Patek Philippe is not just any other brand that makes good luxury watches. It is a brand that is backed by an over century-and-a-half-old tradition of skilled craftsmanship combined with an innovative watchmaking process that had helped evolve the industry to what it is today.
The brand’s superior approach to creating impeccable timepieces, however, is not the mere reason why a lot covet a Patek Philippe. For the most part of the company’s history, the brand produced bespoke watches for the world’s most influential personalities. The scarcity of such custom-made timepieces is the basis why the brand’s watches always make record-high sales in public auctions.
The reputation it has held over the years is no doubt instrumental to the brand’s success as a highly respectable Swiss watch manufacture. This is the reason why excitement always ensues whenever it releases a new timepiece, and such timepiece instantly becomes iconic just by the very name it carries.
Take a look at some of Patek Philippe’s well-known watches, and why these legendary masterpieces have become sought-after items for avid timepiece collectors.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
When the brand acquired patent for its perpetual calendar mechanism for pocket watches in 1889, it signalled the beginning of more successes for the brand using this exceptional innovation. The most noteworthy of which is the combination of this complication with another, the chronograph, which formed the now iconic Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.
The launch of Reference 1518 in 1941 not only introduced the world to the genius fusion of two complications but also paved the way for the brand to come up with serially produced complicated timepieces.
A revelation at 35 millimetres, Reference 1518 had twin apertures at 12 o’clock, two chronograph registers at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, respectively, a circular date display, and a moonphase at 6 o’clock. These outstanding features were the design blueprint for the brand’s most important timepieces that were produced in the last 70 years.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Released at a time when the market was flooded with quartz watches which were threatening the place and popularity of Swiss luxury timepieces, the Nautilus was Patek Philippe’s answer to keep its standing as a coveted watch brand. Introduced in 1976, it was marketed as a luxury sports watch yet possessed a rather unique design that made it an instant icon.
The Nautilus is a stainless steel-made watch with an oddly shaped, soft-edge case, and projections on each side that don’t go unnoticed. The design of case was inspired by the shape of a porthole found in marine vessels.
The Nautilus’s built has become a favourite amongst the modern, outgoing alpha-male segment of the luxury timepiece market. The steel case and bracelet exude a strong character fit for a contemporary luxury sports watch.
With is unique case and subtle, no-nonsense design, the Patek Philippe Nautilus undoubtedly stand outs as a priceless timepiece that reflects the exceptional quality of the brand as an innovative manufacture.
Patek Philippe Tourbillon
The brand showcases its skills and craftsmanship in the number of models under its Patek Philippe Tourbillon collection. The line sets itself apart for being a true reflection of the brand’s meticulous attention to detail, evident in the time, effort, and expertise required to adorn each timepiece by hand with the use of select materials and gems and aided by traditional processes in watchmaking.
Probably the most iconic model to come from this collection is the Sky Moon Tourbillon Reference 6002, which is touted by the brand as the “ultimate in craftsmanship”. Bringing together rare handcraftsmanship and mechanical complexity, Reference 6002 is dubbed the most complicated timepiece ever produced by the brand, boasting a long list of complications that include a tourbillon, perpetual calendar with a retrograde date hand, minute repeater, chime with cathedral gongs, a day, month, and leap years in apertures, amongst other features.
With such highly detailed work, no wonder the Sky Moon Tourbillon has become a living legend amongst all supercomplications, possessing the perfect combination of artistic and technical appeal.