Patek Philippe Watches
History and description of Patek Philippe watches, which are among the world's very best mechanical timepieces.
In spite of the rapid change that occurs every day, not to say year, in today’s fashion market and our fascination with the latest technological developments, Patek Philippe watches have remained closely tied to their roots and their dedication to produce timeless timepieces. Their delicate and refined aesthetics, combined with technical mastery of the mechanical watch have delighted and amazed watch collectors, but also the average citizen with a taste for superior products. Patek Philippe watches may not have the reputation for ruggedness that accompanies the Rolex name, but they nevertheless maintain a high standard for durability and match that with a peerless reputation in beauty and mechanical brilliance.
Characterized by small dimensions and an innovative capacity to provide a significant number of ‘complications’ (features, such as a perpetual calendar which adheres unerringly to the 400 year Gregorian calendar cycle), Patek Philippe has established its name as the pinnacle of human watch-making. Without the need for electricity, or even winding (in some watches), Patek-Phillipe clocks are built, which include calendars (which can even compensate for leap years), chronometers, moon phase indicators, and time zone compensators, to name just a few complications.
Since its inception in 1839, the Swiss-based Patek Philippe has been a leading innovator in watch design. In 1953, Patek introduced the first automatic wristwatch and only one year later the first "nuclear powered" clock, which was powered by a radioactive isotope. It even produced a quartz watch in 1958, in spite of its reputation for building traditional mechanical watches.
Although the advent of electric-driven and quartz watch technology from the late 1950’s to the 1970’s has threatened to eliminate the mechanical watch market entirely, high-end, quality craftsmanship, like that of the Patek-Phillipe watches, has shown remarkable staying power. A resurgence of interest in these mechanical masterworks has accompanied increased public awareness of their quality and availability.
Though Patek Philippe has demonstrated amazing capacity to build watches according to the latest technology, it is without doubt that their mechanical watches are their prime contribution to the horological world. Patek Philippe introduced and patented the Gyromax balance wheel in 1952, which took precision watch manufacturing to a new level of accuracy by improving upon the design of the Gullaume balance and dual overcoil with regulator design (which is still used in some high end watches). In 1962, Patek Philippe’s master watchmaker set a world record for accuracy with a mechanical watch, which has yet to be equaled. To mark their 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek Philippe created the world’s most complicated watch, the Caliber ’89, which possesses a truly remarkable 33 complications in the measurement of time.
Even Patek Philippe’s simplest watches, however, demonstrate beautiful craftsmanship and technique, which has been developed during the past two centuries. Years of dedicated work have pushed Patek Philippe to the forefront of watch making; whether to compliment a dashing tuxedo or as a daily accoutrement, a Patek watch cannot be excelled in beauty or craftsmanship.