Patek Philippe: Luxury Watch Manufacturer

Many of today’s luxury watch brands were founded hundreds of years ago by master watchmakers. Patek Philippe is one such brand, prized by serious collectors worldwide for the precision and artistry of its pieces.

Who Is Patek Philippe?

The Patek Philippe brand of watches was founded by two master watchmakers—Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe. Their combined last names form the brand name familiar to collectors today. The company launched in 1851 when the first Patek Philippe watches were displayed at the Great Exhibition in London.

The Great Exhibition was dedicated to the most modern and exciting inventions of that era. Patek Philippe watches were innovative, with gadgetry and gears new to the world of watches. Today, Patek Philippe is still known for modernity as well as elegant styling and quality.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5040J-014 Perpetual Calendar in 18K Gold. Achieved $23,750 at auction.

What Are the Best-Known Patek Philippe Luxury Watches?

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712/1A - Fortuna NYC Fine Jewelry & Watch Auction
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712/1A. Achieved $50,000 at auction.

Patek Philippe has several watches prized by serious watch collectors:

  • Sky Moon Tourbillon: This piece has a sky chart, perpetual calendar, moon phases and retrograde chart. The case back features the night sky with beautiful detail. This watch is also stunning, with hand-engraved volutes.
  • Henry Graves Supercomplication: Named after the banker Henry Graves Jr., this watch has 24 complications, more than any other mechanical pocket watch. In addition to a perpetual calendar, moon phases, sky chart and other features, the watch has chimes, including “Grande sonnerie” and “Petite sonnerie” with carillon as well as twin-barrel differential winding and other functions.
  • Nautilus: First launched in 1976, this is one of the most sought-after Patek Philippe watches. The Nautilus was designed by Gerald Genta and has a unique curved octagon bezel, resembling a ship’s porthole. The dial is embossed with distinctive horizontal grooves. Its introduction contributed greatly to the rise of a new category of watches: the steel luxury sports watch. In Fortuna’s September 2018 Important Watches sale, Fortuna offered a Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712/1A in Steel, one of Patek’s more complicated watches, with useful functions such as date, power reserve, moon phase, and sweep second indications. The watch achieved an impressive $50,000 at auction, doubling its starting bid.
  • The Grandmaster Chime: In 2019, this watch set the world record for the most expensive wristwatch after selling for about $31 million. It features 20 complications, a reversible case and two dials. This watch was introduced in 2014 as part of the brand’s 175th-anniversary celebration.
Patek Philippe Ellipse Gold Watch Ref. 3548/1. Achieved $6,875 at auction.

How to Sell a Patek Philippe Watch

When selling a Patek Philippe watch, there are multiple factors that can impact value, aside from working condition and material value. The rise of the vintage watch market combined with the storied, centuries-long brand of Patek Philippe has done wonders for the secondary market value of iconic Patek Philippe watches. Before selling your Patek timepiece, having a seasoned watch specialist inspect the watch first can make all the difference.

Fortuna has years of experience selling highly sought after Patek watches and is especially attuned to details that can affect value. Our watch specialists recognized this Patek Philippe Ref. 2526, pictured below, as being part of the first series of the reference—contributing immensely to its market value. Furthermore, the reference 2526 is widely considered to be Patek Philippe’s first automatic watch ever made, making it even more desirable to collectors. With the information uncovered by our specialists, this precious heirloom watch achieved $50,000 at Fortuna’s September 2018 Important Watches auction.  

Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 in 18K Gold With Bracelet

To get started selling your prized watches, fill out an online form or contact Fortuna at valuation@fortunaauction.com with details and images of the item for a free, no-obligation valuation. If you prefer an in-person valuation, you can email or call us during business hours at 212-389-9040.

If you’re looking for the perfect Patek Philippe timepiece, review Fortuna’s upcoming auctions. We carefully curate our selection of fine jewelry and luxury watches for collectors seeking rare finds. Our website even allows you to track lots so you can bid on the perfect piece once you find an item you like.