Everyone knows Swiss watches are prestigious and luxurious, and Patek Philippe is certainly one of the best.
Patek Philippe is the last family-owned and independent Swiss watchmaker around. The brand has had Thierry Stern as president of the brand since 2009, and he represents the fourth generation of the Stern family committed to the Patek Philippe brand.
Exceptional quality, long-term dependability, and technological innovations are just some of the things that spring to mind when you think about this brand. The Patek Philippe brand works to ten values to ensure their watches are always the best on the market. These values include independence, tradition, innovation, fine workmanship, rarity, and more.
Want to know why these watches are so expensive? Read on to find out.
Patek Philippe only produces 50,000 watches per year, whereas other watch retailers produce approximately 1 million timepieces a year. As they limit their production, the demand for their watches exceeds supply, allowing them to raise the prices of their products.
Another reason for their low production rate is because each watch goes through a detailed manufacture and production process. Even some of the most basic watches offered by the company take approximately nine months to complete. Some more complex models can take up to two years to finish.
The Patek Philippe company has been creating high-quality watches for over a century. The brand dates back to 1839, and knowledge and craftsmanship have been passed down from generation to generation. This protects the quality of their watches and inspired the tradition of handing a Patek Philippe watch down between generations, proving these watches are not disposable accessories.
Over the many years of manufacture, the team of expert watchmakers at Patek Philippe has made many watch technology innovations. Within the industry, this team are manufacturing experts and makes advancements in the field even today. Patek Philippe boasts over 100 patents for their different innovations, proving their success.
Some of the innovations include the perpetual calendar, the Cal. 89, and the minute repeater. The perpetual calendar can automatically adjust to leap years and the number of days in a month. The Cal. 89 is a unique movement made from 39 different complications and 1728 different parts. The brand has also patented the hand-winding two-hand watch and the split-second chronograph too. Some awe-inspiring creations!
Due to the innovation and exclusivity of Patek Philippe watches, they have a great resale value. Buying one of these special watches makes a good investment, and this resale price will only increase over time. It’s common to find vintage and new Patek Philippe watches on resale websites for extremely high prices.
You can find vintage timepieces that sell for millions; for example, the 5131 Cloisonne Enamel cost more than $4 million in an auction. The more modern 1970 Nautilus currently costs around $50,000, a lot more than its initial retail price of $3,000.
Unlike many sleek, modern smartwatches popular today, Patek Philippe timepieces reflect grand designs and feature many details. When you see a Patek Philippe watch, you will always see a piece of art made by an expert craftsman. Common artisan processes include enamel painting, delicate engraving, inlays, the setting of precious stones, and more. Every watch is unique.
Hand-applied techniques are unique in this day and age. Some Patek Philippe models need 40 to 60 different steps to create a small area, unlike a mass-produced watch.
Quality And Commitment
In 2008 the Patek Philippe company introduced a Patek Philippe Seal. This was introduced after they broke away from the Geneva Seal Bureau after 123 years. The Geneva Seal Burau provides criteria for quality watches to maintain the city’s reputation as the best place for watchmaking.
Aso Patek Philippe broke away from this bureau they needed to establish their seal of approval to prove to customers their timepieces are still the finest quality around. Their seal involves rigid requirements and involves all sections of a watch, not just its timekeeping accuracy.
Another reason for the high price of these watches is due to the materials they’re made from. The brand uses precious metals, including white gold, rose gold, platinum, and yellow fold. Stainless steel is only used for a small minority of watches. When you invest in a Patek Philippe watch, you know you’re purchasing the finest materials that will stand the test of time.
The Patek Philippe brand made its name through its exquisite craftsmanship and high-quality work. Every element, large and small, is considered, designed, and created perfectly. These watches are complex and take years to create by hand.
Watches can consist of as many as 252 different parts, which is why they can take so long to finish. The tops of the watches are decorated and brushed carefully, and every bridge and plate is beveled externally and internally too. When the dials are created, they can go through up to 2000 different processes. This means some dials take up to 6 months to finish. From design to manufacture, these watches can range from a three to five-year process!
Unlike other brands, like Rolex, Patek Philipe crafts many of their watches by hand. No machines are used in the manufacturing process. When you see a high price on these watches, you’re paying for an age-old craft and the manufacturer’s skill. Not everyone can make watches this fine!
Are You Ready To Invest In A Patek Philippe?
These gorgeous watches are expensive and exclusive. Patek Philippe even holds the record for the most expensive watch ever sold as the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch once sold for $23.98 million. These exquisite timepieces may not be in everyone’s budget, but they’re always worth admiring from afar.
If you’ve enjoyed looking at one of the most expensive watch brands, take a look at these most expensive watches in the world.
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Isobel is a freelance copy and content writer who regularly contributes to Superwatches. Well-versed in all the ins and outs of the smartwatch industry. Isobel specializes in Fashion and design and is a First Class fashion design graduate.
Currently lives in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.