Founded in 1893 by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek, Patek Philippe is recognized as the most renowned watchmaker in horology. Since 1932, Patek Philippe has been in the hands of the Stern family, and it remains one of the last family-owned watch manufacturers based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Patek Philippe has always been famous for its assortment of complicated timepieces, ranging from "petit complications” like annual calendars, chronographs, and world timers to "grand complications” like perpetual calendars, minute repeaters, and celestial creations. The impressive internal mechanical mastery of Patek Philippe timepieces is matched only by the fine craftsmanship of their exterior designs.
In addition to complications and grand complications, the Patek Philippe watch collection is also home to elegant dress timepieces such as the Calatrava and sports watches like the Nautilus and Aquanaut. It is the exceedingly popular Nautilus watch (and the younger Aquanaut that was inspired by it) that transformed Patek Philippe from a name recognized among seasoned watch connoisseurs into a coveted brand in modern pop culture too.
Compared to many other high-end watchmakers, Patek Philippe manufactures much fewer watches every year. It's been reported that fewer than one million Patek Philippe watches have been made since the company's founding. This limited supply adds to the value and collectibility of Patek Philippe watches and their rarity makes them even more desirable among collectors and enthusiasts.