The Genevan illustrious watchmaker Patek Philippe has been making watches for over 150 years. They are acclaimed and loved all throughout the world as one of the most prestigious brands in existence today. Recently they celebrated their 180th anniversary with a grand party that welcomed many esteemed guests from around Europe to attend an evening filled with celebrations and festivities that honored this magnificent milestone achievement!
Today, this watch is viewed on the Horlogerie Haute store with the most reputable names and designs by mechanical chronographs. He started out as a young man in manufacturing who thought of his life living hand to mouth so he could someday make immigrant polish fascination into perfect watches.
The Founder: The Early Stage
The story of Poland’s hero, Patek, is one worth telling. Born in 1812 into a nation divided by two great empires that had been for centuries engaged in an endless war with each other, he sought to break the mold and fight on behalf of his homeland. His exploits are legendary – from being only 16 when first deployed against Russian forces during the November uprising (when many Polish troops were deserting) to fighting them again as part of General Henry Rydz-Smigly’s army at Lwów while still just 22 years old.
After a year of fighting in the Polish uprising, Patek and his group were forced to leave Poland. Fleeing from their homeland, they traveled across Western Europe seeking refuge for themselves and other soldiers. They settled down in France, where Patek continued serving as an officer with fellow refugees who had been there since before him.
Shortly after arriving at this new home country came another order that would change everything; he was transferred out of French territory against his will into Switzerland because it became too dangerous for them to stay put any longer.
The city of Geneva’s watchmaking heritage captivated him with its enamellers, artistry engravers, and jewelers. Being a refugee, he requested the company of immigrants to acquaint himself with Czapek Francois, who was Czech-born but immigrated to Switzerland in 1839. Though they met only briefly before parting ways for good, it is said that Moreau left his heart behind when he departed from their meeting place at La Belle Etoile Hotel on May 1st, 1839 after signing papers as a co-founder alongside Frenchman Pierre Patek – now making watches under the name “Patek.”
The Ref. 96
Stern Charles founded the Henri Stern Agency and was appointed as board of directors during the war in 1934. He then appointed his son, Stern Henry, to take over for him when he retired from being a watchmaker. The company is now known around the world thanks to their quality watches that they have imported since 1946.
With the leadership of Henri Stern, Patek Philippe’s timepieces became more coveted than ever. He began collecting rare watches that were continually being manufactured and expanded on Jean Pfister’s foundation to create a museum for his beloved company in Geneva. The many people who demanded luxurious timepieces with paintings and engravings found their needs met by this new collection from Henri Stern at Patek Philippe!
The First Quartz Watch
The early quartz watches were more expensive than the mechanical ones. In 1970, Phillipe Stern decided to take on full responsibility for designing this year’s type of watch that would be present at Patek Philippe. The first model he envisioned was a much less formal timepiece with an elegant look and feel, one which could match today’s generation in casual style.
As a result of this change, the company introduced its first high-end watch in 1976. This was called the Ref 3700 1A Nautilus, and it quickly became known as one of the most expensive watches in history. Philippe Stern knew that if they wanted to maintain their popularity among collectors, what would be more popular than an elegantly designed mechanical piece?
The Modern-Day Patek Philippe
The first auction of the Caliber 89 has made a new record for having one watch sold under the gavel. This $4,600,000 wristwatch was sold in France to commemorate Jump Ref 3969 and Officer Ref 3960 watches that were released as limited editions last year. Both models quickly ran out, with people clamoring to get their hands on them, which makes this timepiece an instant favorite among many French citizens.
Patek Philippe watches are the holy grail of luxury timepieces. This means that they’re some seriously expensive pieces! But, if you’ve got a fat wallet and want to wear something spectacular on your wrist, then these might be for you.
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