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5 reasons collectors love Patek Philippe

5 reasons collectors love Patek Philippe

沙巴体育在线Why devotees of the Swiss brand never settle for less than the best — illustrated with examples offered at Christie’s

Patek Philippe collectors aren’t like other watch collectors. They aren’t flashy; they don’t have to be. That’s because Patek Philippe’s understated elegance bespeaks confidence. Simply put, Patek owners know that they have the very best in craftsmanship, heritage and design sitting on their wrists — and once you’ve owned a 沙巴体育在线, nothing else will do.

  • 1
  • The scarcity

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Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and important 18K pink gold automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon, additional white Roman dial, regular dial, case back, original certificate and box. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 3974R, movement no. 1’906’091, case no. 2’962’726, movement manufactured in 1994, encased and sold in 2000. Estimate CHF 600,000
Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and important 18K pink gold automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon, additional white Roman dial, regular dial, case back, original certificate and box. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 3974R, movement no. 1’906’091, case no. 2’962’726, movement manufactured in 1994, encased and sold in 2000. Estimate: CHF 600,000 to 1,000,000. Offered in Rare Watches on 20 July 2020 at Christie’s in Geneva

It’s said that fewer than one million have been made since 1839. That’s fewer than some very high-end Swiss manufacturers produce in a year. Patek production is so detailed that it takes nine months to make its most basic watches, and more than two years to produce some of the more complicated timepieces. Meanwhile, demand is growing around the world. 

Some Patek Philippe watches are so sought-after that buyers must submit to an application process to demonstrate that they are sufficiently high-calibre collectors. (Alternatively, you could call the Christie’s Watch Department to acquire one in a private sale the following day.)

  • 2
  • The design

沙巴体育在线The real beauty of a Patek design lies in its movements. Every individual part is hand-finished, which might seem an excessive detail considering that only a watchmaker can truly appreciate it. And yet even the lay admirer cannot help but be struck by its beauty. 

沙巴体育在线Dial design is similarly unrivalled. The faceted batons, the hand-polished hands and the little tells that distinguish a Patek Philippe can often go unnoticed even by the person wearing the watch, and yet they all add up to something that looks and feels perfect on the wrist.

  • 3
  • The investment value

沙巴体育在线

Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and important 18K pink gold automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon, 1994. Case glazed snap on back, 36  mm  diameter, signed, the lower left-hand lug with Jean-Pierre Hagmann’s punch mark. Estimate CHF 600,000-1,000,000. Offered in Rare Watches on 20 July 2020 at Christie’s in Geneva

Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and important 18K pink gold automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon, 1994. Case: glazed snap on back, 36 mm diameter, signed, the lower left-hand lug with Jean-Pierre Hagmann’s punch mark. Estimate: CHF 600,000-1,000,000. Offered in Rare Watches沙巴体育在线 on 20 July 2020 at Christie’s in Geneva

Patek Philippe resale value trumps that of all other makers, whether vintage or modern. Watches completed for Patek’s 175th anniversary collection are already trading on the secondary market for extraordinary prices. Pieces such as the 5131 Cloisonné Enamel沙巴体育在线 immediately earned almost double their retail price at auction, straight from retail. (That they were recently discontinued in white and yellow gold may add even more value to these models.)

From a broader, more historical perspective, you could have bought a Calatrava for $300 in the 1950s; today, they can command more than $20,000. There are perpetual chronographs — namely the 2499/100 fourth series — that cost less than $20,000 in the 1980s but fetch well over $400,000 today. And an original Nautilus from the 1970s, which originally retailed for less than $3,000, now trades for more than $50,000.

  • 4
  • The archives

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Patek Philippe. an extremely rare 18k gold minute repeating wristwatch, signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, manufactured in 1955. Case Snap on back, 33  mm  diameter. Sold for HK$6,125,000 on 13 July 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
Patek Philippe. an extremely rare 18k gold minute repeating wristwatch, signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, manufactured in 1955. Case: Snap on back, 33 mm diameter. Sold for HK$6,125,000 on 13 July 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Every Patek Philippe watch ever made has a searchable ‘extract’ available at the . It instills great confidence knowing that you can source the date of production and original date of sale for every Patek Philippe made since 1839.

When you meet someone who owns a Patek watch, it’s a safe bet that they have done something extraordinary with their life. The extracts, which meticulously detail the history of each watch, evoke moments in individuals’ lives that have been marked by the purchase of a Patek Philippe. 

Patek doesn’t include the names of previous owners on its extracts, but most members of every royal family and countless heads of state and celebrities are in these archives. It’s wonderful fodder for the imagination. Perhaps the previous owner was celebrating the end of a war with your watch, the beginning of a new life with someone, or the birth of a child. Some of the most beautiful watches we see have never come up for auction before.

  • 5
  • The Patek Philippe DNA

Patek Philippe. a unique and highly important titanium automatic cathedral minute repeating annual calendar wristwatch, manufactured in 2003. Case Glazed display snap on back, 38 mm wide, signed. Sold for HK$15,125,000 on 13 July 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
Patek Philippe. a unique and highly important titanium automatic 'cathedral' minute repeating annual calendar wristwatch, manufactured in 2003. Case: Glazed display snap on back, 38 mm wide, signed. Sold for HK$15,125,000 on 13 July 2020 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

The design, artistry and craftsmanship balanced in a Patek Philippe is peerless. Patek’s cases, for example, say it all: they may appear simple in their overall execution, but Patek takes no shortcuts. Among some other watchmakers, cases are cast and machine-finished, often at an outside shop; at Patek Philippe, cases are mostly made in house, and often forged from solid pieces of gold or platinum.

Patek uses traditional case-making techniques that hark back to the 1800s, and have been preserved by a select few contemporary watchmakers. To make one of its cases requires know-how that has been passed from generation to generation, just like the watches themselves. And that’s the way it should be. That’s the beauty of a Patek Philippe.