In the star-studded watch industry, people can always express their admiration and longing for the simple letter combination ‘P.P’. Because this Swiss watch brand not only has a history of nearly 160 years, it has its own headquarters, workshops and museums in Geneva, the watch capital. Its more than 80 patented technologies are also holders of many world records.
百 A Patek Philippe watch made in the 19th century, although the end of the axle has been rotated more than 12 billion times on the bearing, it is still surprisingly accurate
Since the budding of watch manufacturing, the interlocking gears, levers, hairsprings and clockwork … have always fascinated the world. What a watch can convey to people is by no means limited to time information, but also a class symbol and a popular indicator. It is enough to become a symbol of human taste, and is considered to be a treasure of timelessness that transcends time.
‘No one can own Patek Philippe, you are just keeping it for the next generation.’ Patek Philippe’s classic slogan is also a little arrogant.
The Legend of the Sword and the Cross
Antoine Norbert de Patek, the founder of Patek Philippe, was a Polish revolutionary who resisted Russian rule in 1831. After the Polish Revolution failed, he fled to France and settled in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1839, he and the watchmaker Franciszek Czapek founded Patek Czapek & Cie in Geneva.
In 1844, Anthony Patek and Jean-Adrien Philippe met at an exhibition in Paris. At that time, Jane Philippe had designed pocket watches with a thin case, and without the use of traditional spoons for winding and adjustment. However, the new design was ignored in the exhibition at the time. Anthony Patek was attracted by it, and after a conversation, the two immediately reached an intention to cooperate.
In 1845, the watchmaker Czapek decided to leave the company and continue his business, so Patek changed its name to Patek & Cie. In 1851, Philippe officially joined the company, and the company was renamed Patek Philippe.
The Patek Philippe logo is a combination of a knight’s sword and a priest’s cross, also known as the ‘Kaldoraba Cross’, which comes from a legend of a hero: In 1185, the city of Caledoraba, Spain, was invaded by Moors, Rev. Raymond and Cavalier Digo Velasquez led a deadly resistance against the people, eventually driving the Moors out. The priest’s cross and the knight’s sword together became a symbol of solemnity and bravery. This also represents the spirit of cooperation between Anthony Patek and Jane Philippe. This symbol has been in use since 1857.
In 1932, the brothers Charles and Jean Stern, who owned a fine dial manufacturer in Geneva, acquired the company. So far, Patek Philippe has maintained the operating status of the family business.
In pursuit of the high level of products, Patek Philippe spares no expense in material selection.
At the London World’s Fair in 1851, the British Queen chose and bought a Patek Philippe bag watch. This new watch with a new handle hangs on a gold pin set with 13 diamonds, and the enamel blue gold cover is decorated with a rose made of diamonds. At that time, the Queen’s husband, Prince Burt, also bought a hunting watch from Patek Philippe. Patek Philippe thus established its aristocratic status.
Early Patek Philippe case, made of sterling silver and 18K yellow gold. Since the 20th century, most have chosen 18K gold and even platinum. For the use of all-steel case, Patek Philippe has always been cautious. The Patek Philippe movements all use a high number of diamonds. In the early days, more than 15 diamonds were used, and later products were more than 29 diamonds. Some gold watches with complex performances made in the 1960s had as many as 37 diamonds, which is rare among similar watches.
The last independent watch quotient
Complexity is the top craft in watchmaking, and Patek Philippe’s exquisite manufacturing technology has created many top brand watches.
In 1927, at the order of American car king Bergard, the company produced a three-question watch that could play his mother’s beloved lullaby, which was worth 8,300 Swiss francs. In 1985, Patek Philippe produced a 940 multi-function watch with full-automatic, calendar, moon phase, lunar month, and automatic date jumping functions. Its body thickness was only 3.75 mm, making it the thinnest watch of its kind.
In 1989, the Patek Philippe Museum launched Caliber89 to commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary. After nine years of development, this timepiece has 33 complications and 1728 parts.
In 1999, Patek Philippe’s Henry Graves pocket watch, a super-large single-button chronograph created in 1932, became the world’s most expensive timepiece at $ 11 million, and set a world record with 24 complex functions. This watch is specially made by Patek Philippe for an American banker and can display 24 different kinds of information: month, date, sunset and sunrise time, etc., even including the chart of the stars and moon on any night in New York City.
In 2002, the platinum ‘World Time’ exceeded the limit, indicating the time of 41 countries, regions and cities; in 2007, the 1591 model became the highest auctioned stainless steel case watch at the price of 2.2 million US dollars.
At present, Patek Philippe is the only one in the world that uses manual refining and can complete the entire watchmaking process in the original factory. One of the only true independent watchmakers in Switzerland-it is produced from beginning to end and adheres to the tradition of watchmaking Craft. The Swiss watch industry calls this traditional manufacturing method ‘Geneva’s 7 traditional watchmaking techniques’, which means integrating the traditional craftsmanship of designers, watchmakers, goldsmiths, watchmakers, sculptors, porcelain painters and jewelers. Patek Philippe’s most proud feature.
For more than a century, the Geneva Seal has become the quality standard it adheres to during the continuous development and improvement of Patek Philippe mechanical movements, clearly defining the highest level of quality that mechanical movements need to achieve. The Geneva Seal, established in 1886, is the highest honor for watches and clocks, and Patek Philippe is the only watch factory whose entire production line has won the Geneva Seal.
Manufacturing a Patek Philippe watch requires more than 1,200 operations. A new mechanical movement takes 3 to 5 years. During the manufacturing process, more than 600 hours of quality control inspections are required, followed by close observation and rigorous review for 30 days. Behind these figures is the superb skills of the craftsmen. The parts are decorated with Geneva stripes or wood grains, and each watch is individually assembled, polished and adjusted by hand. Only watches that have completed these tests will be able to bear Patek Philippe’s name.
The Patek Philippe watch made in the 19th century, despite the fact that the end of the axle has been rotated on the bearing more than 12 billion times, is still surprisingly accurate.
Paida Philippe has strict restrictions on the production of watches. Most of the models are produced in small quantities, and the few are only five. For famous models, there are only a few hundred at most. The current annual production is only 41,000. It has been nearly a century and a half since the establishment of the company, and its total output is less than the annual output of a fashion watch. Since the establishment of the company, Patek Philippe has kept records for each watch in the file management. In addition to the practical uses of repair and cleaning, it also shows that every watch is unique.
加 Limited quality products make Patek Philippe watches have a value-preserving function.
Caliber89 has quadrupled in value since the early 1990s. A white gold diamond sun and moon perpetual calendar male watch produced by the company in 1953 was bought by a European buyer for 5.3 million Hong Kong dollars at the 97 spring auction in Hong Kong, breaking the highest price of perpetual calendar watches and Asian watches. Two records of the highest auction price. In May last year, a 1943 Patek Philippe sold 6.25 million Swiss francs in Geneva, which is equivalent to 5.7 million US dollars. Several Patek Philippe collections have broken the million dollar mark. The 2499 series, which was worth $ 100,000 in 1992, was sold for another $ 3.3 million in Geneva. Since 2006, Christie’s has sold 18 Patek Philippe watches for more than a million dollars.
Today, there are 100 kings and 54 queens in Patek Philippe’s customer list, and there are also celebrities such as Einstein, Madame Curie, Charlotte Blunt, and Tchaikovsky.
Settled in China
7In July 2005, Patek Philippe officially entered the Chinese mainland market with Shanghai as an entry point. This store is the third store in the world after Geneva and Paris. In 2008, Patek Philippe opened another specialty store and service center in Beijing.
Paida Philippe has chosen a different model from other places in China. It has the full power to entrust the Maishi Group to carry out agency and retail, and only enters the market in the form of specialty stores.
As early as 1872, Rimage Zuishi Group facilitated the establishment of an office in Shanghai to handle consumer goods businesses such as raw materials, cameras, and cooperation with Patek Philippe for more than 20 years. Regarding this business model, Philippe Stern, the president of Patek Philippe, explained, ‘Mexico has had nearly 140 years of trade with China. We want to enter the Chinese market. Of course, they are the ideal guide. It’s like travel. ‘
For Patek Philippe, whose production is strictly controlled, there are not enough products to supply many distribution channels. Patek Philippe’s 600 selected retailers in 70 countries around the world have evolved over hundreds of years. Therefore, Patek Philippe has always adhered to its inherent development rhythm and philosophy, low-key and stable. China’s brand promotion is no exception. Last year, Patek Philippe sold close to 100 units in China.