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The History of Patek Philippe

On May 1, 1839, Antoni Patek, a businessman and Franciszek Czapek, a watchmaker founded Patek, Czapek & Cie. In 1844, Patek met Andrien Philippe in Paris. Philippe introduced the “stem winding and setting system by the crown”. The company manufactured the first keyless winding and hands setting watch. In 1845, Czapek decided to leave and start his own venture. The company changed its name to Patek & Cie before changing its name once again to Patek Philippe & Cie in 1851. In 1881, Queen Victoria is one of many that come to see the “world’s first keyless watches” at the Great Exhibition. In 1889, the company received a patent for pocket watches with a perpetual calendar. Then again in 1901, the company’s name changed to Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A. In 1902, the company received a patent for the “split second chronograph”. 1909, Patek and Phillippe brought the “Duke of Regla” coat-of-arms pocket watch to the public. It had a minute repeater mechanism that played the Westminister chimes. In 1916, the company produced the first complicated ladies’ wristwatch and in 1922 made the first split second chronograph wristwatch. In 1932, the company was purchased by Charles and Jean Stern, brothers of a “fine dial manufacture” in Geneva and in 1933, the company makes the “Super complication” for Henry Graves. It remained the world’s most complicated watch until 1989 when the company celebrated 150 years as Patek Philippe and produced the most complicated timepiece ever made, the Caliber 89 with 33 complications. In 1968, the Ellipse collection is introduced and a patent for the Secular perpetual calendar with retrograde hand is received in 1986. In 1996, a patent for the Annual Calendar is received and Patek Philippe moves to Plan-Les-Ouates. In 2000, Patek Phippe introduces a double-sided pocket watch with 21 complications called the Star Caliber 2000. In 2006, the company celebrates their 30th year anniversary of the Nautilus Collection. Anyone who knows watches knows that Patek Philippe was and is one of the very best watchmakers in the world today.

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