Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe is the last independent, family-owned Genevan watch manufacture. With a vibrant, uninterrupted operating history spanning nearly 180 years, the company benefits from a unique legacy of tradition and innovation. It is considered by many experts to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers The company maintains over 400 retail locations globally and over a dozen distribution centres across Europe, Asia and North America.
With his Czech-born Polish partner Franciszek Czapek, Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek, in 1839 in Geneva formed Patek, Czapek & Cie and started making pocket watches. They separated in 1844, and in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe who was the inventor of the key-less winding mechanism. Patek Philippe & Co was founded in 1851. Patek Philippe popularised the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.
Like other Swiss manufacturers, the company produces mostly mechanical movements of the automatic and manual wind variety, but has produced quartz watches in the past and currently does. Patek Philippe also manufactures its own watch components.
In 2010, the company produced 40,000 watches and in 2012, they produced 50,000.
The company has been owned by the Stern family since 1932, and, as of the late 2000s, led by Philippe Stern and his son Thierry Stern, who took over the reins from his father in 2010.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R World Time Minute Repeater
A stand out addition to the Patek Philippe product range for 2018. It combines two of the manufacturer’s most advanced complications, the world time and the minute repeater functions into a single timepiece – a world first.
As a result of the two complications working in tandem, the minute repeater function always chimes according to the designated local time, rather than simply chiming according to home time. In order to achieve this, the watch makes use of a new in-house caliber R 27 HU movement; one of the most advanced Patek movements to date.
Initially, this watch was actually introduced on a limited edition basis back in 2017, but the model was showcased as Baselworld ahead of general release this year. The case is 40mm in diameter and is constructed from rose gold, while the centre of the dial features a coloured image of a landscape.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5968A Aquanaut Chronograph
The Aquanaut has always benefited from a contemporary, sporty aesthetic look. This year, those ideas are being reinforced further as the collection is gaining its first ever chronograph model with the introduction of the Reference 5968A.
A sweep seconds hand has been added, although it is worth pointing out that this is not a basic chronograph function. In typical Patek fashion, the manufacturer has gone further, adding a a column wheel and a close to friction less vertical disc clutch, allowing the chronograph hand to double up as a continuous seconds hand.
The Reference 5968A retains the style and dimensions associated with the collection. Its stainless steel case measures 42mm in diameter and its black dial contrasts with the orange seconds and chronograph hands, helping to provide it with a youthful aesthetic.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5740G Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
Another major new addition this year is the Reference 5740G, which is the first model in the Nautilus collection to ever feature the perpetual calendar complication.
Visually, the watch benefits from traditional Nautilus design elements, such as its metallic blue dial, which has a horizontal line motif. The octagonal case, which measures 40mm in diameter, is constructed from 18k white gold, while the timepiece’s integrated bracelet is made from the same material, giving it a uniformed appearance.
The watch is powered by the in-house caliber 240 Q movement, which provides excellent time-keeping precision. The dial features a three sub-dial display, with the month displayed at the 3 o’clock position, the date and moon phase at the 6 o’clock position and the day of the week at the 9 o’clock position.
Ref. 5524R Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
The release of the Ref. 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in 2015 was a radical move by Patek Philippe that broke the mold of the brand’s traditional design paradigm. With its DNA rooted in aviation and styled with an 18k white gold case and blue dial, it quickly became the darling amongst collectors. This year at Baselworld, Patek Philippe announced a new variant of this highly-coveted timepiece—the Ref. 5524R. This fresh addition showcases a beautiful rose gold case accented by a striking dial brown dial with a black gradation. It is a refined and bold debut for an astounding timepiece that pays tribute to Patek Philippe’s horological endeavors.
Ref. 7150/250R Chronograph
With a tradition of producing timepieces that are best-in-class, Patek Philippe has long embraced the incorporation of complicated movements into ladies’ watches.
Replacing the Ref. 7071 as Patek’s only ladies’ chronograph model, the new Ref. 7150R/250R Chronograph showcases a stylish new look while retaining the same powerful movement. The Ref. 7150 is fashioned with a 38mm round rose gold case that is gracefully set with 72 diamonds, and a silver dial with rose gold Breguet numerals. A fresh and feminine face for the ladies’ chronograph, Patek Philippe’s Reference 7150 is destined to be a highly-coveted watch among modern, active women with an eye for style and an appreciation for exquisite timepieces.