Monday, December 4, 2017
Geneva Roots of the Watchmaker Patek Philippe
A Northern California businessman who guides Heritage Management Services, Inc., Craig Duling has a longstanding interest in vintage timepieces. As a testament to his work as antiquarian horologist, Craig Duling maintains the website HeritagePocketWatch.com, which offers a full range of resources on timepieces of distinction.
Featured are the unparalleled creations of Patek Philippe, which originate in the work of Polish migrants Antoni Patek and Franciszek Czapek, who created a pocket watch company in Geneva in 1839. After parting ways with Czapek in 1844, Patek teamed up with keyless winding mechanism pioneer Adrien Philippe, with Patek Philippe & Co. established in 1851.
In 1868, Patek Philippe created its first wristwatch, with innovative components, such as a split-seconds hand, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and chronograph, added in quick succession. The company has been under the ownership of the Stern family for the past 75 years and produces an average of 40,000 timepieces each year. One distinction of the company is that it produces its full range of watch components in house, which enables the highest levels of quality control. Timepieces manufactured as late as the 1960s regularly fetch more than $1 million at auction.