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History

History of the Company

On May 1st, 1839 two Polish immigrants, Antoni Patek (Businessman) and François Czapek (Watchmaker) joined forces to found "Patek, Czapek & Cie" in Geneva.

In 1844, Patek met the French watchmaker, Jean-Adrien Philippe in Paris where the latter presented his pioneering stem winding and setting system by the crown.

In 1845, when Czapek decided to leave the company and to continue on his own, the company name changed to "Patek & Cie".

Later, in 1851 when Adrien Philippe officially became associated with the company, it was renamed "Patek Philippe & Cie", before changing once more in 1901 to "Ancienne Manufacture d’Horlogerie Patek Philippe & Cie, S.A.".

In 1932, the company was purchased by two brothers, Charles and Jean Stern, owners of a fine dial manufacture in Geneva. Since then, "Patek Philippe S.A." remains a family owned firm.

In 2009 the company presidency was officially transferred from the 3rd to the 4th generation : Thierry Stern became president and his father Philippe Stern, Honorary president.

Timeline

1839

Patek, Czapek & Co is founded by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek.

1844

Antoine Norbert de Patek (below right) meets Jean Adrien Philippe (left) in Paris.

The company produces its first watch with keyless winding and hands setting.

1845

The company makes its first pocket watch with minute repeater.

Patent for watch with stem winding and hands setting mechanism.

1851

The Great Exhibition takes place in London, where England’s Queen Victoria is among those who admire the world’s first keyless watches.

"Patek & Cie" becomes "Patek Philippe & Cie".

1868

Patek Philippe creates the first Swiss wristwatch, made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.

1881

Patent for precision regulator.

1889

Patent for perpetual calendar mechanism for pocket watches.

1902

Patent for split-seconds chronograph.

1909

The “Duke of Regla” coat-of-arms pocket watch: Patek Philippe creates an exceptional timepiece with a minute repeating mechanism that plays the Westminster chimes on a petite and grande sonnerie.

1916

Patek Philippe produces the first complicated ladies’ wristwatch with a five-minute repeater.

1922/23

Patek Philippe makes the first split-seconds chronograph wristwatch.

1925

Patek Philippe creates its first wristwatch with perpetual calendar.

1927

James Ward Packard collects his Patek Philippe astronomical pocket watch.

The first wristwatch chronographs with or without split-seconds begin regular production at Patek Philippe.

1932

The two brothers Jean and Charles Stern purchase the Patek Philippe Company.

Introduction of the first model from the Calatrava collection: Ref. 96.

1933

Patek Philippe creates the "Supercomplication" pocket watch for Henry Graves.
Until 1989, this pocket watch remains, with its 24 complications, the world’s most complicated timepiece.

1941

Patek Philippe begins regular production of perpetual calendar wristwatches.

1944

Patek Philippe wins a record number of first prizes for precision in the Geneva Observatory competition for marine chronometers.

1949/51

Patent for Patek Philippe Gyromax balance wheel.

1953/56

Patents for self-winding mechanisms.

1956

The company makes the first all-electronic clock.

1959/62

Patents for time-zone watches.

1962

A new timekeeping precision record is achieved by Patek Philippe in the Geneva Observatory competition.

1968

Introduction of the first model of the Ellipse collection: Ref. 3548

1976

Introduction of the first model of the Nautilus sports watch collection: the Ref. 3700/1 Steel.

1977

Patent for Caliber 240.

1986

Patent for secular perpetual calendar with retrograde hand.

1989

To celebrate 150 years of Patek Philippe, the company creates the most complicated portable timepiece ever made, the Caliber 89 with 33 complications.

1993

Launch of the first model of the Gondolo collection: Ref. 4824.

1996

Patent for Annual Calendar mechanism.

Patek Philippe moves into new building in Plan-les-Ouates.

1998

Patent for state-of-winding indicator.

1999

Patek Philippe launches the ladies’ Twenty-4® collection: Ref. 4910/10A.

2000

To mark the Millennium, Patek Philippe presents the Star Caliber 2000, a double-sided pocket watch with 21 complications.

2001

Patek Philippe launches its most complicated wristwatch ever produced with double-face: the Sky Moon Tourbillon.

2003

Patek Philippe introduces the 10 Day Tourbillon wristwatch.

2005

Patek Philippe Advanced Research: Patek Philippe launches a watch with a silicon escape wheel for a Swiss lever escapement.

2006

Patek Philippe Advanced Research: Patek Philippe launches a watch with a silicon based balance spring Spiromax®.

The 10th anniversary of its workshops.

Patek Philippe celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus collection.

Patek Philippe re-opens the renovated Geneva Salons.