’s home in Ohio.
The economic downfall of 1929 began a slowing of production that lasted throughout the Depression and the 1930’s. By this time Patek Philippe had secured its position in the world enough to outlast the crisis, being a familiar, international premier brand, such as Rolls Royce. The company was sold again in 1932 and was purchased by the Stern brothers, Charles and Jean, who changed the firm’s name back to its prestigious and permanent Patek Philippe S.A. (The company still remains in the Stern family to this day). Despite the world's great economic depression the Stern brothers continued undaunted with their creative vision for Patek Philippe. They debuted the first model of their new, signature line – the Ref. 96 Calatrava – elegant, sleek, and the hybrid of an avant-garde aesthetic with a touch of Bauhaus simplicity. The circular Calatrava cases, whether wide or thin, with polished bezels or decorated with hobnail patterns, had an immediately identifiable style. They were described as “impervious to short term trends,” or in other words, “timeless.” The shape and solidarity of the Calatrava line became one of the world’s most copied watches. Some of the earliest were remarkable, with perpetual calendar and triple date functions, minute repeaters, and age and phases of the moon. The Stern brothers chose the name Calatrava from the legend of a Spanish religious order that defended the Calatrava Citadel against the invasion of the Moors in the Middle Ages, which fit in nicely with the Patek brand symbol, the even-quadrant Templar-like cross with its elegant filigree design.
In 1933 the Sterns held their own great international watch contest for their two best clients when millionaire banker Henry Graves competed with automobile magnate James Ward Packard for ownership of the world’s most complicated watch. After the legendary and highly talked-about Packard astronomical watch, Graves, the competitive magnate who would not be outdone, commissioned Patek to surpass the already legendary 1927 watch. Rising to the challenge, it took the company three years to engineer and produce a monumental timepiece for Graves, costing him an incredible 60,000 Swiss Francs (500 percent more than the watch belonging to Packard). Named “The Super complication,” it had a stunning two-dozen different functions, including a perpetual calendar with phases and age of the moon, with an innovative indicator of sunset and sunrise. This unique masterwork sold in 1999 for $11,000,000 at Sotheby’s, which set the record for the most expensive watch to ever sell at auction.
In 1941, at the start of World War II, Patek initiated regular manufacture of their perpetual calendar wristwatches (Ref. 1526), as well as the ref. 590 time-only watch produced from 1938 to 1948, the staples that allowed them to survive the war.
In 1944, at the Geneva Observatory Competition, Patek received a startling amount of first prizes for their popular marine chronometers, sold to officers with money in every navy. In 1948, competing with the new Japanese post-war quartz watch industry, and to the shock of the other Swiss watchmakers, Patek opened a proprietary department for the electronic quartz movement technology. They endured the old-world criticism of the other watch companies, although many of the makers of mechanical movements gave in and also eventually entered the quartz phase, even though they knew that the premier accuracy of the standardized quartz battery mechanisms couldn't replace the haute horology of the precision mechanical movements.
Patek received patents from 1949 to 1951 for their Gyromax monometallic balance wheel, defining the state of the art for enduring decades for other watchmakers as well. In 1950, in a fascinating cold war response to a technological need in the scientific communities, they introduced the ref. 2509, an antimagnetic watch designed for laboratories with high electro-magnetic fields, including the aeronautics industry such as NASA and the blossoming space programs. It had a stainless-steel case and bracelet with a soft anti-magnetic iron core for research scientists whose proximity to overwhelming magnetic fields tended to abrogate the normally metallic watch mechanisms. They introduced the ref. 2508 Calatrava in stainless-steel in 1951, ushering in a new era of more affordable and enduring “time only” fine Swiss watches that have lasted to today. The revolutionary first self-winding wristwatch, ref. 2526 was released in 1952, again installing Patek at the top of cutting-edge horology with the radical 12-600 AT movement that oscillated at a frequency of 19,800 vph (2.75 Hz), with its 18K gold guilloche rotor balance weight and swan neck index regulator.
From 1953 to 1956 Patek initiated a unique new technological era with patents for their self-winding movements. In 1956 they engineered the first totally electronic clock, and from 1959 to 1962, meeting the needs of the dawning of the jet age of personal and corporate air travelers, they were awarded patents for GMT and world time zone watches, suiting the new requirements for worldwide commerce.
During the 1960’s Patek expanded their technological edge with a new precision timekeeping record at the 1962 Geneva Observatory Competition. In 1965, after the extensive testing of every Swiss-made watch, the world learned that Patek had been the most accurate watchmaker from the years of 1880 to 1964. In 1968 they debuted the first novel model of the Ellipse line - the revolutionary oval ref. 3548, a stunning simple design with a lapis-colored blue dial. In 1976 Patek released the futuristic first example of their Nautilus sports collection in stainless steel, the ref. 3700/1. The following year they were awarded a patent for their extremely thin caliber 240 automatic movement for the Nautilus, an engine that would be placed in some of the most important timepieces ever made, including the Ellipses.
Patek introduced the first automatic completely skeletonized wristwatch in 1981, the ref. 3878, with gilded components all throughout the open-worked mechanism in an extremely thin case. In 1986 Patek was awarded their patent for the retrograde perpetual calendar, and in 1989, to mark their 150th anniversary, they released an unequaled masterpiece – their caliber 89 astronomical watch - with 33 different functions and 1,728 unique components, which was the most complicated pocket timepiece ever created; each example required nine years to produce. 1989 also brought several Patek masterpieces to further celebrate the anniversary, including their Officer's watch ref. 3960 in an edition of 2,200 examples, as well as the magnificent homage to the Patek jump hour watch of the 1920’s – the delicate tonneau-shaped ref. 3969, produced in a small edition of 500.
1993 brought the launch of the tonneau-shaped art deco-inspired Gondolo collection, beginning with ref.4824. At the Baselworld exhibition that year Patek also debuted their ref/ 5050 – the first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a retrograde date and a moon phase aperture. Their annual calendar mechanism received a patent in 1996, while their annual calendar watch (now manually adjusted only once every 365 days) was voted the watch of the year at Baselworld. They also moved into their new building in Plan-les-Ouates. In 1998 their novel state-of-winding indicator was awarded its patent, the retrograde date arc complication was introduced on the ref. 5059 watch, and they released their ref. 5055, an incredibly complicated automatic with a power reserve, a date, and moon phases. Just before the millennium, in 1999, they debuted the elegant and feminine ladies Twenty-4 collection, decorated with top Wesselton diamonds, represented by the ref. 4910/10A.
For the Millennium celebration Patek Philippe created an incredible double-sided pocket watch – the Star Caliber 2000 - which had 21 complications. Also being introduced was the deco-tonneau design watch with a 10-day power reserve ref. 5100, in a limited edition of 3100 with different precious metals. In 2001 they debuted the most complicated double face wristwatch ever made, the spectacular Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 5002, and in 2003 they brought out the rectangular Art Deco 10-Day Tourbillon ref. 5101. In 2005 Patek advanced research announced a watch using their new silicon escape wheel, and in 2006 the Spiromax® silicon-based balance spring was introduced. The 30th anniversary of the Nautilus collection coincided with the newly renovated Geneva Salon in 2006, and in that same year the Geneva seal of quality, which had been stamped on every Patek watch, was replaced by the Pate Philippe quality seal.
In 2009 Philippe Stern, the 3rd generation chairman of the Stern family ownership of Patek Philippe, passed the torch to his son Thierry, who accepted the role of president.
The Patek factories, with 200 skilled professional workers, and the museum, is still located in Geneva; with the enhanced complexity of the watches and the evolved high prices, production is understandably lower. During Patek's 160 years in the business, they have manufactured 600,000 watches, with the average timepiece requiring at least nine months to complete, with the more complicated watches taking even longer. The entire process takes place at the Patek factory by thoroughly trained master technicians with unequalled abilities, who labor in the company’s specialized workshops.
There are currently eight official lines produced by Patek Philippe. Each style reflects philosophy of design, knowledge of the past, and the traditional Patek virtue of always looking to the future. There are some vintage as well as recent adjunct model lines such as the Square, the Tank, the Pagoda, and the Top Hat, precursors to the Gondolo collection.
The Calatrava is still Patek’s signature model. From its debut with the iconic ref. 96 during the beleaguered Great Depression days of 1932, the Calatrava watches invoke Patek Philippe's precision, novel artistry and style. The Calatravas have elegantly thin cases with broad polished bezels or hobnail high relief surrounding the dials. Noting the immediate popularity of these watches, nearly all the Swiss watchmakers have tried to copy them, trying to capture the sleek lines and elegance; however, Calatrava is unique to Patek Philippe. With the immediate popularity and acclaim for this new, elegant offering, the Stern brothers adopted the Calatrava cross as their now familiar company logo from the legend of a Spanish religious order that defended the Calatrava Citadel against the invasion of the Moors in the Middle Ages, fitting nicely with the traditional Patek brand symbol of the Spanish knight. The Calatrava quickly became known as the epitome of the round wristwatch, as well as the most recognizable example of the Patek Philippe style. Supremely elegant, it affects every new generation of watch aficionados with its timeless simplicity and perfection. As of 2021 there are 15 Calatrava models for men and women, available in white, rose gold, and platinum.
The Nautilus was first introduced in 1976 and was a contemporary horologic revolution, a sports watch based on the universal shape of the porthole of a maritime vessel. The first Nautilus 3700/1, was made in stainless steel, but the line has been expanded into rose and white gold, with several complications, some with encrusted diamonds and metal bracelets, making them suitable as dress watches instead of just a sports watch. The Nautilus is known for its octagonal bezel, its porthole-shaped case, and dials with horizontal embossed stripes. In forty-years it has evolved into a collection of exciting examples for both men and women. As of 2021 there are 31 models available in white and rose gold, and stainless steel.
The Aquanaut is one of the world's great marine watches. It debuted in 1997 with a rounded, octagonal case inspired by the Patek Nautilus, water resistant to 120 meters, the ref. 5060 It has a sealed dive case and screwed down crown and when it was introduced in 1997, the Aquanaut created a huge sensation. It had a “Tropical” composite rubber strap ultra-resistant to salt-water, wear, and UV radiation. As of 2021 there are 17 models made in stainless steel and rose gold with an assortment of straps, metal bracelets, and even diamonds for women.
The Gondolo series debuted in 1993 as Patek’s homage to Art Deco art and aesthetic movement of the 1920's and early 1930's. Art Deco pioneers utilized their rules of style and “form for function” as well as artistic beauty, producing architecture, furniture, industrial design, jewelry, and clothing. The Gondolo watches are a contemporary re-examination of the stepped stylistic lines of that school and its philosophy. This collection is named for the “Chronometro Gondolo” pocket watches created by Patek Philippe for the Latin Brazilian Gondolo & Labouriau jewelers in Rio de Janeiro in 1902. With its often diamond-encrusted rectangular, tonneau, or cushion-shaped cases, the Gondolo combines most of Patek Philippe’s “form” watches, the term for all those that are not round, such as the Square, the Pagoda, the Tank, and the Top Hat. Their strong lines, timeless style and geometric simplicity are innovative interpretations of the art deco style, which was still influential in 1932 during one of Patek Philippe’s own golden ages as the Stern Brothers took over the greatest watchmaking firm in the world. Wth the Gondolo, Patek Philippe has reinterpreted – with a subtle infusion of modernity – some of the historical watches that are part of its heritage and may be admired in the Patek Philippe Museum. As of 2021 there are currently 7 Gondolo watches made in rose or white gold, with bezel and dial designs utilizing fine white diamonds.
The Golden Ellipse was first introduced in 1968, a time of startling, novel fashion. The radical and innovative Ellipse has become one of the Patek Philippe flagships with its automatic, ultra-thin, simple elliptical case, and its design based on the golden mean, a mathematical division of geometric form discovered more than two thousand years ago. The Patek caliber 16.250 movement was designed especially for the Ellipse and other ladies’ watches, and the ref. 4826/21 has become one of the most beautiful women’s watches in the world. The Ellipse is one of Patek Philippe’s most recognized watches with the elliptical case, a combination of a circle and a rectangle. The most famous example had a blue dial with hands and hour markers floating over its depths, and it's still made today. Its design was inspired by the principle of the “golden section” discovered by the ancient Greek mathematicians. This so-called “divine” proportion, expressed as a ratio of 1 / 1.6181, also forms the basis of some of history’s greatest works of art and architecture. As of 2021 there are 3 models, both with the renowned Patek caliber 240 movement, produced in 18K rose gold or platinum.
The Twenty-4® series of ladies’ watches combine designs for active as well as stylish women, made for every occasion. The crowns include diamond or onyx buttons, and each watch has top Wesselton diamonds on the case, the bezel, or the bracelet. These thin, narrow watches have feminine elegance. They are perfect for fashionable business, dress, or casual wear. The Twenty-4 automatic self-winding line was introduced in 2018, featuring a round case with the caliber 324 S C movement with a date aperture and sweep seconds. As of 2021 there are 12 models in rose gold or stainless steel.
Complications are the extraordinary horologic special functions aside from simple time-telling that have always made Patek Philippe so formidable. From Jean Philippe’s first pocket watch with a minute repeater in 1845, to his 1881 patent for a precision regulator, and his novel perpetual calendar mechanism in 1889, Patek Philippe innovations have defined the company as being “on the prow of the ship.” After Jean Philippe’s death in 1894, the brand (In 1901 named "Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A."), continued to embrace the high complication technology, including a split seconds chronograph in 1902, their watch with a minute repeater playing the Westminster chimes on a grande and petite sonnerie in 1909, the first ever perpetual calendar wristwatch with the caliber 97925, and of course the watches custom made for connoisseur Thomas Emery as well as the 1927 astronomical pocket watch created for automobile magnate James Ward Packard (At that time the most complicated watch in the world). Patek introduced moon phase displays, the first bracelet chronographs with split-second mechanisms, and a host of other radical horologic creations.
These innovative complication and grand complication watches still set the bar for the modern era. The 1980's and '90's saw a number of impressive Perpetual Calendar Chronographs including the elegantly simply ref. 3450 in 1981, the 1987 ref. 3970 with its subsidiary dials for the constant seconds, 24-hours, moon phase, and a 30-minute chronograph totalizer. The ref. 5970 40mm Perpetual Calendar Chronograph was introduced in 2009, and Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz – a passionate Patek devotee – helped design his extraordinary namesake Perpetual Calendar Split Second Chronograph 5004/1J-001 in 2011. The company continues to introduce notable Grand Complications timepieces such as the 2017 ref. 5316 with a minute repeater, a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, a moon phase, and a retrograde date. In 2020 they released three new Grand Complications including the exquisite ref. 5303 minute repeater/tourbillon with the striking mechanism on the dial side, the ref. 5370 Split seconds chronograph, and the ref. 5270 chronograph-perpetual calendar. As of 2021 there are 35 Grand Complication models and 35 Complication watches.
Between the earliest days of Patek’s founding and their currently produced lines of watches, the superlative craftsmanship and visionary design has never missed a beat; they are literally better than ever.