Patek Philippe The Brand For WristWatch Connoisseurs
Patek Philippe has a backstory straight out of a romantic drama and after more than 157 years remains one of, if not, the most sought-after brand by watch enthusiasts and Connoisseurs alike.
Montre Patek Philippe Calatrava Automatique Homme
In life, there are certain inescapable facts, namely, taxes and death, but something else one could add to this list is the ability for humans to hold firm ideas on subjects they may know very little about.
Let me explain. Consider the conversation over a beer in your local bar when a fan of Ferrari insists the brand is far better than Lambourgini. This may well be a valid argument but let’s also consider this person has never owned a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, so all their knowledge is received from their environment, be that books, magazines, TV, or whatever.
Similar ideas abound when we talk about watch brands, and I bet either you or someone you know believes Rolex is by far, the best brand around? I am not saying it isn’t the case, I am saying there are other brands that may be equal or better, depending on your point of view. In all honesty, I have to admit to harboring ideas that have been received over the years leaving me with a love of Omega and Breitling but I want to shift down a gear and get objective about this.
What I’d like to do is take you on a journey through the birth and subsequent success of Patek Philippe, and offer some reasons why the brand is considered by many Connoisseurs and collector as the best.
The Patek Philipp Story
This received idea of BEST brand is also true of those singing the praises Patek Philippe but how has this come about? To understand we need to look at how the story began. In the beginning, like many a Swiss Watchmaker, it was born way back in 1839 in Geneva making pocket watches. But, by 1935 they were brought to the American markets by New York-based Henri Stern Watch Agency and subsequently sold as a sister brand alongside Universal Genève. This is where Alan Banbery Director of Sales came into the picture.
lan Banbery started to collect vintage Pateks at auction houses in order to furnish the visitors waiting room at their Rue du Rhona headquarters, which started a chain of events.
The nature of an auction is to compete against others to obtain goods, and the acquisition of vintage Pateks began to fuel price rises meaning Ian’s acquisitions of these pieces had two effects. Firstly, he was paying more for his collection and second, it allowed Ian to mount exhibitions of these pieces around the world drawing public attention to the prestige brand.
The next interesting action taken by the Director of Sales was to hold a MonoBrand auction called The Art of Patek Philippe. This solidified the Patek Philippe reputation with collectors vying for ever more and more expensive pieces in a self-perpetuating market.
The Patek Philipp Collection
Where can we start with the Patek Philipp Collection after 157 years of producing fine timepieces? Brian Duffy, CEO of Aurum Holdings believe the biggest seller is the Nautilus which currently have a waiting list.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref:5990-1A and Ref:5980-1AR
Part of the appeal he says lies in Patek’s blend of traditional watchmaking, not least the enameling, guilloche, engraving, and innovation. Take the Aquanaut Travel Time Ref:5650G released at Baselworld 2017. A classic case hides the fact this is the fifth in Patek’s Advanced Research series that has showcased Patek’s innovations in silicon.
Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5650G
This piece contains a new Spiromax balance spring with two terminal curves. While this may be a small adjustment to the balance it has made the piece accurate to +2 or -1 second every 24 hours.
Proudly displayed behind nine o’clock is Patek’s new time-zone setting device position, yet another innovation has seen the mechanism reducing its 37 parts down to 12 parts reducing the wear and the possibility of mechanical error. No longer are the cogs and pinions, replaced by one single piece of flexible steel.
More To The Story
There is something I didn’t mention earlier but it does have some bearing on the situation. Swiss Watch manufacture is old which means many brands have survived the war years and many have supplied both sides at any one time. Part of the Patek’s ongoing allure is, of course, its innovative strength, but it’s also something to do with WWII. Patek was lucky enough not to be badly affected by the war as the USA didn’t experience rationing and recession like that of Europe, so the American buying public had a good choice of quality pieces in the 1940s and 1950s.
This means there has been an almost non-stop manufacture and innovation of Patek Phillippe throughout those years.
1927 Minute Repeating
1936 Pilot Watch
1939 Platinum World Time
1953 Heures Universelles Model 2523
The main idea we should get from this is that perception is everything and the reality behind the veil can sometimes come second. Humans inevitably take on ideas that are fed to them over time, but it’s equally true that we are intelligent beings that are capable of making informed decisions when presented with facts.
In a world that is lived through social media and persistent subliminal advertising and dare I say it? “fake news” It’s more important now than ever to take all the information you can and try to see the world for what it is.
It’s complicated and big, with many different ideas but if we look hard enough we can appreciate the amazing and beautiful things in the world. I’m talking about history, passion, hard work, precision engineering, innovation, and that’s something Patek Phillipe has in sack fulls.
This is a very expensive brand but it’s certainly worthy of the label of ‘best brand’ if you have a budget to suit. Otherwise, we can admire from a distance but still appreciate this brand for all the right reasons, and try not to envy those who can afford them.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect Watch at the perfect price, from a trusted source, you know it can be a stressful experience, with the right help and advice, you too can find your dream timepiece. As I’m considered an expert in my field and I write for other publications like Wrist Review I know you’ll benefit from my experience and avoid the pitfalls.
If you are considering buying online you may be interested in reading the “How to choose a watch for your wrist size” article here.
Did you like this post? If you did, please share or like it so others know about it. If you don’t like it please tell me why. I’d love to know what you think.